(Photos by Stefanie Dick)
An American Thanksgiving. A Scottish perspective.
By Stefanie Dick
I’m just an Autumn-loving, red-headed girl, in the West coast of Scotland. I’m standing in Asda (think Walmart), asking for there to be a tin of pureed pumpkin; corn bread mix, apple cider (not the kind we are used to here). Anything, that will help me create a Thanksgiving here in Scotland!
Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday here, but what could we learn from our friends in the USA; those who take time to sit down with family and friends, and give thanks during this special holiday? Taking time to stop and say “thank you,” and celebrating cultures and families coming together.
Here in the UK, we maintain an attitude of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Meaning that so often we plough through life, taking on all that comes our way; not really taking much time to stop, reflect, or acknowledge all that we have to be thankful for. I wanted to take an opportunity to experience a Thanksgiving for ourselves, and see what happened if we took some time to be intentional with gratitude.
Despite COVID this year, and restrictions here in Scotland still being really tight, our family were all on-board and excited to have our first ever Thanksgiving meal together. Our eldest researched Thanksgiving traditions, our daughter couldn’t wait to make pumpkin pie, and our youngest just loved being part of the holiday chaos.
There has been so much to love about this time of thanksgiving; help from new American friends who sent recipes, and literally felt like they were in my kitchen the whole time as I prepared our meal. New foods to taste, smells to enjoy, and time; time to have set apart, to sit and fellowship with my loved ones. Time to reflect on what we are truly grateful for.
We set a simple, but beautiful table; the kids popped on their Sunday best and we gave thanks. Would you like to know what our table was most thankful for? Our family, our home, and for those gone before us; who have made our life today possible; memories of those we have loved and who have been round our table in years gone by. Oh, and dinner! Our youngest was most thankful for his dinner.
This whole Thanksgiving in lockdown has got me thinking, more than ever, that we must give thanks for what we have; we must find new, creative ways to fellowship with each other.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (NIV).
Now more than ever, we must continue to encourage each other in faith. Let’s not hold back from rejoicing in all seasons. Share what God has done, however big or small a breakthrough you see; give time to say thank you. While you wait for a breakthrough, praise Him, for the breath in our lungs, and the opportunities we have every day to share in His goodness. We can’t let the current climate of the world shape our faith or alter our perspective of who our God was, is, and is to come: never-changing! Keep in the Word, and always keep your eyes on Jesus; give Him thanks for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He is yet to do.
Thanksgiving must be our posture, not just for one day, but all of our days. I know that this household will keep this tradition going, but I pray, that in all we do, we never lose our heart of thanksgiving.