Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: From Thanksgiving to Thanks-living

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, as I plan to - filled with appreciation for all that we have been blessed with by God.  At this time of year, it is easy – and feels good – to pay attention to and name all the ways I have been blessed. I can see my blessings in family, the bounty of scrumptious (and usually way too much), the cozy home where we celebrate, the nature around me, warm, smiles, healing laughter. It can be ever so fulfilling and heart-warming to “celebrate the sweet.” From within this cocoon of warm fuzzies it can be hard for me to remember those folks for whom Thanksgiving celebrations are tough, with families that are in conflict, with sad memories from that time of year – or who do not have anyone with whom to celebrate or who may even find it hard to identify anything to be thankful for. 

Now, … after this (hopefully) joyous celebration, when I reflect on being grateful, perhaps I can trust God enough to open myself up to recognize that I can also be grateful for the “bitter” in my life – the challenges; the struggles; the chaos, muck, yuck, sadness, worry; those things I don’t much like; those things I find too hard; those things I’d much rather ignore.  What if I don’t really want to grow? It sometimes hurts to grow. It can be so incredibly difficult to grow through hardship. It’s too much work. Well, excuse me, Self…. Did I not just spend my Thanksgiving celebrating all the amazing things my loving, all-powerful God has already done in my life? What makes me think God won’t come through for me – work with me – to overcome these obstacles, whatever “bitterness” comes my way? Thanksgiving is really all about recognizing just how many ways God is present and active in my life – through good times and in bad times - and allowing these blessings to remind me to Trust God, even when it is hardest. All I need to do is talk to God, look for God, thank God – even in advance – for how God will be with me  - for my blessings show me that God will be with me - will give me the courage, the strength and the tools I may need to navigate some of the more “bitter” parts of my life, so I can grow through facing the bitterness. I like to call that “Thanks-Living.”

Loving God,

Thank You for continually blessing my life in all kinds of wonderful ways.

Please open my eyes to recognize these many blessings, even when they disguise themselves within “bitter” trials.

Bless me with the courage and tools I will need for this journey of constant ups and downs.

Open my mouth to let my heart sing Your praises and to shine light on my path as you continue to work in my life.

May you use my life to shine light for other people.

May I always remember to pray for those who may find that things to be thankful for are in very short supply for them.

Thank you for being with them in their struggle, and may they fell your love through their heaviness of heart.

Inspire me to a life of “Thanks-Living.” 

~ Amen


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