I hope everyone is enjoying their day and looking forward to spending it with friends and family. Every year we have Thanksgiving meal at my sister’s so I never have to cook a turkey, for that I am thankful 🙂
Here’s something to get you thinking about the reason for the season. It’s being thankful even when it hurts (of course you know that this is a topic that resonates with me this year):

Thankfulness seems like a mindset for people whose lives revolve around politeness and thank you notes.
It’s an even tougher sell when we think about being thankful in the midst of painful
circumstances. Then, the encouragement to be thankful seems insensitive, even cruel.
Thankfulness Is God’s Idea. That’s what happens when we take a biblical idea and recast it in terms of our own experiences. But God doesn’t seem to see thankfulness in either of these ways. The Bible is packed with commands, encouragements, and invitations to give thanks to the Lord, and with examples of people who do. The book of Psalms overflows with expressions and encouragements to praise God.

One of the Psalms she quotes is Psalm 30:

To you, O LORD, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me! O LORD, be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psa 30:9-12 ESV)

It’s amazing to think that God cares for us and turns our mourning into dancing. I’ve experienced that joy this year.
It’s been a really rough year, abdominal surgery, chemo, graduating from seminary, facing major medical decisions, and now I’m faced with the decision of what to do with the extra time the Lord and modern medicine have given me. What helps me get through it all is the knowledge that I serve a God who knows what I’m going through because he ordained it. I know he is good and perfect and all of this has a purpose (Romans 8:28) and I’m thankful to know that he will not give me more than I can bear and will be with me every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). He comforted me through the cards, letters, flowers, fruit baskets, etc. that those who care about me sent. Through it all it was encouraging to know that I worship a God who cares what I’m going through, he has suffered for me and knows what it’s like to be in pain and the temptation to doubt the love of the Father while suffering (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Today I’m thankful to be alive and celebrating Thanksgiving once again. Even though it’s hard to stay in the moment (the “life-is-so-precious-I-can’t-get-over-the-miracle-of-a-snowflake” feeling), to appreciate everything that I now get to experience, I am often struck by how wonderful it is to be alive. I’m thankful when I see a beautiful sunset or laugh with my daughters over something silly or enjoy a movie with my family. I stop and think about the graciousness of God for getting me through the pain so that I can experience the joy of life.
Today is the day that we put aside our busy schedules, gather together with family and friends and remember that every moment is a gift from God and give thanks to him for it.
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