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A Thanksgiving Prayer, Answered

In this excerpt from Daily Guideposts, our annual collection of uplifting devotions, Patty Kirk shares an inspiring Thanksgiving memory.

Family and friends saying a prayer before dinner

Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. —Luke 2:52 (ESV)

As a lifelong cook, I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. At age 12, I proudly took over from Dad the cooking of our meal: turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, cranberry-orangeapple-walnut relish, a gratin of little onions, marshmallow yams, rolls and pies.

My Thanksgiving prayer is one I pray all year—that my girls will grow up to love others and God.

Cooking bored the girls as kids, but when they turned 12, I gave them each a task: Charlotte the stuffing and Lulu the cranberry relish. As they got older, they took charge of the pies, first deciding what kinds but eventually weaving dough lattices and making leaf-shaped decorations gritty with sugar sparkles. We even bought half-size pans so the girls could make six different pies and not have any of them go uneaten.

One year, only Lulu came home. Charlotte had gotten a puppy and immediately arranged her days around Milo’s nap times and meals. In mid-November, she texted she couldn’t leave Milo, so she wasn’t coming home.

Thanksgiving with just Lulu was enjoyable but not the same. Lulu made her cranberry relish—opting for less sugar, a good move—but I made everything else. This is how it will be now, I lamented. The girls off somewhere, cooking their own Thanksgiving meals.

Then I realized that too would answer my Thanksgiving prayer: my girls grown up, nurturing others.

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Thank you, Father, for making us in your image, so we can grow, love and become more like you.

Daily Guideposts is a book of uplifting devotions. To order the 2021 edition, visit, write to Guideposts, P.O. Box 5815, Harlan, IA 51593-1315 or call (800) 932-2145. The book is available in a hardcover version for $16.95 or in a softcover large-print version for $17.95, plus shipping and processing.

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