This is the day the Lord has made - rejoice!

Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful for our family, and food and all the good things we have. It’s a day set aside each year for the whole country to express gratitude. But truthfully, we need to be thankful every day. Really thankful. Certainly on our good days but even on our bad days.

My area has suffered for the last few weeks with terrible fires and a horribly tragic mass shooting. I have close friends who have lost homes and friends and loved ones in these terrible events. It is hard to wrap my mind around the grief that many in my community are suffering from.

I have lived with my own grief from my losses of the past two years and know the difficulty that faces my dear friends. Everyone of us will face difficulty and loss at some point in our lives whether it has happened yet or not. And somehow we have to come through it. And there are no easy or pat answers. No quick solutions. No smiley faces that can cover up the hole of the loss of a loved one.

It is in times like these that the only solace that I have found has been in Christ. In prayer. In throwing myself down at His feet and surrendering everything I have. Every emotion, dream, tear. I have to let it all go. And then allow Him to comfort me. To sit with me in silence as I grieve.

I discovered during my times of intense grief that sometimes the simplest things helped me. Watching a little bird hop around on my fig tree. Seeing my cat stretch out luxuriously in a patch of sunshine. Feeling a cool breeze gently caress my cheek. Tiny small things. Certainly not things that can replace the giant hole inside my heart where the grief lives. But little things to remind me that life goes on. And the love that I feel for my daughter will never die – even if she is gone.

The season will pass and our community will rebuild. And as we do perhaps we can cherish every single day we get with our loved ones. That moment at the table when no one is fighting. When everyone is full and satisfied. The pretty china from my great, great aunt. The tablecloth from my grandmother. The recipes from my mom. Everything, every moment has in it something that we can be thankful for. However small it may seem.

My heart breaks for my friends who have suffered terrible losses this past year. But I can rejoice in a God who is bigger than the losses. I can rejoice in a Creator who will love me through the good and bad times. I can be thankful for what I do have  – and I have so very much.

Blessings to all of you this Thanksgiving. I pray you will find a deep sense of love in your heart for all that you have been given.