Reflections on This Past Thanksgiving Season

I tried several times to write down my thoughts over the Thanksgiving season. However, my thoughts were jumbled, physically I wasn’t feeling well, and I was struggling to honestly express gratitude in the midst of some of our present circumstances.

We enjoyed a typical thanksgiving meal with my family on Thursday. I’m ashamed to say I eyed the pumpkin pie and felt a twinge of pity for myself since I couldn’t have a slice. I had just enjoyed mashed potatoes, fried cabbage and a tender chicken breast fried in coconut oil. I really shouldn’t be bothered by food limitations, but I guess I am at times.

We went Black Friday shopping for free items. I had a shopping pass to Kohl’s for a free ten dollar purchase. I enjoyed reading my receipt as it said I saved $30.00 dollars and my balance due was $0.00. The rest of my shopping involved CVS and Walgreens. We then went to Sears to purchase a freezer. (Eric’s parents gave us money towards a chest freezer as a belated wedding present. We are blessed!)

We spent time with Eric’s family on Saturday. Once again the food was scrumptious and plentiful. I was impressed with their corn tradition. A bowl containing kernels of corn was passed around the dinner table. Each person took a piece of corn. For each piece of corn the person took they needed to say something they were thankful for. I said I was thankful for my husband and how he has lovingly cared for me especially during these past number of months with my health difficulties.

We came home late Saturday evening. Eric came inside a few moments later holding a Christmas card in his hand. I noted that the envelope had both of our names on it. Additionally, the return address was from one of my friends, so I insisted I should be the one to open our first Christmas card! Upon opening the card Eric and I were stunned at the generous monetary gift inside. We both wept tears of gratitude and felt humbled that we were the recipients of such a generous gift of love.

It was a moment I’ll not soon forget. It was as if God himself was reaching down with His strong arms of love enveloping both of us tightly to His breast and saying, “Dear children, do not worry about your immediate circumstances. I will take care of you. I will always be with you.”

I’ve thought often about that evening and have found myself contemplating Thanksgiving and what it truly means. I confess my lack of gratitude. I’ve focused on our circumstances instead of on God’s goodness and ability to care for us. I’ve focused on my health limitations instead of thanking God for the work He has done in my body. I’ve focused on earthly things instead of the eternal.

I’ve been challenged this Thanksgiving season. Gratitude is not based on my circumstances; it’s learning to be thankful in the midst of perceived difficulty. Truly though, our Father cares and is with us in all things. 

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