"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." 1Chronicles 16:34
Growing up, and into adulthood, Thanksgiving was always one of my family's biggest holiday get togethers. Even bigger than Christmas. I don't really know why, but it was, and I loved it. Sometimes there were 30-40 of us gathered. Football, chess games, children running around, great food, laughter & loud talking just so you could hear yourself. It was noisy, crazy, and just pure fun. I always looked forward to Thanksgiving. For whatever reason, I didn't battle with depression that whole day. I felt free and loved being with my family.
But then our family had a big blow one November when my precious sister died after an almost 3-year battle (and it was a BATTLE) with cancer. She was 41, with a husband, two teenagers, five sisters, and a host of family and friends to mourn her. She and I were very close.
Thanksgiving, and any holiday after that, was different as we tried to adjust to our new normal, life without her. November was just a tough month.
So today, and every day, I choose to be thankful. Sometimes it's not easy, so I have to actually choose not to look at my circumstances, or the past, and just be thankful. And some days I sit down and make a list reminding myself of everything I have to be thankful for. I know there are many things that don't make the list, because I realize God protects us from dangers we have no idea exists. He also brings things to my mind as I'm writing and soon, the anxiety about circumstances I was dwelling on, disappears and I find myself in an atmosphere of gratitude.
I needed to make a list today. I'd like to share it with you:
I'm thankful for:
All the days we had with my sister, all the memories we made together
Everyone in my life today and in the past because I know in some way, they are all a part of my journey
Closed doors (never thought I'd be thankful for those, but now I am!)
[Insert] Atmosphere of Gratitude
Is there anything threatening your peace? If so, I pray you can be still and make a list of everything you have to be thankful for and allow yourself to enter an Atmosphere of Gratitude.
Have a Blessing-filled and Happy Thanksgiving!