Good ol’ Thanksgiving.
Over the past few years I have come to recognize and
appreciate the Thanksgiving holiday. Growing up it was just another reason the
family came together to eat a delicious meal. We would spend one day on the
weekend with my grand parents and my half brother who would join us at my
parents house for a meal similar to that we would indulge in on Christmas. One
other day on the weekend we would head into the big city to join in the festive
feast with my mom’s side of the family—the whole family, being many cousins,
aunts, uncles and my grandparents. Both gatherings included someone saying
grace before the meal expressing more gratitude than any other time of the
year, munching down on mashed potatoes, perogies (yum!), cabbage rolls and other
generic celebratory meal food, topped off with the classic pumpkin pie with
larger-than-needed dollops of freshly whipped cream.
Family, food and fun… what more do you need? Thanksgiving
was just getting together with family, eating food and hanging out. The random
extra thankfulness during grace I never gave much thought to. This was how we
did thanksgiving. That’s it, that’s all.
As I get older I come to learn more about how the
“Thanksgiving Sprit” needs to be included in our every breathe, every action,
every moment and how we need to get real about this fact when it comes to the
We rarely come together on Thanksgiving because we are full
to the brim with thankfulness and we want to bless those closest to us with
delicious meals literally made with love. These things happen throughout the
year in expected moments that truly make us feel thankful for our many
blessings in life.  The holiday is a
nice, slightly forced way, to get together and make us be thankful. I guess
every now and then we need a kick in the butt to get us into gear! That should
be the real reason for Thanksgiving—a reminder of how we are to act every day
of every year. We shouldn’t base our lives around one day but allow the day to
infiltrate our every day lives.
Last year I had the opportunity to celebrate American
Thanksgiving. To form a generic statement—Americans tend to take their
Thanksgiving very seriously. 
*Example: I was living in a house with five others
and one gentleman in particular had a strict “no Christmas music before
Thanksgiving” rule that he was quite dedicated to (hooray for Canadian
Thanksgiving in October! Bring on the Christmas music!). 
I drove down the
California coast to spend Thanksgiving with a co-worker and her family. We had
incredible appetizers, a traditional meal (sweet potato casserole, and other
generic American things I’ve never had as part of the Thanksgiving meal before)
and played games everyone took part in after the last bits of food were stuffed
into our already overfull bellies. The biggest part of this for me was, before
grace was said and we devoured in minutes the meal that took hours to prepare,
we all went around and said something we were thankful for—generic ‘friends and
family’ aside. It was wonderful to hear the assorted sentiments expressed from
the varied crowd. My pick for what to be thankful for was transportation. I
clearly remember being thankful that a friend was home for the weekend and
allowed me to borrow his car to make the drive out. I was thankful for the car,
for being able to drive, for flying all the place I had the opportunity to go,
thankful for my bicycle back home and even walking as a mode of transportation.
Taking the time to think ‘outside the box’ of the generic relationship
sentiments encouraged me to be thankful for things I otherwise forget to be
thankful for.
We need to let the ‘outside the box’ thinking of what we are
thankful for infiltrate our minds to become part of our daily thinking. Could
you imagine if you took time in your exact state—right now—to be thankful for
what is around you? I am thankful for carpenters who build sturdy chairs, I am
thankful for farmers who dedicate their lives to growing and harvesting tea
that is able to be transported all the way to Canada for me to sip. I am
thankful for technological advances and that God has given people the talents
and passions to be developing the technology that allows me to sit on a
computer and type words people will be able to see over the Internet! I can
see, I can type, I can smell, taste, function to the best of my ability to do
things to glorify God in every moment of my life!
When it comes to the injustice surrounding us in the world
we can be thankful that God is just and that He has put the passion in people’s
hearts around the world to seek justice. A favourite quote goes as follows:

God calls us to relieve suffering and bring about justice– absolutely. But God
and His glory must be the driving force for this mission, not the plight of
 From Godspeed by Britt Merrick. 

With God and His glory behind
our passion for justice how can we forget to be thankful for a God who loves
love and justice and restoration? I am thankful that love, justice and
restoration occur and will continue to occur until all the captives are set
It is impossible to not be thankful. Literally, Impossible.

As someone with a new take on Thanksgiving, I hope you too
have found the ability to have the Thanksgiving spirit overflow into every
aspect of your every day life. Give thanks constantly and you will see how much
in your life you truly have to be thankful for.
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