While plenty of friends are happily sharing pictures of their Christmas trees, lights, and decor since November 1, my family is a little different. We make the conscious decision to celebrate each holiday and special event one at a time. In January we had New Year and my birthday, March is Easter, summer is a celebration in and of itself, July Independence Day, October is my husband’s birthday and Halloween, November is Thanksgiving, and December is Christmas.

Thanksgiving- What does is mean?

Thanksgiving has a very interesting, at times terrible, and now beautiful reason for existing.
It is said that “In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.” (

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day in the middle of the American Civil War because of Sarah Josepha Hale. She was a writer and believed a national day of thanksgiving would draw families and the nation closer together during such a difficult time. She gathered support from her magazine readers and lobbied President Lincoln for his support and it worked.

So Thanksgiving really is not a terrible story of the Colonists and the Native Americans, unless you want to see it that way. I choose to view Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks to God for His many blessings and spend time with my family.

Thanksgiving (thanksgiving. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved November 09, 2015, from website:

1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God.
This year I could write such a huge list of all the things I am thankful for but I will just list some of them here.
I am thankful for:
  1. My understanding professors and administrators at IUPUI for allowing me to complete my degree program online.
  2. God’s provision of a job for Brandon that allowed us to qualify for buying a home in Lakeland.
  3. Family and friends who helped us pack everything up and then unpack it all for our move.
  4. Beautiful weather and scenery that puts a smile on my face everyday.
  5. Friends who housed my husband and I along with our pup while we spent 2 months apart as part of our move.
  6. A supportive and loving church that is making changes in our town.
  7. God’s calling to such a beautiful, family friendly city that is in desperate need of God’s hope and love.
  8. Workplaces that allow us to continue to grow in our skills, provide us with the opportunity to grow, and allow us to spend plenty of family time together.
  9. A loving family that stays connected no matter how far apart we all may be.
  10. Florida sun that allows me to garden, run outside, sunbathe, paddleboard, go camping, play in the ocean, and much more.

This Thanksgiving, my husband and I will be camping with our dog. Like I said, it’s all about family time and this is how we are choosing to spend the weekend. REI is actually encouraging people to do the same… Wherever you may find yourself, just remember to reflect on all that has happened throughout the year and find gratitude in each circumstance and in your current situation.

Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Psalms 136:1 O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.