Start Early to Have your best Thanksgiving Ever

Pumpkin pie with autumn leaves and pumpkins.
Debby Thompson – guest blogger

Make a list, make a plan, make ahead…
Make a mess, clean the mess, make sure… 
Extend the table, cover the table, decorate the table…
Race the clock, race back to the store; race to be ready to relax. Right?

Hold on; stop! No more. It is now November, and I want this to be your best Thanksgiving ever. But you need to begin early; you need to begin today.
Disclaimer – not all of my ideas are good ideas, they are just ideas. Yet this one is stellar, I promise. Long after the guests are gone and the melting ice cream is placed back into the freezer, you will thank me.

The Suggestion:
Memorize Psalm 103.
Don’t panic. I am not adding one more thing to your to do list. Stay with me here. Easier than taking your turkey out of the oven, these benefits will outlast the leftovers.

The Context:
I deem Psalm 103 My Thanksgiving Psalm. Each November, I return to savor the soul nourishing words contained in these 22 verses. I look forward to this annual revisit more than I look forward to the sweet potato soufflé.

The Plan:
In Psalm 103 a verse corresponds with each calendar day of November. By committing one verse per day to memory, you will finish on November 22nd, two days before the guests arrive on November 24, 2016.

The Hack:
You might ask, “How do I go about this?” Great question.
Rick Warren proposes a scripture memory method that actually works.

Begin with the first verse. Emphasize the first word in the verse and then repeat all the words that follow. Follow by emphasizing the second word and recite all the words that follow. And so on.
Repeat the one sentence over and over emphasizing a different word with each repetition, until you have completed the one verse. Surprisingly, the verse will now be yours, hidden in your heart.

Verse one would go like this:
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (continue with each word)
On November 2nd you proceed to committing verse 2 to memory.

The Why:
Hiding God’s Word in your heart infuses peace and perspective into your holiday celebration. You literally prepare a feast for your soul as you prepare a feast for your family. If you like this idea, embark on a new tradition. These 22 rich and delicious verses are waiting for you, served below.

Psalm 103
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.

Question: How will this opportunity influence your holiday preparation?
Visit Debby’s website at

3 comments to Start Early to Have your best Thanksgiving Ever

  • The hyperlink to Debby’s website didn’t work so let me try again.

  • mary edwards

    i heard someone, i dont know if it was you janet, recite this on nancy leah demoss’ radio show one day and i was Mesmerized. i set out to memorize it and it has been such a blessing to me ever since. my pastor says that “blessed” means “oh the man (or woman) to be envied”. i truly feel i should be envied for the scripture i have been able to memorize and “own”. God has truly blessed me thru it and im grateful
    ill be rethinking it this month like you said

    • Hi Mary, I’m pretty sure it was the Haven Today radio interview where I recited this psalm. They caught me off guard when they asked me to recite something, but that psalm is always ready in my head and my heart. It’s a great way to express our love back to God. Thanks for jumping in Mary