Thanksgiving Wonder (For Those Tired of Sentimentalism and Cold Mashed Potatoes)

Holidays usually arrive with fanfare. Plans are made, shared and canceled. Sentimental quotes about loving one’s family are plastered throughout social media (usually by people who post too many pictures of their grandkids anyway).

Articles recount 15 ways to de-stress during the holidays. Lists of blessings become outweighed by lists of preparations. There is traveling, baking and reminiscing to be done.

Amidst the hubbub, we are occasionally reminded to focus on the heart of the season. In that spirit, I half-heartedly looked up Bible verses about being thankful. Many were familiar. For instance, there was the verse I have mixed emotions about memorizing:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (New International Version)

Yep. Pretty clear. Hard to obey completely, but easy to understand. I moved on to another verse.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34

Another reason to be thankful- God is worthy to be thanked. His love is amazing.

One verse made all of my other thoughts go silent:

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:30 (Emphasis mine.)

Did you catch that? Giving thanks actually glorifies God.

I had never thought about thankfulness in that way. Choosing to give thanks glorifies God.

Building God’s kingdom brings Him glory. Obeying God gives Him glory. Praising God with songs also direct glory to Him. But another way to glorify the God of the universe is to give thanks.

So… those cutesy kid projects where children write what they are thankful for on some lopsided, construction-paper turkey brings glory to God.

Those times that family member is sappy, saying he or she is thankful for each and every person in the family, is glorifying to God.

Taking time to name our blessings out loud at the dinner table, even as the turkey and mashed potatoes get cold, is a way to glorify God.

Every time you choose to make the effort and be thankful, you bring God glory.

And God deserves so much glory. After all, His love endures forever. We can see His goodness in everything He made. He made good, light, joy, hope, eyes to see our blessings, mouths to tell of His wonders, breath to fill our lungs. God gave us blessings and He also gave us the capacity to realize everything is a blessing. He gave us the ability to be thankful.

Thanksgiving is not just a day to continue the tradition of “counting our blessings”. Thanksgiving is another opportunity to glorify God (even if the mashed potatoes get a little cold).

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Biggest Day in November (No, Not Thanksgiving or Black Friday)

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, something special happens in America—something even bigger than football or pre-pre-black Friday sales.

Across the country, hundreds of adults and children gather. Courtrooms are opened. Judges, lawyers and social workers set to work. By the end of the day, hundreds of new families walk out of the doors, and thousands of children waiting in foster care now have a permanent family of their own.

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The Quiet Beauty of Migraines

If you don’t know already, migraines are
frustrating
painful
awful, no good, very bad things.

The head pain alone feels like an entire construction crew is in your skull. Someone is jackhammering, another person is slicing with a circular saw, and someone else decides to tighten vices on your cranium. It is definitely not something that brings the words “serenity” and “joy” to mind.

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4 Verses that Prepare Your Children for Being a Foster Family

I was 14 years old when my family began taking in foster children— and it changed my life. I had a front-row seat to the foster care system in all of its successes, failures, and realities. During my teen years, I rocked many babies to sleep, helped toddlers take their first steps, and played board games with my foster siblings.

While being a foster family had positive aspects, it also had difficult parts. Children came from tough situations and had sad stories. Our family sacrificed many of our own wants in order to provide for foster children’s needs. It was hard.

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Adoption Day- A Sister’s View

Have you ever been to a final adoption hearing?

An adoption day is full of paradoxical emotions. At least it is for me. I have been to two adoption finalization hearings (both times I got new siblings). I am soon going to another (to get more siblings). The day my family officially adopted my brother and sister from foster care, I had two thoughts:

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The Quiet Beauty of an Observed Life

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The week before I turned 13 years old, my little brother was stillborn.

That year I learned a lot about grief. Every moment of life was suddenly precious. I learned to take grief moment by moment. As I began to see little bits of good in life again, I wondered if there was a beauty to life, a quiet beauty, that I had never observed before.

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The End. But Also The Beginning.

Now that it is the end of September, you hopefully know what FASD stands for. (Not sure? Read this.) FASD Awareness month is about more than an acronym though. Raising awareness is the first step to increasing support for individuals with FASD and their families.

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