Give This One Day to Thanks

In the 1600s my ancestors came to the American colonies.  No, not on the Mayflower.  They weren’t even Pilgrims.  My Scottish Presbyterian ancestor James Marshall, along with many others Scots, had been uprooted by the English and forced to move to Northern Ireland because the English wanted to secure the area for themselves.  But while he was there, he had the misfortune to fall in love with a lovely Irish lass.  She was Catholic. For that crime, the two of them were sentenced to death.  So they did the only thing they could do.  They scraped together their few belongings with any intrinsic value, and they secured third class passage to the Virginia colony.

It must have been a hard, miserable life.  Lonely, too.  The colonists weren’t happy about the couple’s mixed marriage either.  James and Laura constructed a hut for themselves in a land  pocked by far more graves than dwellings.  James Marshall was never wealthy.  Just a poor farmer trying to make it from harvest to harvest.  But he had to have been amazed by the relative freedom he enjoyed in that new place. And thankful, too.  So very thankful.

Through the generations, the Marshall clan has had its share of tragedy and pain. Yet through it all, they had more than enough reason to carry Thanksgiving in their hearts.

Whatever your circumstances, whatever your challenges, my prayer for you is that you, too, will hold this day close and carry it in your heart always.

Blessed Thanksgiving


“Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!”

~Henry Ward Beecher~


About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
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2 Responses to Give This One Day to Thanks

  1. Jean Stewart says:

    How beautiful, Kay. Yes, give thanks for all the good things — family and friends. We wish you and yours a blessed day and love.

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