The transition from hot summer days to cool autumn mornings and nights is magical. I always look forward to a couple months of pumpkins, apples being baked into tasty treats, and waking the fireplace from its summer slumber. November brings Thanksgiving, which is a grand holiday tradition in my family. We look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. We prepare for days for all the cousins to barrel through our door, eat too much and sit by the fire. My husband's grandmother-our Mamanon- taught me that a cousin is a "first friend" a " forever friend." I have worked to instill this into my own children.
But...if you haven't noticed during your Thanksgiving grocery shopping at the local super center, the Christmas aisles have already choked out the pumpkins and scarecrows. However, this is right on schedule because the Thanksgiving decor was already on display in July. You can't blink your eyes too many times or you may forget what month it actually is. You may already have your house decorated for Christmas (confession: I do too). The advent season is a beautiful time of year to proclaim the birth of our Savior; however, I have found myself silently screaming in the aisles, “What about giving thanks?” “We can’t skip Thanksgiving!”
Our culture is driven by the holidays marked on our calendars. As Christians we fall victim to this as well and must be intentional to celebrate the birth of Christ, his death and resurrection and give thanks to God throughout the entire year. Years ago, I began to see this holiday driven mindset as a means and opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ with everyone around me. Thanksgiving, for example, opens the door to tell others what I am most thankful for boldly and unapologetically. Often, people ask me what I have to be thankful for and they begin the conversation. Our friends and neighbors are hungry at Thanksgiving, not for turkey and dressing, but for a peace and purpose that only God can give. In the midst of the suffering, hurt, and darkness that surrounds us, Christians can be a light that says, I am thankful. What an opportunity and calling we have to take advantage of those moments when we can proclaim God’s goodness and provision with friends, family, strangers and cousins!
” Let us give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for man.”
“I will give you thanks for You answered me; You have become my salvation.”
I Chronicles 16:34
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
“Thanks be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”
These verses show us the many reasons we have to be thankful to God. I invite you to reflect on the ways God has showed His love, carried your burdens, saved you, done wonderful deeds and showed you His goodness. This year, I appeal to you, Don’t Skip Thanksgiving. Take the time and opportunities God gives you and be a witness to His goodness in all of life, whether that be in triumphs or tragedies. Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:18 “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” When we are asked to share what we are thankful for this year, I pray we will use that moment to mirror the image of Christ and be a witness to what a heart of thankfulness looks like.