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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Gray and forlorn, the skies promised rain and I tucked the first holiday CD into the disc player. The lonely strains of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” reminded me of all that was missing, and I glanced at the sweet boys playing near my feet. Chunky, plastic blocks and knob-wheeled trucks lay strewn about the floor as my preschooler curled his upper lip and uttered an imitation of a jet accelerating off the tarmac. The youngest, a robust infant with dimpled fingers and white-blond hair, gnawed on an icy teething ring.

“How would you like to make some sugar cookies, Benjamin?”

His head bobbing in agreement, the four-year-year old dropped the miniature F-18 replica and danced toward me—his smile my reward. My son perched beside me in his tiny Home Depot apron, we began assembling the ingredients. Baking sugar cookies on Thanksgiving was a tradition I refused to give up despite the unconventional circumstances.

The phone rang and I breathed a prayer, Please, Lord, then choked out a weak ‘Hello’?

The distinct crackling on the other end of the line was interrupted by the unfamiliar cadence of a man’s voice. “Ma’am, Happy Thanksgiving. I’d like to patch in a call from Lt. Kennington. Is that alright with you?”

It’d been weeks since I’d spoken to my husband and suddenly, he, and I—and the ham radio operator—were enjoying conversation. This wasn’t the Thanksgiving celebration I’d imagined. Instead of our family gathering around the table to celebrate together, we were separated by half a world as the man I loved served on the Navy’s version of a floating city while I parented and prayed from the home front.

But today was a day for gratitude.

Despite the loneliness, I wasn't alone. 
Regardless of distance, I was loved. Click To Tweet

Despite the loneliness, I wasn’t alone. Regardless of distance, I was loved. No matter the circumstances, God provided good gifts.
Many of you may be facing a season of uncertainty. A holiday without loved ones. A Thanksgiving bereft of its usual cheer and celebration. I am truly sorry. If I could, I’d invite you over for a mug of something warm and steamy. We’d share happy holiday memories or watch the snow float like miniature white-winged moths from the low-slung November canopy until it covered the tree branches as they reach to the sky in prayer.

His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened. Click To Tweet

But my heart isn’t adequate to lessen your struggle and I can’t know the depth of loneliness, grief, or heartache you own. Someone else does and His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened.

There might not be a shift in circumstances 
but when you lean into God,He remains steadfast. Click To Tweet

There might not be a shift in circumstances, a sudden answer to ongoing problems, or a change in what you’re experiencing, but when you lean into God during the hardest of times, He remains steadfast. Can I encourage you to whisper a prayer—even if it is only, “Please, Lord”?

He’ll hear you. Allow Him to pull you into the circle of holy arms where you’ll discover comfort. Feel the Father’s heartbeat. You’re never alone. You’re always loved. He will provide good gifts.

Even today is a day for gratitude.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace....png

When giving thanks doesn’t come easily and life presses in sharp, tearing at romantic ideals of holiday tables and merry-making, is celebration even possible? Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself this question as you grapple with a life-altering diagnosis. The constant reality that your dear one won’t be home for the holidays–now or ever. An all-consuming depression that seems to only deepen as you focus on the joy that isn’t yours.

When life presses in sharp, is celebration even possible? Click To Tweet

I am sorry for the pain. The fear. The aching loss.

I understand. I’ve been in that place and it’s unwelcome and ugly. Overpowering and overwhelming. Unyielding and unstoppable. Until, we remember God is with us in every situation, complication, and aggravation.

He is able to bring beauty from ashes, victory from calamity, and deliverance from disaster.Nothing is impossible for God. Click To Tweet

He is able to bring beauty from ashes, victory from calamity, and deliverance from disaster. Nothing is impossible for God. (Luke 1:37)

The Lord of all experienced the same hurts as you and me, Friend. He knew the separation of death, was intimate with rejection, and chose to spill holy blood for the loss of his broken beloved.

Because of Him, we can cling to hope.Even when our worst fears are realized, we know the truth. Click To Tweet

Because of Him, we can cling to hope. Even when our worst fears are realized, we know the truth.

Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33) that we might have an eternal hope (1 Peter 1:3-4). Christ came that you and I might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Christ is the hope set before us (Hebrews 6:18). The Promise for whom we can give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In these promises, we can give thanks.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P.S. I’ve downloaded a printable gratitude journal for your use. Even recording one small word of thanks can turn our faces His direction. I pray you’ll be encouraged.

Thankful Thoughts Journal

Linking up at #gracefulTuesday and these other blogs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I can see them in my mind.  Men–worn and thin–browned by their daily toil beneath the hot sun.  Women–their hands raw from gleaning the last piece of grain from a heavy stalk.  Children–kneeling in thanksgiving before a god who doesn’t exist–hoping they’ll have enough food to eat next month.

I leaf through magazines considering my family’s Thanksgiving meal, but am distracted by the article about Pongal, southern India’s harvest festival.  I try to imagine a celebration that honors the sun and the rain.  I try to envision emaciated cattle adorned in bright colors as if they deserve more honor than the God-man who died reddened by his own blood.  I try to grasp what it means to forget that He is the One who offers a bounty of goodness to His children.

Pausing, I am humbled.  I realize I forget His goodness every day.  In the mid-life muddle of  raising a family, I get caught up somewhere between dishes and driving lessons and begin to worry about children…finances…and tomorrow’s dinner menu.

And I’m reminded that even when I forget Him, I am not forgotten.  My hope is sure because my God has existed eternally.  Friend, He invites us to an everlasting table–a feast of matchless blessing.  Won’t you join me?

Scripture for Reflection

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!  Psalm 34:8 NLT

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