This year, the arrival of Thanksgiving has not been overlooked at our house. It has in years past for various reasons, but not this year. People have been asking over the last couple of months "How are you doing? Tired?" The answer in my head is always:
Yes, 5 kiddos 7 and under are exhausting.
Yes, I'm fearful of the next round of testing for Shane's cancer in January.
Yes, I have no clue when Reeve's fever is coming back and if it will include a seizure and that stresses me out.
But, oh, I am thankful. All of that pales in light of the deep gratitude of where our family is at right now.
I have my best friend still by my side, without having to go through chemo.
I have 5 beautiful, (mostly healthy) rambunctious kiddos who point me to Jesus, bless me, and bring me great joy.
But most of all, I have a Saviour, who sits at the right hand of God, who has redeemed me from the pit and loves me so intensely that He pursues me in every corner of life.
Giving thanks during the hard things of life reminded me of a book I'd read awhile back, One Thousand Gifts. In it, Ann Voskamp quotes Psalm 50:23 "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
She goes on to say: "Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything-prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ. The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God-even for the bread and cup of cost, for cancer and crucifixion-this prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him."
Also, I'm probably the last one to the party on this, but did you know that Thanksgiving became a national holiday during the civil war? Shane was prepping for his Sunday School lesson last week, and stumbled upon Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation. Inspiring. During the midst of blood, war, and all that is ugly- a Thanksgiving Proclamation. Love it.
Last week was communion at our church, which paired nicely with the BSF study I am in right now that is going through the life of Moses and how each facet of the tabernacle points to Jesus. Before heading out the door in a rush to get there on time, Liv says "Mom?" I hurriedly, impatiently bark back "what? I gotta go."
I was stopped in my tracks as yet again, I'm reminded to just slow myself down long enough to sit under the wisdom of being with Jesus. All else in life really does pale in comparison. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing as we ended the communion service....
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
May God be praised during your Thanksgiving for both the hard and good things in your life.