Thanksgiving is knocking at the back door, and pretty soon, so will all those family and friends, dear loved ones, and long-distance relatives. The children will be running all around the house, eager with anticipation, adding to the laughter and interrupting the murmurs of the adults catching up on conversations. The smells pouring out of the kitchen will cause rumbling tummies as everyone waits to dig in, only to go into a food coma later on. Hmmm…bliss!
Oh, my friend, are you ready? It's about that time!
Whether you travel or host, bring a dish, or make the whole meal, Thanksgiving is rolling out the welcome mat once again and sweetly calling us to be full of grace and gratitude. It's whispering for us to count our blessings while taking stock of those in need. It's prompting us to take a look at the loved ones that surround us, the people God has so graciously given us as family, and inviting us to pause and give thanks.
But, in all honesty, as wonderful as it is to see everyone, including those long-distance relatives, this precious time of year can induce quite a bit of stress as well. Right? Yep! There is a lot of prep and planning that goes into making Thanksgiving memorable. And it can quickly lead us to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
As Thanksgiving draws in, maybe you have some family interactions that you're really looking forward to, but there are also those where you must tread lightly. Perhaps the thought of Thanksgiving brings on excitement, as well as dreadful doubts, slowly stealing away your peace. Lots of emotional strings can be attached to this holiday. I get it. From the empty chair at the table to the obnoxious comments from "that one relative." It all adds up, and before you know it, you're harboring a low grumble in your not-so-grateful heart.
So, when that happens, take a moment to step away, catch your breath - and pray! Below are a few pocket prayers you can lift up to the Father when you feel that all-too-familiar heat wave of stress or flush of ill feelings wash over you.
Above all else, you must remember that we cannot allow the enemy to take a foothold in our homes this Thanksgiving (because he will try). But rather, let's allow God to be a vital and active part this year and be intentional about seeking Him. Better yet, let's start right now and prep our hearts as we go into this season.