Thanksgiving in the Center of the Universe

Can you believe the Free Ashland Community Thanksgiving Dinner is twelve-years-old?

If you're interested in how it all began, check it out The Thanksgiving Seed and The Thanksgiving Need.

Blessings abound every year from our guests and our servers. 

Like the woman in a red Christmas sweater who requested permission to speak. She thanked those who had prepared and served the meal and then sang Silent Night a cappella. Several of us had goose bumps. 

Or like the woman who asked to play our piano while we cleaned up. Of course, we agreed. Her fingers glided over the keys and I can't tell you if it was Bach, Mozart or Chopin, but incredible melodies rang through the fellowship hall. And never once did she look at a piece of music. What a gift!

Or the homeless people who come. One elderly man walked almost a mile to attend in freezing temperatures. Some folks live in the woods and if they're lucky, one of the local hotels. Words fail to describe the look in their eyes and depth of gratitude as their plate is heaped with hot, freshly prepared food.

My husband enjoys working in the kitchen with the other servers. He loves the smiles on the faces of those serving and our guests.  

My mother greets our guests. She appreciates the shared love as they are welcomed into the warm church. Over and over, she feels blessed by their humble and sincere hearts.  

My step-father will tell you that his favorite thing about Thanksgiving is doing God's work, seeing the delight in the faces of others, and playing a small role in their happiness. 

And for me,

Amazement at our awesome God. 

Because He chose a fertile heart and planted a small seed. Then He provided good deeds to meet the needs through local businesses, churches, and volunteers. 

I'm humbled every year in the Center of the Universe because only the Creator of Universe could take our meager efforts and bless so many folks.  

To Him be the Glory.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What's your favorite food on the table? Please share and let's be grateful together. Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Tammy Van Gils plants words and grows insightful stories blooming with hope. She is a thriving survivor of abuse, abandonment and adversity. How? By the Master Gardener's grace, the Vine's love, and the Advocate's renewal—emotionally and spiritually. She is sowing life with her husband of 35 years, a Yorkie Poo named Moose, and a dozen chickens.  She's honored to be a guest blogger and also a contributor to The Wonders of Nature Devotion Book (Dec 2016) and So God Made a Dog (July 2017), Worthy Inspired.


  1. Hello. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions include serving others at shelters and also, of sharing meals and fellowship with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

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