An African Thanksgiving
As the northern hemisphere is fast approaching their annual Thanksgiving holiday, here in South Africa such a thing is not even mentioned. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving day. In fact, it’s Spring here in the Southern hemisphere and we are busy getting ready for summer, Christmas and the extra long summer school holidays. Generally speaking, most workplaces also close down for a few weeks of the summer holidays.
Having said that, I started to ponder Thanksgiving and went and read up on it. I wanted to know the meaning behind it and where it came from. After learning about this very special American holiday I decided that my family and I will have our own month of Thanksgiving in November, not in the traditional way that Americans do, but in our own way under our very own African skies.
Placing Jesus at the center
God has been so good to me and He has brought me so far, I have a lot to be thankful for. He’s brought me through the pain of parents divorcing, a somewhat abusive childhood, the shame, and pain of having a parent in jail, the murder of my brother, financial difficulties and so much more(you can read my story here). I really do have a lot to be thankful for. He’s blessed me with a loving husband, children, and work that I love and enjoy. All things that I am deeply grateful for. So I feel it is only right to have a season of just pondering on the things I am so very grateful for and just showering God with my thanksgiving and praise. He deserves it every day, but in this season I just want to focus on it.
I am grateful for the little things too, the things that often go overlooked such a crazy dog that I love, a warm bed, kisses from my kids – too much to mention and life under the beautiful African skies. The photos in today’s post is my kind of Africa. The part of Africa that is often not seen on international television.
So this coming Thanksgiving season will be a season of reflection of how far He’s brought me and just saying thank you, Lord. If we all look back on our lives, then I’m sure almost of us can say is “thank you, Lord.”
I want to challenge you wherever you might find yourself in this world today, whether Northern hemisphere or Southern or wherever – to make this Thanksgiving season a true season of giving thanks and praise to our Lord and savior. Take the time to reflect each day on what he’s brought you through. You alone know your real testimony and what He has brought you though so thank him for His goodness and His mercy.
Get your free resources
I have put together some free printables to help you with this challenge. You are welcome to download it here. I have also put together a Thanksgiving resource package in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving season.
The package is full of printable resources for you to use. Use whichever ones you like. I have put together five different resources – a gratitude calendar, a Thanksgiving and gratitude journal where you can write down what you are grateful for today and a daily prayer to God thanking Him and just telling Him what’s in your heart. There are also some thank you cards that you can use to say thank you to special people in your life for whatever reason that is on your mind and in your heart and a “Thankful jar” that you can also use to show your gratitude to someone special in your life. In addition to this, there are also printable tree leaves with very special Bible verses about Thanksgiving. You can write your own words of thanks to God on the back of the leaves. Use it to create your own Thanksgiving tree. You can find this entire package here. In total it is 101 printable pages!
And to top it all of, this is how we say “Thank You” to God in Africa! This is the absolutely awesome gospel singer, Mahalia Buchanan saying “Ngiyabonga” which means “Thank you” in Zulu and just for good measure the “Thank you medley” too.
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