Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus!

Seriously, who says Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus? Uhm, nobody, that’s who.

We say Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Christmas. It’s the big one. It’s the one that matters. It’s the alpha-holiday.

Only this year, I “got” Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus.

I remember one of my first Thanksgivings with the Fritz family. My brother-in-law, whom I love very much said, and I quote: “Thanksgiving is my favorite. It has nothing to do with religion.” 

Uhm, really? The pilgrims giving thanks to God for surviging the long, cold winter has nothing to do with religion, with faith? OK, whatever.

That said, Thanksgiving is so not my favorite holiday. There are no presents. There are no trees. There is no baby Jesus.

And no Santa.

Oh, wait, no, let’s stick with ‘no baby Jesus’. That makes me sound much more spiritual.

Thanksgiving felt like a sacrifice. Thanksgiving was a sacrifice.

It wasn’t my sister’s year to come home. It wasn’t my brother’s year to come home. And yet, they came. They came all the same.

For one week we drenched ourselves in the sun. And we breathed farm fresh air and we rode horses and Coulter went camping with cousins and hung with his Uncle Gregory in the deer stand (where, for the record, no firearms were used and no animals were hunted) and we decorated Christmas trees and we threw the football, and my cousins all in from near and far gathered ’round the table and we shared and we laughed and we cried and

We.Gave.Thanks.

And then I remembered.

Some days remembering feels like a brick smashing the back of my thick, thick skull and some days that’s God’s only course of action. I leave Him no choice.

Whack!

Last fall, when the sky came tumbling, tumbling down and last  January, when the sky right-opened, giving way to storms, black, thundering storms, and last spring came and went giving way to ugly truths and summer came and went, and again with the truths and I thought, how can the sky fall any further.

It has fallen already.

Yes, during that time, my Mother reminded me that we are to give thanks IN all things. Not necessarily FOR all things. We give thanks in all things

We give thanks for the falling skies and ugly truths and the dark, thundering clouds.

We give thanks in all things.

And also during that time I read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and it literally changed my head and it changed my heart and I started naming the gifts and listing the blessings and giving thanks in all things and when that brick fell hard, cracking, thumping, I thought well, duh!

2012 has been the year of giving thanks. 2012 has been a year of learning that thanksgiving always preceeds the miracle. 2012 has been a year-long Thanksgiving celebration and HALE yes, Thanksgiving is a faith-filled, spritual holiday and while there may be no mangers, it is about Jesus.

This year the Lord knew excatly where I needed to be; He knew exactly where my children needed to be and in His grace, He put us there.

We needed Thanksgiving. To give it. To celebrate it. To find Jesus in it.

And that’s what we did.

Happy Thanksgiving, Jesus.

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