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Thanksgiving was my mama’s favorite holiday. She would start cooking *days* in advance. 

She relished the whole scene, me, my brother, and sister fighting, taste testing, and helping in the kitchen. 

Going over to my aunt and uncle’s house.

Slowing down and seeing family.

Catching up. 

So much laughter in a house that was too hot from all the cooking. 

Yard ball and wrestling.


I’ve never tasted food as good as Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s. 

That was my Thanksgiving 25 years ago. 

My mom enjoyed loving on her family and being with them. It was mean when ALS took her independence, and her ability to cook, talk, and enjoy her traditional Thanksgiving food with her family. Though she lost those things, you would still find her laughing at everyone, smiling until her cheeks would spasm, and doing her level best to convey a funny joke or come back. She was so happy, thankful, to see another day, another Thanksgiving, with all those she truly loved the most. Like most moms - her whole world in one home. Her heart was so thankful for those moments. 

I could say the past 25 years have been cruel. It’s almost easier to say that. 

But it’s not the whole, complete, truth.

The complete truth - So much life has been lived and learned. I can’t put into words the joy, love, and laughter these years have produced! To be able to say “I love you”, play soccer with my boys, beat my husband at fantasy football, all the jokes!

The things the Lord has taught me cannot be expressed.

I’ve learned about the Lord’s faithfulness even when I have been unfaithful to Him. He really is so good to contend with me, and you too. 

By the grace of God, we’ve made it through some soul-crushing circumstances. Looking back on the hardest parts of my life I can see how the Lord walked with me through all of those times. He never left me or forsaken me and mine.

"...I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Lots of love and with that comes inevitable heartbreak. Love is always worth it. My mom taught me so much. How to be thankful even in the face of death. She knew her life was ending, horrifically, and she would not let the devil steal a moment of her time on this earth with her family. She soaked in every second.

She taught me how to be thankful even with small things like:
Blowing my own nose
Cleaning my own ears
Shaving my own  legs

She taught me how to be thankful for each sunrise and sunset, those are numbered you know. 

Be thankful to walk and run and dance and skip. To write love notes, hold hands, and say “I love you.”

Without making it through times of deep loss and hurt - how can we know thanks more intimately? 

I’m sure you’ve been put through it. If we were to slow down and look around, we’d probably see each other in the trenches of life. Right in the thick of it. 

Even in that trench - there are things to be thankful for. 

Even through tear-filled eyes and a heart the Lord can only understand the groanings of… 

Yet even there, there is a thanks. And it’s worth fighting for. 

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
    His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

My Thanksgiving looks so different from my childhood. 

And that’s o.k. 

Even through my tear-filled eyes, and a heart that groans, I’m thankful for the Lord's ever-faithfulness, ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, mighty presence in my life. 

He is. 

Even when I have been so unfaithful, He remains the ever faithful, covenant keeper.

Even to the end of the age. 

Friend, even though your Thanksgiving may look different than it used to be, different than how you imagined it would be, keep your mind steadfast on the faithfulness of God. He is close. There are things to be thankful for even now. 

Through tear-stained cheeks and a heart that longs to hear my mama’s voice, there is still Thanks to my Jesus.  Because of Him, there is hope for our souls. This life is not the end. Because of Christ, there is more, and an adventure even after this life. 

I pray this holiday season you find your thankfulness more intimately and deeply than before.

You are so loved and never forgotten.