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Thankful Beyond Tradition

Thankful Beyond Tradition

Thankful Beyond Tradition

This time of year, the season of thankfulness is resurrected, dusted off and hashtagged. We traditionally share our list of thanks at a table full of food, elbow-to-elbow with family.

It’s a fine tradition, and my single favorite time of year.


My thankfulness sometimes seems hollow.

It rarely searches every corner of my existence. Never challenges me beyond “thankful for family and health.” Always focuses on what is right and good in my eyes.

My seasonal thankfulness is temporary and fleeting. As cyclical as the cornucopia décor.

Deep down, I yearn for something more. Something sticky, with depth. Something that will draw out what I have hidden away.

I long for gratitude.

An ongoing expression of worship where the soul-motion is stronger, the heart stir more forceful.  Untouched by my circumstances.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

– 1 Thes. 5:18

Gratitude involves the whole of me, the whole of the year. It is what salves and fills.

Gratitude comes when my thankfulness espouses my pain.

To receive the thing that heals, I must first admit to the thing that hurts.

It is in gratefulness I learn how to give thanks for my mistakes.

Not that I made them, but that they were a conduit for God’s refining grace.

They are proof of my humanity; my desperate need for a God who practices forgiveness. They fuel an adoration of the One who makes clean. They teach me far better than any blessing.

For my failures.

Because they confirm God is bigger than all my plans, faithful in the uneven journey. My rock that never changes. My forever safe place.

For my hurt.

Because it teaches me this earth is not where I belong. As a baby delights in her mother’s tender face, I someday soon will savor His — the one that has been turned to me since my mother’s womb.

For my hardship.

Because I know none other will sustain but Him.

For my fears.

Because God shows up. Every time. Because He is in control. All the time.

For this life.

Because in its unfiltered state, it drives me to seek the hurting and give of my plenty.

Such gratitude is a devoted praise for a benevolent God. Raw, pure, all.

In this season, and every other, I will be grateful because He is great.

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Author Sara Brunsvold blogs beautifully about family life and faith at Find the Lovely. She has a knack for calling out life’s meaningful moments, and a talent for sharing them with a community of readers thirsty for a little more lovely in their own lives.  

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