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Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

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Today, thousands of families around the country are sitting at their tables, with their families, giving thanks. There's also a good chance there is bickering about stuffing vs dressing, whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce, or who's going to win today's game. (Who is playing, by the way?)

This year, for the second year in a row, The Turtle Clan will be going Thanksgiving solo. In fact, as I write this, The Man Beast is teaching The Boy the secrets of his homemade Hawaiian rolls.

While I give thanks every day, today is set aside for a special time of thanksgiving. I've been trying to pray more this week. I tend to get sidetracked with my praying, so instead, I've been writing in a prayer journal. It keeps me focused and it's something I look forward to.

Is it right to write down prayers? I'm not sure. I do know that I feel closer to God when I write letters to him. Plus, family legacy is very important to me and I see this journal as being one of (hopefully!) many that I'm able to leave to the Kiddos.

As part of my prayer last night, I was prompted to list the five most important monetary things in my life. I could easily fill pages of my journal with monetary things that are important to me and I'm not ashamed of these things. Do I value these things above the non-material? No. But I do recognize their importance in my life.

My house, while not my own, is a safe place I'm able to go to each day. It's a place where I greet my family and dogs. Where I'm able to take off my shoes and lay on the couch and read a good book. It's the place where I go to be myself and unwind from the day.

My car is a treasured item because it allows me to do the day-to-day activities that are important to me: work, scouts, church (in no particular order). Could I get by with out a car? Yes; but I'm glad in this season of things, I don't have to.

My cell phone. It's a love/hate relationship. However, until recently, it allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends. Again, can I do without it? Now that I have a landline phone, yes, I absolutely could. (And really, 20 years ago, hardly anyone had a cell phone. How did we survive? I search weather, google how to spell a word, or search when movies were made. When I'm out and about, I'm texting home to tell the Man Beast where I'm heading. I feel safer while doing this and he feels better knowing where I am. Is something going to happen to me while I'm out? The chances are good that nothing will, but if something did, police could find me, thanks to my phone).

Food. Is this monetary or a necessity? We need food to survive, but I know from experience that the human body is a wonderful machine that takes anything you put into it and does its absolute best to make sure you keep on breathing. I've eaten some pretty crappy things in my life. And my body has continuously done its job of keeping me alive and relatively healthy. But now, I'm eating homemade goodies - breads, noodles, and soups.  I'm not bragging; I'm just very thankful for a husband who not only knows how to cook, but takes great pleasure in cooking for his family.

These are the big things I'm thankful for that money can buy. But I also know in my heart of hearts that while they are a blessing, they aren't 100% necessary. But I'm not going to dwell on what should happen if all of this went away. I could work myself up into a tizzy thinking about everything that can happen and what I would do should they happen.

This isn't ignorance or arrogance of, "Oh, that will never happen to me."

Instead, it's an acceptance of being thankful for what I have today, that could be gone tomorrow, and that I will be okay regardless of what happens.

It is a peace that comes with growing closer to God and seeing His blessings through a year of hardships.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5
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