A Memorial of Thanks

Last year at Thanksgiving time I blogged about Our Linen Thanksgiving Journal, a tradition that my family has kept for over a decade. There’s another thing we’ve done, not quite as regularly as writing on the tablecloth, but some family members like it just as well.

First, I’ll give you some background. In the Bible, when someone had an encounter with God or wished to express his thanks, he often built an altar or memorial to God out of stones. When he or a future generation saw the memorial, they would recall the goodness of God in that situation. Some examples of this are found in Joshua 4:1-10, Genesis 28:10-22, Genesis 35:6-7, Exodus 17:8-16, Exodus 24:3-4.


Thanksgiving rocks

Several years ago, I thought it might be nice for our family to start our own memorials to remember God’s goodness to us. So I bought some smooth river rocks and placed them in a basket on Thanksgiving. I asked each person at our Thanksgiving meal to choose a permanent marker, then write the year on the rock. They were then to write one thing they were thankful for or something God had done for them that year. They could either take the rock home and start individual rock memorials or compile them to make a family memorial. The memorials could be placed anywhere—on a desk, in a corner of the yard, in a prominent place in the living room—wherever they would see it and be reminded of God’s goodness. When people who came to their house asked what the pile of rocks was, well, there was an opportunity to share what God had done in their lives.

The beginning of a rock memorial.

I still provide rocks every year for those who want to continue adding to their memorials. They are constant reminders of God’s unfailing love to us.

What traditions do you do on Thanksgiving? Or what’s one you’d like to start? Share them in the comments.


This entry was posted in Faith, Faithfulness, Family Life, Holiday, Legacy, Life, Remembering, Thanksgiving, traditions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Memorial of Thanks

  1. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    Linda, what a wonderful family tradition. A tangible way to remember all your blessings. And I like that it presents an opportunity to share your faith. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When our extended family lived in the same town, we’d put a blank poster on the wall on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone was invited to write one or more things they were thankful for. It hung low so all the children could participate. I don’t know what happened to the posters, but it would have been fun to see some of the older ones displayed.

    Liked by 1 person

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