That is Psalm 100, and it is what the Pilgrims sang on November 9, 1620, when the shot of "La-a-nd, Ho" was heard after 65 days at sea.
Things we are thankful for:
1. For Pilgrims and all we can learn from their story. We go through the Barbara Rainey book "Thanksgiving, a Time to Remember" every year, and are reminded of the hardships faced by the Pilgrims and the provisions God made for them. I am always amazed at how much of the details of their lives revolved around God. Not only were they motivated to leave Europe because they sought religious freedom, but they lived daily with a focus on God and His goodness.
Did you know that just three years prior to their landing in Plymouth the area was occupied by a very violent and aggressive tribe of Native Americans? And that tribe was literally wiped out by a terrible sickness, so that when the Pilgrims arrived the land was available for settlement. No way they could have survived if they were fighting that tribe all the time. God had a plan for them to succeed, obviously!
And, did you know they came into the harbor on a Saturday, and then did not leave the Mayflower on Sunday because it was Sabbath and they were committed to honoring God even if it meant one more day on that awful, smelly, small, cramped, cold boat? Amazing examples to all of us!
2. J is over the H1N1 virus - at least he has no fever for two days, and his cough is improving daily. It was a big deal, but we made it. Now, we are praying that Andy and I will stay healthy!
She's got quite a bossy personality!
The vet says she's a bit underweight, so we are pumping the food and watching her grow!
Have you ever seen such blue eyes? And I didn't touch her eyes up at all in Photoshop!
And guess who really likes her? Yes, that is Leo the chainsaw biting, at the gate growling, often stupid dog licking her! He licks her every morning until she is shaking her head to get the wet off. So funny! Clearly, he loves her!
She doesn't seem to mind him either. Now, Tana, the well established cat, she is not so thrilled about Sophie. She always takes a while to get used to new things, so we'll give her some time.
4. A strong marriage - and a happy one at that. Just heard of some good friends who are splitting up after more than 10 years, and it makes me so grateful for my husband who is committed to me no matter how crazy or temperamental I get, and for my own commitment to make our marriage work out. The idea of splitting up is just not even considered. It is amazing how creative you can get when you know that ending the relationship is not an option. Suddenly problem solving gets just that much more effort because you know you either have to solve it or live with it, and usually solving it is the better option. Of course this attitude is 100% a gift of grace from God - not something we can do on our own human power!
5. The way God puts the pieces together so we can have what we need. Sometimes that means us learning to cut back. Sometimes that means items on sale just when we need them - or hand-me-downs in a bag that contain just what J needs in just the right size. Sometimes that means a little extra unexpected income. But always, by the mercy of God, we manage to make it. He is the great provider!
6. Hope! Yes, we have hope. We may not always be good at showing it, but the reality is, because we know that God is a personal God who looks out for us and cares for us specifically. That allows us to keep going even when it just looks so hopeless from our perspective. Things don't always turn out the way we wanted and our ways are not always easy. But we know that "the Lord himself is God" and that he is good. That sustains us when all other things appear to be failing us. What a wonderful assurance for daily life!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!