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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tablecloth of Thanks

Many of you know I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues.

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives.

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. I want my man to know God is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our Creator. However, I have learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing.

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey.

Four years ago I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I want you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind.

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.”

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth.

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side. Taking his hand I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later.

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life.

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs.

What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year.

The Tablecloth of Thanks is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November.

One of my favorite thanks is this:
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write????

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start…..

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.
  • Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  • Use colorfast fabric pens.
  • Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag.

    Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

    I would love to visit with you over at my place: Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

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    Blogger Denise said...

    What a precious tradition my friend.

    November 10, 2007 at 11:46 PM  
    Blogger Susan said...

    Oh Lynn,

    What a beautiful tradition! Yes, it is so good to 'give thanks unto the Lord."

    I'm going to be praying for your husband. I think he's closer to salvation then you may even realize.

    God will truly honor your faith, obedience and your life as you live it out loud for Him.

    I'm so blessed to know you!


    November 11, 2007 at 10:09 AM  
    Blogger Angie said...

    That is an awesome tradition! A keeper---I am going to blow mother's mind with this one!
    I laughed out loud about the "permanent smilie face"....that is certainly something you will remember---ALL YEAR LONG!
    I love you sweet "sister in Jesus!"

    November 11, 2007 at 4:22 PM  
    Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

    This is a great idea! I love the idea of having it on the table for everyone to read.

    November 11, 2007 at 8:23 PM  
    Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

    i love this! we have a blessing pot that we put things in to read at thanksgiving but I love having it displayed more prominently...

    wonderful post..

    much love,


    November 11, 2007 at 9:43 PM  
    Blogger Gretchen said...

    I think we might just need to have a thankful tablecloth at our house, too. Beautiful idea. Wonderful heart. xxxooogretchen

    November 12, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
    Blogger Tammy said...

    What a wonderful idea!!!! I am SO doing this! Thanks for the tradition idea!

    November 12, 2007 at 5:31 PM  
    Blogger lori said...

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea..maybe I will do this during Advent, leading us up to Christmas!
    did I say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it~~
    and what a gift you are leaving for future generations...
    wonderful Lynn...thank you for the blessing you are to so many of us out here~

    November 12, 2007 at 8:45 PM  
    Blogger Vicki said...

    I love it, Lynn! What a great idea. You've started a beautiful tradition, one that many more families will carry on this year:-)

    With love & prayers,

    November 13, 2007 at 2:40 PM  
    Blogger Amy Grant Bayliss said...

    What a great idea! We will definitely have to try it this year! Thanks!

    November 20, 2007 at 9:25 AM  
    Blogger Lynne said...

    Lynn, what a wonderful idea! Here in Oz, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn't mean I can't do it. Hmmm... maybe New Years Eve would be a good time.

    love and blessings,


    November 22, 2009 at 4:43 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Excellent idea - I just might start one of these for Christmas.

    November 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

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    It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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