Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. – Colossians 3:12-15
From the mid-1980’s through 2013, Rebekah and I hosted Thanksgiving pretty much thirty consecutive years (with maybe one or two exceptions). We seated anywhere from six (the first time Rebekah’s back gave out) to over thirty (those years we had unexpected last-minute guests).
Hosting always involved wonderful, serendipitous, joyful chaos. A cacophony of noisy love overwhelming us with gratitude and Thanksgiving. The past few years, however, have been hosted by Rebekah’s brother Roy (and Lynda), Naomi and Craig (twice), and – this year – Rebekah’s sister, Rachel (and Tom). To be honest, I have enjoyed the opportunity to share the blessing and partake as a guest!
This year there were just ten of us with the opportunity or the grace to gather, but we made the most of it in fine style. The grandchildren, especially, ate up the special blessing of concentrated cousin time, and the best of great aunt and uncle indulgences.
Rachel and Tom were generous and gracious hosts, the food was good and plentiful, and the love abundant.
So here are a handful of the best photos. Enjoy the balance of your family weekend, share all the love that you can, and watch both love and gratitude multiply.
In love, and because of love – Derek
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.