Thanksgiving Fights Fear

It's been a little busy around here.  I've got a business to run.  I'm trying to figure out the finances.  I'm shoveling snow (or at least giving my neighbor the pleading "you're going to help a girl out" look).  I'm working a retail job during the holidays. 

Maybe that's why Thanksgiving has crept up on me.  Maybe that's why I've forgotten to be thankful leading up to Thanksgiving. 

I have so many great many memories of Thanksgiving past.  Me and mom watching the Macy's day parade.  Such a favorite that I make Moose watch it with me every year (he's partial to the Snoopy float).  Or when I taste my friend Tammy's stuffing I am transported to Thanksgiving from my younger years (her stuffing tastes exactly like mom used to make).  And to settle this debate once and for all - stuffing should be cooked in the bird!  Yum! 

But this Thanksgiving I've had a lot on my mind.  And even though I chose the life of an entrepreneur the stress is well, stressful.  Added to that, I made a couple of cashiering mistakes at the retail job.  I'm a little worried about the repercussions.  All that wrapped into anxiety and what's going to happen next have pushed gratitude and thanksgiving out the window.  

Yet the time is upon us.  The ingredients for the Green Bean Casserole have been purchased.  We're getting ready to feast despite all this fear and anxiety.  

And I'm wondering what's happening in your world that might keep you from Thanksgiving?  Stress over one of your children?  Worry about your job?  Fretting about finances?  Anxiety over the health of a loved one?  Or even frustration over recent events that you are struggling to wrap your mind around? 

Whatever your stressor, the antidote is Thanksgiving.  While I can obsess about my little world, my mistakes at work and the repercussions, or the fact that I have much to learn about building a business - there is a huge world out there.  And in the middle of that world is reason to give thanks.  

I'm studying Lisa Harper's Malachi Bible study.  God begins the book of Malachi with these words: "I have loved you."  Reason # 1 to be thankful. 

After that, It's a home.  A home I am thankful to be in four months after I resigned from job.  Somehow God is providing the finances when I need them.  Next to that home is a great neighbor who takes care of me by plowing my driveway and helping me trim my trees.  

There is a wonderful family who are far away at Thanksgiving but continues to love and support me from where they live.  I can't tell you the blessing of knowing my family is behind me in my new adventure.  I feel supported and loved which kind of takes away all that fear. 

My friends have been a huge reason I call Minnesota home and call Chicago well, Chicago now.  They have been a foundation for me through all the change and challenges of the last year.  

And while I could go on and on about all that I have to be thankful for, my things to be thankful for don't take away your fear.  Quite frankly, they've taken away mine.  I've learned that being thankful helps me focus on the good instead of the bad.  I've learned that being thankful looks fear in the face and declares you can't have me!  

It's in being thankful that we discover just how good God has been to us.  It's in thanksgiving that we realize God loves us despite our hard times.  In fact, it's in the hard times that we realize just how good and loving God is.  

I know from experience that it's easy to get lost in our problems.  To get lost in the troubles that weigh on our hearts and our minds.  To get caught up in life's events and frustrations.  And when Thanksgiving sneaks up on us, we wonder how to shift our hearts into gear. 

Start with one thing you can be thankful for. Even if you don't feel like it.  Even when your heart is far from giving thanks, do it anyway.  Your heart will follow when you realize that life is bigger than that problem.  Life is bigger than that mistake.  No scratch that.  God is bigger than that problem or mistake.  And if for nothing else, we can give thanks for that!