Give Thanks


One short day away from turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pies. Thanksgiving has always been one of my most favorite holidays of the year. I have so many great memories, possibly due in part to my mom being a great cook. Regardless, there’s something sweet about a bunch of family, a ton of food, a lot of laughter, and just one table. And how can you not be thankful for life when you’re surrounded by love?

Tomorrow will look slightly different for me. In my six years overseas, this will be the first Thanksgiving I’ll be spending alone. Trent will be headed to Barcelona with his team and my family will be feasting back home in the States. I’ll probably just make a turkey sandwich at the apartment. Okay, dramatic, but you get the idea…I’ll be alone. At first I felt really sorry for myself. I felt sorry for myself in that very mature, ‘I’m just going to just spend the morning silently’ type of way. I mean, how could my husband be leaving me for this mandatory aspect of his job? On Thanksgiving?! And then I found out how much he’d be fined for skipping a road trip and I was totally okay with him heading to Spain. No, in all seriousness, I was good with him going on the trip. Not so good with me seating supper solo in our apartment in Milan. At the very least, I wasn’t feeling so thankful about my situation this Thanksgiving.

After a few hours of silent sulking contemplation, I wondered if my thanksgiving is really thanksgiving if it’s dependent on favorable circumstances and situations. And is it really fair to take part in a holiday I so often live opposed to? But aren’t we prone to do this-to forget the holiday amidst the hubbub? I mean, how many of us do well with really focusing on “the Reason for the season”? Looks like Christmas isn’t the only message that’s sacrificed at the expense of the commercialized chaos. Thanksgiving, welcome to the club.

Truth is, if I can’t celebrate Thanksgiving at an apartment by myself tomorrow, then I’m probably not living it out in my life every other day of the year. And if that’s the case, then November 27th, for me, is nothing but a good excuse to overindulge in food and gather together with family. It’s not really about thanksgiving at all.

So here’s to living thanksgiving so that we can really celebrate Thanksgiving—celebrate it in all its grandeur and garnishes, but never forget the centerpiece. And I’m not talking about the turkey.

I Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

When I open my eyes to what surrounds, I see quite easily I have so many reasons to be thankful. So tomorrow, I’ll sit down solo and sincerely give thanks. And for every other day of the year…I will live thanks.