by Katie Julius

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

The words of this old worship chorus have echoed through my head the last few weeks as we have been preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving and the month of November remind us to be thankful, it is a discipline we should carry into the rest of the year. After all, we have things to be thankful for each and every day!

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Even in what can seem to be the worst situations in our lives, there is always something we can be thankful for—the gift of salvation God offers us through his Son.

Just days before Thanksgiving last year, my dad lost his almost-two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. It was a difficult holiday season for us, but we still had so much to be thankful for. If you’ve ever had to stand by and watch a loved one fight cancer or any other progressive disease, you know it’s difficult to watch them slowly wither away. While we are certainly grieving the loss of a very special man, we can rejoice and be thankful that he is now pain free, in heaven with Jesus.

I want my daughter to develop an attitude of thankfulness, no matter the circumstances of her life. This means I need to be modeling this discipline in my own life, even when it’s hard.

As we end the brief season of thankfulness celebrated in America this week, let this be an encouragement to you to continue your family’s season of thankfulness throughout the entire year.

From all of us at CHEA of California, we pray your family finds opportunities in which to be thankful – for big things, for small things, for easy things, and for hard things. May you enjoy this time with your families; a break in the busyness of life.