My husband wrote a sweet surprise note thanking me for all I did today and placed it on my night stand. Because he did that, it made me think to write a note to him and each of my kids to thank them for something.
And because my son saw the note, it made him want to write notes to his sisters about why he’s thankful for them.
Then my daughter did the same.
A spirit of thanks is contagious. Who in your home can you write a surprise note of thanks too? Take a quick second and do that now- you might just make someone’s week!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
“When the Holidays Aren’t What You Imagined”
The truth that everything doesn’t always turn out how we think it will, is tough.
Two years ago, we were taking a ten-hour road trip to meet family for Thanksgiving – a trip we had planned a year before. Our kids were beyond excited, but after arriving to the hotel at the halfway point, the infamous stomach bug hit. The next day, we turned the car around and drove home.
But something remarkable happened. I waited for complaints and pity parties from our kids, but after some tears were shed, they actually showed far more concern for how their daddy was feeling than their disappointment.
They put him above all else. I wonder how much joy that brought to the Lord – seeing them choose gratitude and compassion over self-interest.
I love the Lord’s words. I love when He tells us that His will for us is to “give thanks in all circumstances.” His words and Presence change our hearts, and my kids’ attitudes were changed that day.
Yes, it was disappointing that we didn’t get the family time we had planned for so long. That just the four of us gathered around the Thanksgiving table since my husband was still sick. That what we had imagined didn’t come to be.
But, when it was time for the tradition of giving thanks, we still walked upstairs and stood in the doorway to the bedroom while my husband lay in bed – not quite how we had pictured it happening. Each of us said what we were thankful for, and there was a lot of love in that room.
My mind can easily wander to self-pity, and it did, but I caught myself. I reflected on how thankful I am to have my three kids and my husband. I am thankful we have food and a home. I am thankful we know Jesus.
The book, “The Hiding Place”, written by Corrie ten Boom, a famous evangelist during the Holocaust, is one of my favorites.
I’m in awe of Corrie and her family’s bravery in hiding and saving so many Jews. I think of the angst they must have felt as bombs exploded overhead and soldiers marched the streets.
I’m in awe of how Corrie and her sister, Betsie, still gave thanks and shared the love of Jesus in the barracks of the concentration camp, despite their circumstances.
Once we got home from our road trip, I read the story to my kids of Paul praising God in prison. I am in awe of his strength while in chains.
I am in awe of those who draw on the Lord for their strength and hope as their child, parent, or they themselves, fight cancer.
I think of those of you who have lost loved ones in this season or are struggling for different reasons, and my heart hurts for you. I am in awe of the way so many of you choose Jesus through it all.
I think of how sometimes it can seem like COVID has turned the whole world upside down.
But, I also think about how in the midst of all the changes here and now, what doesn’t change, and will never change, is how the Lord is greater than all.
How He is bigger than anything you will face, how he offers hope right now, today, in this moment – and how the Lord loves you, so very much.
I think of the upcoming holidays and how they will look so different. And, I wonder, how can we bring glory to God in the midst of heartache and difficult circumstances?
And, my mind moves to God’s Word to, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
Everything doesn’t always turn out how we think it will, but one moment at a time, we can choose to give thanks, so we can experience God’s kingdom here, bring God glory, and remember that our greatest hope is not in the here and now, but in the Lord.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving full of giving thanks! ❤️