Having a Different Thanksgiving…

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness — it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude. Brene Brown

Meditation: Thanksgiving is a special day for most Americans. Family and friends are gathering around a festive table. Traditional meals are being served and people talk about what they are thankful for. Some family are also painfully reminded especially on this day that certain family members are absent. Either due to illness, incarceration, death or physical or emotional distance. Some families would also rather not choose to be together, as conflict is their daily bread. In those circumstances it is very challenging to find gratitude. Grief, loss or conflict seem to overshadow everything. When we find somebody we can talk to about our experience of not having a good “Thanksgiving”, we make a first step towards accepting our circumstance. Prayer can also open up as an option. God may become the One we can talk to. Is there something we are still grateful for, in the midst of our circumstances? We might not rejoice. We might not find extraordinary things. However, we might notice a few moments today that bring a smile or gratitude to our hearts. Let us capture those moments. They are healing balm for weary souls.

Prayer: God, when we have a different Thanksgiving than (we think) everybody else has, remind us that many families are struggling during the Holidays. Help us to reach out to those who have nobody to celebrate with. Help us to accept that our Thanksgiving is not extraordinary. Help us to notice and savor those moments that touch our hearts today, and help us be grateful in the midst of our challenges. Amen

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1. Thessalonians 5:16-18