Archive for November, 2013
A little girl was helping her mother as she bustled around in a frenzy getting ready to serve dinner to a large group of guests. When they finally sat down to eat, the mother asked the little girl to say grace.
“But I don’t know what to say,” the child protested.
“Oh, honey, just say what you hear Mommy say.”
“OK. Mommy: Dear God, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”
Sounds like me—or you, perhaps?—in that moment of total exhaustion when we drop into our seats after preparing a big meal. And all the more so if you’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner!
At this super-busy time of year, it’s all too easy for November to pass us by on the way to December. Even our kids pick up on the November-December craziness (read my recent guest post at “Pass the Bread, Mom”). Yet November offers us an opportunity we don’t want to miss: to cultivate gratitude—in ourselves and in our kids.
Thankful hearts do not come naturally in this “all about me” culture. An “attitude of gratitude” needs to be both taught—and caught. Of course that’s true all year round, but making November your “thankful month” is a great way to start.
How often do your kids hear you express thanks throughout the day? In one of our kids’ homes, they set a timer on their phones several times a day. When the timer goes off, everyone stops a moment to name one thing they’re thankful for.
Two of our grandkids have a “thankful tree,” (described in my guest post at “Pass the Bread”). Last weekend when Woody and I were with them, we got to add some of our own leaves. And I noticed that just walking by the tree throughout the day became a constant reminder to me: Give thanks, Linda!
What am I most thankful for this Thanksgiving? First: Our Great God, Who in His mercy, love, and grace has given us all the reason in the world to give thanks. What did G.K. Chesterton say? “The worst moment for an atheist is when he feels a profound sense of gratitude and has no one to thank.”
And second: The gift of watching parents cultivate in their kids (especially when they’re our grandkids!) a thankful heart.
Happy Giving-of-Thanks to all of you!
Was it Mark Twain who said it? “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” For those of you visiting this blog in recent months, you must have wondered: What ever became of Linda Anderson? Did she die? Or run away from home? Or simply succumb to irreversible writer’s block?
None of the above. But what did happen to her? Well, a lot.
First, we finally sold our house in Wisconsin—after 14 months on the market. We moved cross-country to a cozy little Boston-area condo. Soon after, family came in from Ireland, Florida, and New Hampshire. We began making memories in our new home. Much rejoicing and praising God!
In mid-summer we got to “parent” our two little New Hampshire grandsons while their parents were away. The week ended with a bang—literally. A terrifying collision with a deer, especially scary because we had our two precious grandsons in the back seat. But, praise God, we were all uninjured. The car was totaled, but we are all whole, and still praising God for His hand of protection on us.
August and September brought two new “little women” into our lives. Evangeline Linnea Cronin in Ireland—and, 6 weeks later in Florida, Annika Joy Anderson. Lots of frequent flyer miles required—but such fun getting to know these precious little ladies. More praising God.
So now we are home again. After 10 years in Wisconsin, we have returned to the place that feels most like home for us (on this earth, that is): New England, where we’ve spent 30 of the 45 years of our marriage. This is where we raised our children, and where we dug deep roots in church, in a community, in a Bible study. We are grateful—and, you guessed it, praising God.
Thomas Wolfe famously titled a book You Can’t Go Home Again. We’re finding that observation both true—and untrue. The “home” to which we return is a different house. In a different town. And we are different people than we were 10 years ago. We are writing a new chapter, in a new season. We don’t yet know most of the words.
But God . . . He is the Same. And He is the author of this new chapter. We are eager to see what He will write. The unknown can be a little scary. But, as the sign on my desk reminds me, “You need not fear the future, for I am already there.” (See Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, September 30) In the meantime, it’s good to be home.
And it’s good to be back to blogging. For those of you who didn’t completely give up on me—thanks for coming back . I have a lot more to share—both about Mom to Mom and from my life. So stay tuned.