Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Time to Stop, Rest and be Thankful.

It's Thanksgiving Eve.

Chocolate Meringue Pies are in the fridge along with the Orange Cranberry sauce. Pecan pies are on the buffet where more desserts will be added tomorrow.

Turkey is about to go into the roaster and my list of side dishes is posted on the fridge so that I don't forget any.

Thanksgiving Day is our family's favorite holiday. We love it because there are no expectations for gifts. Just come and eat with us and let's have a great day together as we remember how faithful the Lord has been this year to us.

So, you want the honest truth? This has been a really hard year! I am not going to dress this up. It's been really hard. And it is often difficult to remember the good things that happened.

It's been a hard year for my business.  It's been a hard year for my husband who worked 2 jobs most of the year. It's been a hard year for my Father in law as he battled cancer. It's been a hard year for my father as his health is not good and doctors can't seem to find any relief for him. It's been a hard year for my daughter who struggled with anxiety and depression. It's been a hard year for 2 of my sons with their jobs. It's just been a really hard year!

In History, Sam, Gracie and I have been studying Early American History. Last month we were reading about the Pilgrims who spent 3 months on the Mayflower in pursuit of a life of freedom from England.  Once they landed they were not ready for what was about to happen. On the ship, only one person died on the trip. That was remarkable. But when they began trying to make a new life for themselves, they realized just how difficult things would be.

I'm sure you know the story. Thanks to the help of Samoset & Squanto, the Pilgrims learned how to farm, and hunt. The Pilgrims were so thankful for the help of these Native Americans and for the new life they had made for themselves, they devoted a day away from work to spend time together giving thanks to God for his provision and protection. But wait... It was a hard year!  This is why they set aside one day to rest and be thankful!

What happens when we are thankful?

We are more hopeful of the future. I know my God is faithful. I know that the trials we experienced this year were not in vain. I know that whatever he allows next year may also be hard, but He will still be there just like he was this year.

We are energized and empowered. There is just something about choosing to say, "I'm thankful for this". It is choosing an attitude of joy. That gives us strength.

We are healthier.  Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.  We also sleep better and are less stressed.

Of course the Pilgrims didn't have scientific studies showing them why they needed to stop for a day and rest. But, we know the benefits of it.

I'm so glad we have a day like Thanksgiving that forces us to stop and spend time with our family and friends. Time to focus on what the Lord has done for us and how we are blessed.

So, yes...this past year has been hard. But a quick scroll through my Facebook pictures reminded me of the many blessings we experienced as well.

Sarah came home from the Philippines early. That was an awesome blessing!

Sam went to Children's camp for the first time and loved every minute of it!

We kept Brody, my grandson, everyday for several months until his parents found another daycare for him. I love that!

My kids all have good jobs right now!

My husband is only having to work one job & even though it is extremely hard on his body, the Lord is using it to provide for us.

My Father in law found out this week that he is cancer free!

So yes, it has been a hard year, but God is good and we are thankful for the many ways he has blessed us.

Ok, so I'm off to get my Turkey in the roaster!

I pray you have a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family!!