Scripture:Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits . . . Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things . . . “ (Psalm 103:2,5 KJV).

My early days of  marriage were marked with innumerable kitchen disasters. The food was often overcooked, poorly seasoned, too much, too little, etc. Somehow, we survived, and I slowly learned.  How well I remember baking my first turkey. My young husband had decided we should prepare a Thanksgiving dinner and invite several friends. Both of us came from poor backgrounds, and neither had ever experienced such a feast.  He bought a 20-pound turkey, and I scoured recipe books.  All went well until dinner was served. “Where’s the giblet gravy?” The meal was not complete, our friend explained, without a sauce made from pan drippings with little chunks of the bird’s “innards.” Embarrassed, I stuttered, “B-but it was hollow!” Of course, when the turkey was carved, the giblets were located–still inside a little paper bag in the neck cavity!

Over the years, I’ve learned how to cook a delectable turkey, and my cornbread dressing would do Martha Stewart proud. (I say this with all modesty, of course.)  But one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I ever prepared was with a large fish as the centerpiece.

We lived on Dickinson Bayou, surrounded by commercial fishermen, and were often gifted with excess seafood from their catch.  One was a very large flounder, which found a home in our freezer until needed.  When Thanksgiving Day neared,  our daughter insisted, “We’re supposed to celebrate our bounty.  God’s gift to us is seafood .”  With her help, I stuffed the fish with a shrimp-and-crab filling and baked it to delicious perfection. That meal remains one of my family’s favorite memories.  Instead of attempting to conform to cultural tradition, we enjoyed a unique and special feast of God’s provision.

Prayer: Thank you so much, Lord, for all your benefits–yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Thank you so much for family and friends.  Above all, thank You for caring enough to send Jesus as our Example, Savior, and Guide. May Your praise continually pour from my mouth.  Amen.



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