Navigating Holidays

A Little Thanksgiving Reflection on Being Thankful Whatever the Season

"Whether we have less or more there is always something to be thankful for."


I don't know what you've got going on in your on the eve of this Thanksgiving holiday. I don't know what season you are in, or who you are going to miss. What I do know is that God's got us right where we are supposed to be. We're spending the holiday tomorrow as we're supposed to spend it, with who and where we're supposed to spend it. So I challenge you (and me) to look at what's right in front of you - not just the food you are preparing or the family who is arriving, but be grateful for what you've got in the middle of the season of life you are in right now. Cause I bet things aren't perfect. Someone won't be at the table. Someone you love has passed, or someone you love can't be with you for the day and that is OKAY. Trust that God's got you right where you are with who you are with and he wants you to focus on the abundance, not the lack. Focus on who IS at the table, not who isn't. Focus on who may have passed, but is in your heart instead of the empty chair. Focus on how lucky you are to have this life instead of how much life sucks because of what you don't have.

We are pressured from every side to have more, do more, be more but God says, "Be still." We think, feel and often believe we have less or are less when really God says you are, you have ENOUGH. You ARE enough. 

So, what I'm doing is thanking God for my blessings, but I'm especially thanking him for the chance to have this home and family I'm blessed with, which may not have come together perfectly, but it's perfectly imperfect and full of love. I'm thankful everything in my life is just as it is, that I just may mess up something we make for dinner and the world isn't going to end. I may cry a little cause I miss my Dad, but that's OKAY. Some feathers might get ruffled just cause it's a holiday and that's OKAY. I'm just excited because God worked it out so we can have a Thanksgiving meal before my stepdaughter has to go to retail work on Thanksgiving and my stepson is here from New Jersey for the long weekend. My oldest stepdaughter isn't here and staying at school and I know we will miss her presence but it's okay because God's working it all out for HIS good.

As much as we'll miss doing our traditional trip to Des Moines, IA to see my in-laws we get to rest here. We get to not drive 14 hours back and forth and just BE. We get to sit still at a time when everyone is running off to somewhere. And sometimes being still happens so that you can really just see all God has blessed you with. It's like he's saying, "Will you look at this life I've given you? Isn't it amazing?" or as my Dad would say, "Isn't this great?"

What's more than amazing is God can bring us through so many trials and give us so much joy. Whether it's tragedy, loss, separation, or discord - whatever it is, whether we have less or more, there is always something to be thankful for. God is ALWAYS working in us if we believe. He is ALWAYS doing what he's doing for our good. 

So I wish you a blessed and grateful turkey day. May all your dishes turn out okay and if not, enjoy the day anyway. May you and your family have a great time together and may you see the abounding blessings the Lord has put in your life at this very moment no matter what the season, in fact - despite the season that may be a struggle - just notice how much you have to be thankful for. I know I am! Oh and do everything you can NOT to compare and contrast your turkey day news feed to someone else's. No matter how good it looks, everyone is always going through something so try not to focus on the outsides and focus on the life YOU'VE got inside!