Exactly 8 years ago this Thanksgiving I was great with (my first) child. I recall poking around a darling little boutique full of holiday decorations, scented candles, and baby booties when I came across two delicate porcelain plaques - one read Thanks and the other Giving. They were so simple and yet elegant I just loved them! I brought them home and set them on the counter for my husband to see. I hadn't paid much attention to what I was doing because I laid them side by side like this...
And it stuck.
So now each year when Thanksgiving rolls around, I hang up my anointed little backwards proclamation for all to see.
While I love Thanksgiving and all the marvelous fun, memory making, and feasting with loved ones... it's really just a noun. Thanksgiving. A day. Even when you look deep into the meaning of the word, Thanksgiving, it's a concept, a lofty idea we nod at when we remember to say a prayer or two thanking God for a few of His Blessings over the year.
But Giving Thanks...
Giving Thanks is a verb, a very active verb that reminds us what that annual noun was intended for. It takes the concept of Thanksgiving and charges me to get going and start Giving it!
This picture is one of the dearest in my mothering life. My Brother took it from the far end of the table. That's little Asher beside my hands, folded in prayer two Thanksgivings ago. It was the first Thanksgiving I had all three of my Sons around the table with us for our family feast. I don't recall the specifics of our prayers that Thanksgiving, but it's a blessed reminder that Giving Thanks is one of the most wonderful parts of both our faith in God and passing our faith down to our children.
As we Give Thanks... they are hearing it, seeing us, and learning the blessed difference between a noun and a verb, a concept and a reality.