I am struggling today.
STOP THE CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALS!
I love Christmas and decorating is one of my favorite things to do...after Thanksgiving! It's hard for me to focus on Thanksgiving when all I can think about is Christmas lights, buying gifts and getting out my decorations. And let me add, that's not even what Christmas is about but I still like it.
(I was about to get on my soapbox but it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. Aren't you lucky?)
Have you noticed how this time of year facebook is filled with daily posts of thanksgiving? What a nice change from all the senseless complaints or political messages. In fact, it brings me great joy to sit and think on the things that I am thankful for. (flashback to my journal of thanksgiving) This year I refrained from the daily FB post and have been sending personal messages of gratefulness. I like to think it's no accident that we celebrate a day of thanksgiving before we celebrate Christmas. For me it's a lot like singing songs of worship before hearing a message from our pastor on Sunday morning, it prepares my heart for the real deal. Taking a moment every day to remember how blessed I am humbles my heart. I find it's much easier to accept the tremendous gift of salvation when I have an attitude of thanksgiving.
For many years Chris and I have spent Thanksgiving Day with extended family at Aunt Helen's house. We even flew home from AZ back in the day to celebrate at Helen & Lynn's a couple of times. This lady knows how to host large groups of people, I am watching and learning. We always have lots of people, too much food and a special day of laughs, cards and shopping strategies. Again, this year we will be with Helen, Lynn and 43 other family members. Mom, Dad and Eric will even be there.
Last year I made the turkey and stuffing. That was a big job! In 2014 I have a much easier task. Our contribution will be deviled eggs, strawberry pretzel salad (it's really dessert but we like to call it a salad so we can still have pie) and chocolate covered pretzels. Tomorrow I will brave the busy grocery store to purchase food for our celebration and the 30 items we are donating to families in North Omaha. (more on this later) This time of year, I like the traditional foods. I don't try to go healthy, creative or glutten free. Nope, I want all the yumminess I have loved since I was a child. In other words, I'm not looking at Pinterest to see how I can complicate things. What are you making this thanksgiving?
Have you ever gone to bed hungry because there wasn't any food in the house? I haven't and neither have my children. Hmm, that's another thing I can be thankful for...food. If you are interested in helping hungry children in North Omaha our church has made it very easy for us to pour out our love. Most of the students at Franklin Elementary in North Omaha are part of the free lunch program and often do not have enough food when they are not in school. Christmas break can be a huge challenge for these families with extra mouths to feed all day long. CCC has partnered with Bridge Church to create food boxes. If you are able and live in Omaha please consider donating to this project or find another worthy cause in your area. Click here to see the list of 30 items. I have never felt so thankful as when I have been able to help another.
In case I don't get back on here before Thanksgiving I want to wish each of you a warm celebration. No matter what you do on Thursday, if your heart is beating and you have a roof over your head I pray that you can find something to be thankful for. Tell those you love that you appreciate them and focus on the good. God loves you. He didn't promise an easy life, He promised an eternal life if you follow Him.