Beach Lessons,  Hurricane Sally,  Pandemic,  Spiritual Growth,  Unity

SO Much to be Thankful For

2020 has brought many surprises and unexpected lifestyle transitions. At first it was not too bad. For most, extra time at home became a treasure to those whose lives were hectic. After a while though, virtual school and zoom meetings became a bit tiring. Not being able to eat out whenever you wanted and having to wear masks everywhere became tiresome.

Watching church on line was a blessing for sure. Staying in bed longer and worshiping in pjs wasn’t too bad…at first. But after weeks of this, I LONGED to be back in corporate worship. And zoom life group was a life-saver to our women’s life group, but we SO wanted to be able to see each other face to face after weeks of this.

Other people suffered greatly this year as COVID-19 affected jobs, relationships (especially parents in facilities that prohibited visits), and health. More than an inconvenience, it has been devastating for many.

Add to that all the turmoil in our country, not to mention the anger, and even hatred, among friends, family, neighbors and strangers. We could easily just forget to be thankful at all.

I’m not sure where you are in all this, but it would be SO easy to ignore the things we can, and should, be thankful for in this season of change, and even loss.

For me personally, I think that at the top of my list of things I am so grateful for is HOPE! Who doesn’t need that today? But for me, it also includes what that hope meant to me when I feared for my life one night. I wrote about this in a series of posts on our Hurricane Sally experience in Perdido Key in September. But the thing I am most thankful for right now is that I know that I know THAT hope, hope of eternity in Christ, is real. It was proven to me the night of this storm. (You can read more in I Know I Know.) Not only am I thankful for physical safety through the hurricane, but I am thankful because that night erased any doubt at all about eternity and the truth of hope through Christ.

I want to do something a little different this year at Thanksgiving. Before praying over our meal with our kids and grands, before lunch is hot and waiting on the table, I want each of us to share what we are especially thankful for in 2020. But not just stating what it is and moving on to someone else, I want to know WHY they are thankful. So I am preparing them ahead of time to think about it and be ready to share, not just a blanket category, but something specific in that category, and why they are thankful for it.

Sometimes we just need a reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives, there is always something to be thankful for. For those families that may only see each other virtually for Thanksgiving this year, you can still carry out this “thankful” activity. Sometimes we need to remember when we don’t feel like being thankful that this is not about “thanksfeeling” it’s about “thanksgiving.” (Credit to an article I read this week ‘somewhere’!)

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Whatever Thanksgiving Day looks like for you, I pray God blesses you in the sweetest way.

Banner photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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