Probably one of the first things we think of at Thanksgiving is to give thanks for our families. Usually, I purposely try to lead people to go beyond family, health, our homes, our church, friends, and all the usual–to move to deeper forms of thanksgiving.
But today, I am thinking of family. In a day when families are being bombarded with divorce, out-of-control teenagers, death of older members, suicidal deaths, abortions, conflict, loneliness, not to mention feelings of isolation because of too much media (computers, iPhones, and the like) or the feeling of too much family in this Covid year, it is possible many are not too thankful for family.
I hope that is not so for you. If you have survived these dilemmas, or have dodged them, then you have much for which to be thankful.
My husband and I are blest to have had parents who went past the 50-year mark in their marriages, giving us a goal for our 50-year mark (and now beyond.) We hope that this in turn has set the pattern for our son and daughter in their marriages. All of us have our challenges as in any relationship, but how valuable it is to have healthy legacies to pass on.
Now I look at our seven grandchildren in this era of family turmoil. As I give thanks for each one, I also pray for God’s protection and guidance as they make their daily choices and form patterns of faith. Their ages are 13, 14, 17, 18, 19 and the two girls are 20. What critical years.
Here they are after my mother’s graveside service. Sorry it’s not a good closeup because they’re all so cute! (Said like a grandmother.)
This year we are beginning a new tradition. We commit to pray every day for the grandchild who is having a birthday in that month. We ask them to tell us three things they would like for us to pray about in their lives. We have done this with five of the seven so far and have two to go. It has been a delight to do this, really focusing in on one of them at a time for a whole month.
We will likely give their parents a turn as well. We hope this opens the door for them all to mention any prayer concerns throughout the year.
So at this Thanksgiving time, I am truly grateful for this wonderful family God has given me. We’ve had our share of struggles, but God has seen us through and taught us many lessons in the process.
May you find things about your family that bring you to thanksgiving this year.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever. Psalm 30:12
~ Joyce ~