Sometimes Thanksgiving can cause thoughts of sorrow, angst and sadness. It’s easy to get caught up in the loss of a loved one we might be spending our first, fifth or twentieth holiday without. It may even be that our insurance has been canceled, jobs have been lost or life has just become hard.
I was thinking about this a few days ago, as I sat with some beautiful Moms whose children are grown. Each shared their joys and a few sorrows. But, as I listened to them, I didn’t hear hearts filled with guilt. I heard hearts and voices who knew they had done the absolute best they could do with each circumstance and a knowledge that God had full control over he outcome. What I gained from that time with them is something I want to give you, sweet friend who is reading this right now.
I want to give you the freedom to enjoy this Thanksgiving unlike any other you have ever experienced.
Finding Real Joy and a heart of gratitude can be hard to do in a world that is plagued with sin. Oh, but we don’t have to live that way. We can truly choose to live lives that are not consumed by anything other than the grace, love, beauty and fellowship so freely given.
Today, I am sharing some ways to Enjoy Thanksgiving – even in the midst of sorrow grief and perhaps a little stress.
Start with Today
Begin each day with the knowledge that yesterday is gone. No matter what happened – a death, bad temper, job loss, raise in pay check, disobedient children – it’s all in the past. Many of those will impact today, but every yesterday you have experienced has been a stepping stone to this day. The one, right now you are living. This day is a gift and it is one that is filled with every single moment you have lived to encourage, share love others and give glory to God.
Nothing brings joy to the heart more than singing songs of hymns and praise to the Father! Yes, pull out a hymnal, listen to a hymn on your favorite station. Rest in the beauty of praising the Father and fill your home and the hearts of all who live there with the beauty and grace of these sweet songs from yesterday – that will build in the hearts growing for tomorrow
Yes! Read. Start with the word that brings freedom. Remember, Jesus died for you, even when you were still a sinner. Isn’t that ironic. Truly, anyone would do something for a good person – but what about our enemies and that is exactly what HE did for us!
Here are some of our favorite books for Thanksgiving
- The Bible
- William Bradford Pilgrim Boy
- The Landing of the Pilgrims
- The Landing of the Pilgrims (free Kindle/play version)
- The Thanksgiving Story
- The Littlest Pilgrim
Make your menu and use that to build your grocery list. Then, find your coupons and go to the store. Then, write down the times each of your food items needs to go in the oven. This has been a life saver for me. I actually have the plan I created 5 years ago. It has the exact time each recipe needs to go into the oven and come out. Now, it changes a little if I add or take something off the menu, but I can’t tell you how much this has helped me enjoy this day even more!
Have a little fun
- Jump in the leaves
- While you are shopping with your children, let them pick out a treat.
- Play board games
- Chase them around the house when they attempt to ‘sneak a treat’ before dinner is ready. When you catch them, enjoy a chance to tickle them silly
- Make some crafts. Let me rephrase that – get the crafts ready, print some pictures of finished projects and let them make the crafts to give as gifts during the meal.
- Use the crafts made to decorate your table
- Go for a walk
Give Thanks and Pray
Enjoy my Give Thanks to God copywork for your children for free during the 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Each page has a Bible verse and space to copy the Bible verse. At the end of the ebook, is a page for your child to list things he or she is thankful for. Before your child copies each verse, take time to discuss the verse and pray about applying it to your lives
Bring joy & peace at Thanksgiving…and into your heart as you spend time reading, sharing, praying and applying God’s word to your heart and home.
And a bonus: Serve others
How are you going to find real joy this Thanksgiving?
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