Doug married my only sister, Holly, last weekend. It was a lovely ceremony (except the part when I fell flat on my face as my knee gave out on the first of 3 downward steps) followed by a tremendous reception. The weather was outstanding – there’s no way anyone would have predicted 62 degrees & sunny on November 13th in Buffalo!! We were even able to have outdoor photos taken…I can’t wait to see them! And as I type this, my sister & new brother-in-law are (hopefully) living the life of luxury on the beaches of St Maarten on their honeymoon. They are scheduled to return home mid-week, just in time to celebrate their first Thanksgiving as Mr & Mrs Smith.
Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday by far. A day that centers our focus on the blessings in our lives instead of the hardships. A day that brings family & friends together without feeling of obligation to come bearing elaborate gifts or the misnomer that some hocus pocus mythical creature is the reason for the celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas…I love telling my children the story of Jesus’ birth in that stable. I love seeing their eyes light up from opening the perfect gift. I don’t, however, like the tremendous amount of hoopla over Santa & presents & greed. I don’t like what this season does to people…including myself…in regards to stress, finances & anxiety. Of course, I don’t like the weather that certain to plague us here soon either! Oh how I would love to live in a climate where decorating a palm tree was a viable Christmas option! 🙂
But instead, I will choose to give thanks for the fact that even in less than desirable weather, we have a house, Sam has a good job, we have food on the table and clothes on our backs. We may not live high on the hog, but we sure as heck aren’t suffering like the children we so desperately long to add to our family. Or even like so many here in our own back yards…those who’ve lost their jobs & homes in the recession, those who’ve lost close loved ones recently and are suffering through this first holiday of thanks without that one person they were so thankful to have in their lives, those who are alone…who, even though they may have their needs met financially, may have no one to spend the holidays with. I am so very thankful to God for my family & friends, the provisions He provides for our family, and for the heart of compassion He has bestowed upon me as it gives me a greater appreciation for what I have and a willingness to give it up for those who don’t.
I pray that each of you taking the time to read this post will choose to see the blessings in your life in stead of just the trials. I pray that you will see the plight of those around you and offer what you can to help bless the less fortunate as you have been blessed. I pray that you will know that although Thursday is our official holiday, we should keep this mentality each and every day of our lives.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18