The Thankful Heart - Episode 24

The Thankful Heart - Episode 24
Season 2 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:29:54
 
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Somedays it is quite easy to be thankful. Other days? Not so much. Join Nicole and Sharon as they talk about creating a meaningful Thanksgiving and cultivating a grateful heart in the good times and the bad times. Want to get some gratitude going in your heart? Have a listen, friends.

Read transcript for The Thankful Heart

Speaker 1 (00:02):

Welcome friend. It’s time to hit pause on your busy day and enjoy the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Let’s ponder God’s Word together and find the encouragement we need to work well and rest well. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:31):

Hello and welcome friends. It’s time to talk about Thanksgiving, both the holiday and the thankful heart that is supposed to be there as well. Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast. This is episode 24, The Thankful Heart. Sharon, what was Thanksgiving like for you when you were a kid? And were you thankful on Thanksgiving always?

Sharon (00:49):

Well, I suspect I had some years that I was more thankful than others. You know, a long meal with a lot of relatives when you’re really young can be a little bit dull. I can remember my uncles talking about football, about which I knew nothing. And my mom talking to my aunts and my grandmother about people I’d never heard of. So sometimes it was hard to be a polite little girl and, you know, just be there. But I do have some favorite memories that stand out, mostly the food, my grandmother always served Waldorf salad. Have you ever had Waldorf salad?

Nicole (01:23):

No, I’ve never heard of it.

Sharon (01:24):

Oh my goodness. It is so my favorite, I like it better than the pies.

Nicole (01:28):

What is it?

Sharon (01:28):

It’s apples and grapes and walnuts in a cream sauce kind of thing.

Nicole (01:33):

Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing.

Sharon (01:33):

And it is really, really, really, really good. So now, because everybody in my family knows, I love it my Aunt Joan every year makes me Waldorf salad in a special Tupperware container because not everybody else likes it and I take it home with me.

Nicole (01:49):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (01:50):

So I remember being way too full for pies on Thanksgiving, but wanting them anyway. I loved my mother’s stuffing and my mother always brought out our fancy china. So it kind of made us behave.

Nicole (02:02):

Doesn’t it though. You sit up a little straighter when you’re holding fancy china.

Sharon (02:05):

You sit a little straighter and you’re like, if I break it, I’m in trouble. So it was a happy day for us, loud talk and laughing and too much food and sleepy afternoons. Although knowing my parents, before the sleepy part, I’m sure they dragged us out on a walk because my mother is a one must walk everyday kind of person. So even on Thanksgiving, we’d have a walk. How about you?

Nicole (02:27):

Oh, well we didn’t always live near family. So our Thanksgivings were pretty low key usually, which was nice. But I do remember my mom breaking out the fancy china that we all had to help hand-wash afterward.

Sharon (02:39):

Can’t even go in the dishwasher, yes.

Nicole (02:41):

But my mom is a great cook, but she doesn’t bake often except around the holidays. Then she makes all of the delicious food that she did not make all throughout the year. So we always started off with homemade cinnamon buns in the morning, and we got to eat that and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on the TV while my mom cooked. And then my grandparents would come down from Maine and eat with us. And the best part was later when it was dessert time, because I love dessert. And now I have to tell you we never had less than eight or nine pies for Thanksgiving.

Sharon (03:13):

Oh my goodness.

Nicole (03:14):

Yeah. I don’t know what it is about our family and pies, but it’s crazy. So the big question was, which one do you choose? Well, my brilliant grandmother saw that terrible dilemma for me. She always says, I’ll take an inch of each.

Sharon (03:28):

An inch of each, are you serious?

Nicole (03:31):

Of each pie. Yes, she’s my hero.

Sharon (03:34):

Nine inches! That’s awesome.

Nicole (03:34):

Yeah. So it was great. Let me take a little piece of each pie and it was just wonderful.

Sharon (03:38):

You know, this may have to be something that I incorporate into my new life.

Nicole (03:43):

It’s wonderful.

Sharon (03:44):

Oh, we are blessed.

Nicole (03:46):

We are, we have some good memories.

Sharon (03:46):

We’ve been given some good memories. And how funny that we both have grandparents from Maine. Because I lived in Massachusetts, but my grandparents, well, one set was in England but the other set was in Maine. So, just something else we have in common. Nicole.

Nicole (03:58):

That’s so funny.

Sharon (03:59):

So, well, one of my recent, more recent Thanksgiving memories happened about four years ago when Dad Gamble was living with us and taught me how to make the famous Gamble apple pie.

Nicole (04:10):

Oh, wow.

Sharon (04:10):

Especially the crust. And he used to say, nobody makes crust the way they should anymore. Everybody’s too impatient. You know?

Nicole (04:17):

Probably true.

Sharon (04:17):

Yes. So I’m like, I will do it. I will be patient. Oh, Nicole, oh my goodness. It’s a Crisco pie crust and you have to make it three days in advance and put it in balls and put it in the fridge to start with. And then you do your flour and you have your ball of dough. And he said, now flour your rolling pin.

Nicole (04:38):

Yes.

Sharon (04:39):

And he said, now, just do one roll across. I said, ‘one’? And he said, yes. Now put your rolling pin down and take that dough and turn it. Then pick up your rolling pin and do one roll. I am not kidding you. Over and over and I thought, Oh, so this is why when you tried to teach people to do this pie crust, no one would do it your way. It. Took. Forever. Cause there were three pies and that’s six crusts.

Nicole (05:06):

Wow.

Sharon (05:07):

One roll. Turn. One roll. Turn. But I have to tell you, the flakiest crust on the planet.

Nicole (05:15):

Really?

Sharon (05:16):

When dad Gamble took his first bite, he cried.

Nicole (05:19):

Oh!

Sharon (05:20):

I’m not kidding you.

Nicole (05:21):

That’s so sweet.

Sharon (05:21):

He cried.

Nicole (05:21):

He probably hadn’t had a pie like that in years.

Sharon (05:25):

No, it was so… I mean, I felt so proud.

Nicole (05:29):

Yeah.

Sharon (05:30):

Do you remember about the time? Turn roll, turn, roll. My goodness. So that’s a more recent memory.

Nicole (05:35):

Ah, that’s so sweet though.

Sharon (05:37):

Yeah, yeah. How about you nowadays? What’s Thanksgiving like for you?

Nicole (05:41):

Well, it’s a little different now. We live right in the middle of all of my family and my husband’s family. He only has one sibling that’s not in New England now, so it’s nice to have all of us together. So we usually alternate whose side of the family each year and then, whose house? So it’s of a new adventure every year as it all changes up? You know, it’s great because it’s not just one person’s responsibility to like host the Thanksgiving feast every year.

Sharon (06:05):

Oh that is nice.

Nicole (06:05):

So we all take turns. We all bring things. And we have plenty of, there’s eight grand daughters on my husband’s side, ages 10 to two. We’ve no boys anywhere. And on my side of the family, there’s six grand daughters ages 10 to two. So my children are not lacking in playmates.

Sharon (06:21):

Not at all.

Nicole (06:23):

So they all play together on Thanksgiving and it’s so sweet because being a military brat, we grew up away from family. I never had that. So to see my girls making memories of their cousins, it’s just so sweet. I just love it.

Sharon (06:35):

That’s wonderful.

Nicole (06:36):

And being part of a big family. It’s a new experience for me. It’s fun.

Sharon (06:39):

Well that’s kind of nice and my goodness, girls, girls, girls, for days.

Nicole (06:42):

So many girls. Yes. It’s crazy.

Sharon (06:44):

Well, I just love that we have a day set aside just to be thankful without the presents and the wrappings and the Easter eggs and the stuff. I mean, one holiday, that’s just a thankful holiday.

Nicole (06:54):

Yeah.

Sharon (06:54):

And in America we do have so much. Plenty of food to eat, indoor plumbing, fancy kitchens in which to cook. And even though there are days when it doesn’t feel like we have much to be thankful for, we actually really do. So, Nicole, are you familiar with the story of Pollyanna?

Nicole (07:11):

Yes. She’s a little blonde girl that everything was happy and wonderful. And she turned everything around.

Sharon (07:15):

Yes, and she was both annoying and endearing.

Nicole (07:18):

Yes.

Sharon (07:20):

When somebody wanted to be grumpy Pollyanna just wouldn’t let them. Oh, it’s okay that the food is rotten. We can be thankful that we can look at it. You know? I mean? Really? She just, she was something else. And, and we’re supposed to weep with those who weep. So sometimes Pollyanna was a bit much because when someone’s sad, you are actually supposed to be sad with them. However, her ability to find the good in situations is something we could all learn from I think. We should be doing that. So how do you teach, not Pollyanna-ishness, but how do you teach your girls to be thankful? Even when sometimes it’s hard.

Nicole (07:56):

Yeah. I try to remind the girls when they whine or complain which, wouldn’t you know, I have many opportunities every day given to me, to impart wisdom in this area? Anyway, when they complain, I have them find something to say, to be thankful for. So like, Oh, my piece of banana bread is smaller than her piece or whatever. It’s like, well, a minute ago you had nothing. So let’s try this again. I’m like, how I’m really thankful I have something. I have a little piece of banana bread.

Sharon (08:23):

Yes, yes.

Nicole (08:23):

It’s better than nothing. So I try not to guilt them into it. You know, I think we do that easily with like, ‘Oh, there’s starving children somewhere that would love to eat this bread’. But just to get them to look at their situation and just find something to be thankful for.

Sharon (08:34):

It makes for such a happier heart when we do that.

Nicole (08:37):

Yeah, it does. And it’s good for me too, cause I’m sure they picked up that complaining thing somewhere.

Sharon (08:45):

Well, ever since reading Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts” I write three ‘thanks’ every day in my prayer journal. Every single day. It’s really fun. And they’re really small things, like bird song on the deck or my fluffy puppy in my lap, or Ray’s hand in mind when we pray. I love that about Ray. Whenever we pray in church, his hand finds mine. It just does.

Nicole (09:08):

Oh, that’s so sweet Sharon.

Sharon (09:08):

We always hold hands when we pray, we just do. It’s sort of a rule. I don’t know why, but it is.

Nicole (09:13):

It’s a good one.

Sharon (09:15):

And I love it, yes. And so those were just taken from a random day in my prayer journal. But every day I find three things to be thankful for. And I just think it’s a good, healthy practice, especially when we’ve been given so much. But even if I had very little, I suspect that God could show me three things to be thankful for. Every day.

Nicole (09:34):

Absolutely. And they’re little things, not always huge. Just little, like bird song, and how sweet is that?

Sharon (09:37):

Oh, and it was so pretty. Yes, and my fluffy puppy. So, well Nicole, this has been a year for the books. Pandemic. Murder hornets, hurricanes and fires, locusts, racial turmoil and heated political stuff. Really bad. So let’s follow Pollyanna’s example for just a moment. What good has come to you and yours from this horrific year 2020? What can you be thankful for as a direct result of these hard times?

Nicole (10:10):

Well, I think it’s really strengthened our family. It was really hard at first all being thrown together to work and school and live 24/seven in each other’s spaces. But after a while we stopped fighting it and we dug into that and tried to work out some of the things we’d been slacking on. We weren’t rushing out the door and rushing around late, you know, anymore, which had led to ignoring bad behavior because there was no time to adjust it.

Sharon (10:37):

Right.

Nicole (10:37):

So we’ve been able to stop in the moment and gently correct instead of yelling wildly while we race out the door again. And we’ve had time to spend with the kids intentionally. You’re always like, Oh, when we have more time, it’s like, well we have time. All right, bring out that puzzle kiddo, bring out the coloring book, we’ll do something, you know. I used to just kind of put that stuff off.

Sharon (10:55):

Right, right.

Nicole (10:55):

And then it’s been good for our marriage too, you know, on the same note, we’ve had time to address issues as they come up. So less chance for them to fester and cause trouble down the road. And I had mentioned before, I think in a previous podcast I’ve been able to clean and organize my house, which has been kind of fun and put some new habits into place. So all these things I just kept putting off until I had more time. Ta dah! I’ve got it now.

Sharon (11:23):

You’ve got it. Oh, that’s wonderful. That’s good. Yeah. There’s always something to find that’s good. Even in hard. You’re right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m thankful for the books I’ve been reading on racism. A greater awareness of the problem facing our society in that area and what I can do to serve my black brothers and sisters in the future, I needed to be awakened more in that issue. It’s been really helpful for me. I’m also thankful for the quiet rhythm Ray and I have found cause he came home too, from school and worked from home from March and stayed home. We’ve always been best friends, but that only grew stronger as we navigated the pandemic together. And our daily walks were lifesaving for me to get out of the house with Ray and walk. I’m so grateful that we’ve had weight loss because of it, a nice result of having more time to focus on that. And this was of course after we gained the quarantine 15, but still.

Nicole (12:15):

You’re not alone.

Sharon (12:17):

We’re losing weight now and feeling healthier. These are unexpected benefits from the pandemic. And the pandemic’s not good, we’re not saying it’s good. It’s horrible. It’s frightening. It has ruined lives. But even in the hardest thing, we can find where God has worked together for good something that was hard.

Nicole (12:36):

We can bloom where we’re planted, you know.

Sharon (12:38):

Exactly. Exactly. So today we’re going to read a fascinating Psalm that’s all about Thanksgiving. It has a repetitive line to it said over and over and over, and this is the line, ‘His faithful love endures forever’. So let’s stop for our Sweet Selah moment and really hear this Psalm. I’ll read that line, ‘His faithful love endures forever’. And Nicole, you can read all the various ways that we are to be thankful in this Psalm. And as you listen to this podcast friend, maybe choose your favorite verse out of all the ones Nicole reads and maybe recite ‘His faithful love endures forever’ with me.

Nicole (13:20):

Nice.

Sharon (13:20):

Okay. Let’s be thankful.

Nicole (13:22):

All right. Psalm 136, ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good’.

Sharon (13:27):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:30):

Give thanks to the God of gods.

Sharon (13:33):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:35):

Give thanks to the Lord of lords.

Sharon (13:37):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:40):

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.

Sharon (13:44):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:46):

Give thanks to him who made the heaven so skillfully.

Sharon (13:49):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:52):

Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.

Sharon (13:55):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (13:58):

Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights.

Sharon (14:00):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:03):

The sun to rule the day.

Sharon (14:04):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:07):

And the moon and stars to rule the night.

Sharon (14:09):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:12):

Give thanks to him who killed the first born of Egypt.

Sharon (14:15):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:17):

He brought Israel out of Egypt.

Sharon (14:19):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:22):

He acted with a strong hand and a powerful arm.

Sharon (14:25):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:28):

Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea.

Sharon (14:30):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:33):

He led Israel safely through.

Sharon (14:35):

His faithful love endures forever,

Nicole (14:37):

But he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.

Sharon (14:41):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:43):

Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness.

Sharon (14:46):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:49):

Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings.

Sharon (14:52):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:54):

He killed powerful Kings.

Sharon (14:56):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (14:59):

Sihon King of the Amorites.

Sharon (15:01):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:03):

And Og King of Bashan.

Sharon (15:05):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:07):

God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance.

Sharon (15:10):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:13):

Special possession to his servant Israel.

Sharon (15:15):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:18):

He remembered us in our weakness.

Sharon (15:20):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:23):

He saved us from our enemies.

Sharon (15:25):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:27):

He gives food to every living thing.

Sharon (15:30):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:33):

Give thanks to the God of heaven,

Sharon (15:35):

His faithful love endures forever.

Nicole (15:38):

That’s beautiful.

Sharon (15:42):

Oh man. You know, and hearing it over and over again. It’s like the Psalmist wants us to get it. It’s forever. His love is faithful forever. So beautiful. This Psalm which would have been sung rehearses the history of God’s enduring love for his people. They had horrific enemies that tortured them and belittled them and forced them to kill all their male babies. So there were lots of little girls running around, Oh my goodness. We have to remember this when we hear that hard line about God killing the firstborn of Egypt. For 400 years, the Israelites were enslaved and brutalized. And in the end they were told none of your firstborn sons can live. So it was hard. It was bad. So though it’s really not comfortable to hear them being thankful for the deaths of people I guess we need to hear it in the context of 400 years of enslavement and also the many attempts God made to get Pharoah to let his people go before the first born were killed.

Nicole (16:41):

Right.

Sharon (16:42):

I mean, frogs, gnats, a lot like 2020, all kinds of horrible things happened over and over and over. It’s not like God wanted that.

Nicole (16:53):

He was patient.

Sharon (16:53):

Yes, he waited and waited and waited. So many attempts were made before the death of the first born was allowed. And then Pharaoh and his army did not have to end up dead in the Red Sea if they just stayed home.

Nicole (17:06):

Right.

Sharon (17:06):

Right?

Nicole (17:07):

Right. After all that they still chased them again.

Sharon (17:10):

They still chased them. Even after they said you could go. And even after they lost so much and it should have been obvious that God was on the Israelite side and you don’t mess with Him. What?

Nicole (17:20):

They just had to try it.

Sharon (17:20):

I know. I know. So. Really, really sad.

Nicole (17:24):

That makes it a little bit easier to be thankful for those deaths of horrible kings..

Sharon (17:28):

Yes, and this is basically a recitation of the history of Israel and all that God did with his faithful love to his people. So do you ever recite your family history of God’s faithfulness to your kids? I mean, I know you had some miracle births and a very sad loss. Do you talk about this with your girls?

Nicole (17:47):

I do. It’s funny, on their birthdays I always tell their birth story and then Charlotte loves her story.

Sharon (17:55):

I bet she does.

Nicole (17:55):

And sometimes like the glow that she is special, we’re still working on humility. But her middle name, Johanna, means God is gracious. So that’s a good reminder to her and to us too. And we all have this hope of heaven now looking forward to seeing our child someday. I think it helps to make heaven more real for the girls too, to talk about seeing their sibling there some day. So, you know, that’s a real comfort too. That family history, that’s really special to me. I love family history and hearing how, and when God came into a family line. It’s just really fascinating to me. Our heritage of faith is fairly short. My dad is a first generation believer and came out of a very broken family with some horror stories that could fill a book. And my mom was only a second generation Christian. My grandparents both came from pretty rough homes as well, but they chose to follow God and they changed the narrative of my mom’s story. So I love to hear the stories of what God has brought us away from in our past, you know, in our family histories and what he has healed in a very messy, very broken family.

Sharon (18:58):

Oh that’s beautiful.

Nicole (19:00):

Yes, I sit with my grandmother and I’m like ‘tell me about your parents’ and their stories are terrible, but the fact that they chose, God found them and brought them away from that cycle.

Sharon (19:07):

And that you know that and that your children can know that.

Nicole (19:11):

Yeah.

Sharon (19:12):

That’s beautiful.

Nicole (19:13):

Yeah. It’s really neat.

Sharon (19:14):

Well, my dad’s a first generation Christian too. He accepted Christ when he was about 16.

Nicole (19:19):

Wow.

Sharon (19:19):

And he was like on fire. He wanted to convert everybody. So, he shared his faith often and he met my mother in England, of course, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.

Nicole (19:30):

Oh my goodness how fun.

Sharon (19:30):

While they were sitting on a sidewalk together watching the golden carriage go by and he shared his faith with my mom and my mom accepted Christ. So I come from two first generation Christians. They worked with a Billy Graham Crusade in London. They were in the choir. My dad sings, so he sang, not solo for Billy Graham, but he sang solos in different churches that they were part of. So they were passionate Christians maybe partially because they were first-generation Christians and they were just so in awe of what God had done in their lives. So that’s really beautiful.

Nicole (20:10):

Yeah.

Sharon (20:11):

And that’s what I want to be the heritage as long as there are generations from Ray and me. And I think that the tendency, when you come from a Christian background is to take it more for granted, which my parents certainly didn’t and yours didn’t either. So we have to just pray that the children and the grandchildren, and the great grandchildren still hold onto the wow of salvation.

Nicole (20:36):

Yes. They feel that greatness.

Sharon (20:36):

Yes. Yeah. Well, the other thing that I do is I keep a little book of miracles and I’m on book four. So every time something small or big happens that in my mind is as a gift from God, a little miracle from God, I write it down so that I don’t forget it.

Nicole (20:57):

Great idea.

Sharon (20:57):

Yeah. Cause I don’t sew. You sew, you make beautiful things. You can make quilts for all your kids. I can’t do that, but I do have my little book of miracles to give them of all the times when we were short on money and God provided money or the time I found a piano bench in my bushes.

Nicole (21:13):

Oh?

Sharon (21:13):

Really.

Nicole (21:14):

To go with the free piano that you got from the church bulletin.

Sharon (21:18):

I got the free piano but it came with this really rickety piano bench. And it was fine when I was teaching children, but then I started teaching adults and I’m like, it’s going to break, so I prayed for a piano bench, but they’re expensive.

Nicole (21:30):

They are.

Sharon (21:30):

And I didn’t know who gave it to me, but I drove in one day and behind my hedges was this big box from, I don’t know where. Madison, Wisconsin or somewhere. And I’m like, what in the world? It was a piano bench.

Nicole (21:42):

That’s awesome.

Sharon (21:43):

Brand new. Leather. Oh, my goodness. I mean the price, it was worth more than the piano.

Nicole (21:47):

Right.

Sharon (21:49):

So that’s in my little book of miracles.

Nicole (21:51):

Oh, that’s awesome.

Sharon (21:52):

The piano bench in the hedges.

Nicole (21:54):

Yeah.

Sharon (21:54):

So just ways to be thankful and to recount to our children like this Psalm does.

Nicole (22:01):

Don’t forget or lose that wonder.

Sharon (22:01):

Don’t forget. Be amazed. Yes. Always be amazed. So, so there’s the wonder of that. And then another theme in the Psalm is a wonder of creation. The amazingness of the sun and moon doing their dance flawlessly. Here comes the sun again, here comes the moon again, the stunning regularity and necessity of them doing their job in order for life to even survive on planet earth. It has to be exactly the way it is or we wouldn’t even be there. Even that shouldn’t be taken for granted. And yet we do. So what about you, Nicole? What moves you in nature to awe and wonder? What still makes you go ‘whoa’?

Nicole (22:41):

Oh, I’ve always loved the stars. I used to look up at the sky and try to find the constellations. And I loved those Nova school videos on constellations and stars and supernovas. And to see, they zoom in on something that looks so tiny and when you get up close, it’s massive. And to think about how vast space is and how tiny we are, but how much he loves us, this tiny little speck in space. Just. It’s amazing.

Sharon (23:07):

It is. Yes. I think that more often all of us should be on our backs on the grass looking up on a dark night.

Nicole (23:13):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (23:14):

And just see. Cause that’s when you really see,

Nicole (23:16):

Oh yeah. It’s tough when there are a lot of trees but the night sky is amazing.

Sharon (23:16):

Yes. Oh, I love stars too. And it’s another reminder that his love endures forever.

Nicole (23:24):

Right.

Sharon (23:24):

When you see that in the sky. Yeah.

Nicole (23:27):

He keeps the stars hanging up there. It’s amazing.

Sharon (23:30):

Some of my favorite memories have been Alps because when we lived in Germany, which we lived in Germany twice and then our daughter lived in Germany. So I have just ‘Alped’ a lot.

Nicole (23:40):

Oh. That’s amazing.

Sharon (23:41):

Ray’s like, you want to go to Bavaria again? I’m like, yes, I want to go to Bavaria again! There’s no place like Bavaria. And the Swiss Alps are pretty good too.

Nicole (23:50):

Yeah.

Sharon (23:50):

But I can remember one sunset in particular at the Boden Sea in Bavaria where you have the mountains, the Alps, you have this beautiful lake and then the sun setting. It was breath-taking. It was wondrous. It was goosebumpy.

Nicole (24:11):

Yeah!

Sharon (24:11):

And God puts on display his stars and his sunsets and his sunrises for us all the time. And so often we just walk by in our own little world and don’t even applaud. I feel we should clap more at creation and just go, wow, God.

Nicole (24:27):

Oh, I know.

Sharon (24:27):

It’s beautiful.

Nicole (24:28):

Because he’s such an artist. We drove home one night from the ocean and the ocean is another beautiful ‘awe’ place and the sky was just so beautiful. It was like oranges and pinks and purples. And I took a picture and I’m like, God, you are such an artist. Like how many times I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t looked up cause, you know, we’re in trees and in New England and it’s kind of dark and we’re driving home. And I looked up and I said, wow, how often do I miss these beautiful things he puts on for us? And we’re just so busy in our own little misery.

Sharon (24:55):

That we don’t even notice they’re there. And they cry out. All creation, cries out and says, look what I made. Or look who made me.

Nicole (25:05):

Right, exactly.

Sharon (25:08):

Cause all creation’s crying out. So yeah, I can remember Mary and I one day being sick and tired of this place called Patrick Henry Village, which was in Heidelberg. It was basically a concrete city of apartments that we lived in, in the military when Ray was stationed overseas. And we were desperate for beauty. And so at the edge of the property, which was chain link fenced. If you looked through the chain link fence, you could see rolling fields and daisies, you know? We would every once in a while, cause I homeschooled her and I did make Kathryn too, but Kathryn wasn’t as interested in looking through a chain link fence at rolling hills. We would go and look through the fence just to get like a sort of a ‘beauty fix’ from creation. And it really did. It lifted our moods. It was wonderful. So another theme in this Thanksgiving psalm is his love endures forever, see it in creation. We see it in his faithfulness to our families. We see it in creation. And then the last theme is the one that provides the rhythm for this psalm. God loves us. He is faithful in his love for us and it will not change. It endures forever.

Nicole (26:22):

So beautiful.

Sharon (26:22):

Forever. I just am in awe of the fact that I will never not be loved by God. What?

Nicole (26:29):

Isn’t it amazing? I can’t try to not be loved by God. That’s incredible to me.

Sharon (26:34):

Yeah.

Nicole (26:34):

I can’t get away from it.

Sharon (26:38):

No. No. He loves us. He just does. And that’s just a blessing. So, so any other last thoughts, Nicole?

Nicole (26:46):

That, that line, I know it’s repeated so much in the psalm, but it doesn’t lose its power. His faithful love endures forever. It’s not going anywhere. We can’t push his love away or make him love us less. His faithful love endures forever.

Sharon (26:59):

It does indeed.

Nicole (26:59):

It’s a beautiful thing.

Sharon (27:00):

Yeah. And it’s a beautiful thought that we are a bride preparing for our groom and Jesus someday is going to return for us and clothe us in garments of righteousness. And we’re going to sit down at the wedding supper of the Lamb. And that love that has endured will be on full display with no veil of sin between us and him.

Nicole (27:22):

Yeah.

Sharon (27:22):

That’s something to be thankful for. Even if we live in a cardboard box, under a bridge in New York City, right?

Nicole (27:31):

Yeah. Right.

Sharon (27:31):

No matter what, there’s always that. So well, happy Thanksgiving friends. Let me pray for you and pray for your Thanksgiving because sometimes certain people at the Thanksgiving table can wear on your nerves.

Nicole (27:45):

Yes.

Sharon (27:45):

And you’re going to need to find that Pollyanna in you to be grateful for them because God loves them too. So let’s pray. Let’s pray. Oh Lord. Thank you that there is even a Thanksgiving time where we have more than enough to eat and where we can notice the love you have for us. I pray that each of our Thanksgivings are filled with family and fun, but also faith, faith in you. Lord give us moments to point to you that are natural and sweet with the family members that we’re with. Lord if someone here listening has a difficult family member I pray you’d give them an extra amount of love and grace and prayer for the difficult one who needs you so much. Father may this Thanksgiving be one where we lift our hands and notice all the good gifts you have given us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Nicole (28:46):

Amen. Well friends, even in the midst of a crazy year, and 2020 has certainly been that, there are many things to be thankful for. Spend some time over Thanksgiving sharing what you are most thankful for this year. Yes, this year despite the hard, God has taught us so much from the trials of this pandemic and all the political and racial battles. What have you learned? How have you grown? Thank God for the good in the midst and write us and share with us too. We love hearing from you and we’re ever so thankful when you comment, share and follow our podcast. We are also thankful when you donate to help keep us going. Next week, we start a Christmas series. Join us for episode 25, When God Changes Your Plans: Mary’s Story and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Speaker 1 (29:33):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found at Sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.

You can download and print the transcript here.

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