This Thanksgiving a word about the woman who not only taught me about thankfulness but personified it, my mother.
She grew up poor in Boston during the Great Depression. The daughter of a widowed Scot immigrant woman who worked as a domestic to support 4 children and her elderly parents. Mom and her siblings would carry laundry home for Grandma to wash for extra money.
Mom started married life after WWII by driving with Dad to Alaska up the newly opened Alcan Highway.
It took them 30 days from Boston in a 31 Durant to a children's home outside Wasilla, Alaska. They camped along the way, and cooked beside the road.
There at the Children's Home they farmed and fished to feed abandoned and orphaned children. It was subsistence level living. On top of that Mom had her hands full with most of the children under 5 still not being potty trained.
/heh Mom never would clean fish by the time I came around.
You'd think that poverty living would make for a grasping hungry heart later in life. Nope, not Mom. She was the very picture of happy hospitality to the end. When challenged by daily life she'd respond with thankfulness and faith in the God who provides. "Jehovah Jirah, God will provide" was on the plaque above the kitchen table -- she believed it. She had experienced it. She lived it -- in ways most can't imagine through many lean years. Even if the provision was abandoned cabin.
Dad used up the rest of his savings from the Navy to put this place back together in time for winter.
She and Dad gave joyfully (and discretely) to the needy and church all their days together. They walked in faith in the promise to those who give that "God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory."
God did. She was thankful. When faced by a challenge she'd maybe groan but then would revert in faith to believing God would provide. In faith she would be thankful in the moment of need for a God she could trust for provision here and now -- and in eternity.
She's been gone over 30 years but I can still hear her singing,
Count your blessings, count them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count your blessings count them one by one.
Count your many blessing see what God has done.
Count your blessings, name them two by two.
Count your blessings, see what God can do.
Count your blessings name them two by two.
Count your many blessings see what God can do.
dang, got something in my eye...