5 Kernels of Corn

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more

impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”

– H. U. Westermayer

In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of national Thanksgiving. He said, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that the gracious gifts of the Most High God be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged.”

And while thanksgiving should be an everyday discipline in our spiritual lives, I love that we have a special day set aside specifically to direct grateful hearts to the Lord for the many blessings in our lives. We are a blessed nation {struggling economy or not… we are blessed}. With shelter and warmth, family and friends, plenty of food and freedom… we are blessed.

I love many things about Thanksgiving Day: being surrounded by family, the beautiful sights and smells, an amazing feast, and I even love the football game. But in the last few years it’s been very important to me to make it a tradition to voice our gratefulness aloud as a testimony to the goodness of God over the last year. Not just a quick nod to the Lord in our prayer right before we scarf down a buffet of Turkey, Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes, but a time to really reflect on our blessings and give God the praise He deserves.

It is said the the Pilgrims went through such dire times in the first winter in America, that at one point their daily food rations per person were only 5 kernels of corn. It’s amazing to me that anyone could survive on 5 kernels of corn a day, and we so easily forget what our founding fathers had to endure to bring about the freedom that we enjoy today.

I’ve read in a few different books about a neat tradition of placing 5 kernels of corn by each place setting on the Thanksgiving table as a reminder of the first Thanksgiving and how rich and full of blessing our lives are today.

It is such a testimony to me that these Pilgrims, who lost so many family members and close friends in that first winter, still recognized how blessed they were and how much they had to be thankful for. How much more then, do we?

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings to you and your families!

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