Practicing True Thanksgiving

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Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

On a snowy night we hosted house church, and I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. Even though I had done the meal part of Thanksgiving twice that year, I hadn’t yet done the thanks part.

We sat in the twinkly, candlelit dining room and ate stuffing, smashed potatoes, and old-school green bean casserole with crunchy onions on top. We talked about gratitude, and how there are things that are easy to be thankful for. Henry is an uncomplicated happiness, as is my family, my marriage, and the house church.

Then we told the stories that no one tells, of the darkest places, the most painful moments, and the ways God has held those moments up and turned them from ash to luminous things, treasures, shards of hope.

When we stood in a circle to close our night together, we practiced Thanksgiving. We thanked God for the uncomplicated happiness of babies and friendship and food, and for the complicated joys that come from loss, from failure, from reaching the bottom and pushing back up to the light.

How do you practice true Thanksgiving? What ways have you found to honor those complicated joys that come from the painful places in your life? 

Excerpted with permission from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are By Shauna Niequist, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Devotionals Daily! We are thankful for you! What are you grateful for today? Come share with us on our blog. We’d love to hear what you’re giving glory to God for today! ~ Devotionals Daily

Shauna Niequist

Shauna Niequist grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life - friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek. Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.

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