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Thanksgiving When Your Man is in Prison

Can you believe we are at the end of November already?  Thanksgiving is just days away, and Christmas is coming quickly.  People are rushing to celebrate Christmas without giving Thanksgiving the attention and honor it deserves. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on all the great things in your life – to focus on Gratefulness. Gratefulness builds strength and resiliency, so now is the time to go all out when you are making your list of the blessings in your life.

Life is so full of craziness and opportunities to become angry and bitter. Those are the obvious things around us right now.  You need to slow down and look away from the chaos to see the good right now.  Find time to sit quietly and reflect on your life and the beauty in it.  You woke up this morning with a brand-new opportunity to connect to loved ones, to pursue your dreams, to make your world a better place.  Recognize the options you have been given and actively pursue your dreams, purpose, and destiny.

Those may seem like lofty ideals and not relevant to you as you struggle through this challenging chapter in your life. We need our dreams, purpose, and destiny most rwhen we face challenges.  If you are not fighting to build a better life and healthier family, it is easy to accept the status quo.  When you battle every day to hold your family together, there are many opportunities to see miracles and experience joy. The smallest moments of victory are the biggest triumphs!

Being apart from the ones you love deepens your appreciation of the value of time.

Time is the most precious gift you have—and you get to decide how you will spend it.  You can spend your time being angry and frustrated that you are not living the life you had hoped for, or you can spend your time working to create the life you dream about.  Thanksgiving gives you the perfect opportunity to practice Gratefulness.  Choose to be grateful for every precious moment with your loved ones.  Moments on the phone, on a video call, or in-person all create lasting memories. Make these memories bring a smile and warm feeling in your heart for years to come.

Gratefulness not only contributes to making this holiday unforgettable, but it also strengths your soul.

Hence, you are prepared to face the battles that lie ahead.  Find the joy in every moment, and you will have the strength to keep moving forward and build a new foundation that can support the weight of your biggest dreams.

America celebrated the very first Thanksgiving because the Pilgrims realized the incredible victory they had achieved in LIVING.  These early settlers made it through the hardships that killed so many of their friends and family members.  Though not out of danger, they now can build a new way of life.  However, they paused to celebrate life, blessings, and provision at that moment.  We all experience a measure of joy and a measure of pain in our lives. Don’t wait for the struggle to be over to celebrate the blessings you have. 

Here are some things you can do:

  1. If you have not already started a Gratefulness Journal, start it today.  Write down 40 things you are grateful for each and every day.  I promise this will change your life.  You will begin to see the incredible goodness in your life and around you.  This realization will provide the inspiration you need to keep going on the hard days and the reassurance you need on the better days. 
  2. Schedule a call or video chat with your loved one and share the things you and your children are grateful for today. This will bring your family together to create a culture of Gratefulness and Thankfulness.
  3. Take a lot of pictures.  Print the images and send them to your loved one to experience the day with you and feel a part of your celebration.
  4. CELEBRATE.  No matter what you are facing today or the loss you may be grieving, take time to celebrate life and your family.
  5. Make a craft to remember this day.  We make Christmas ornaments or Christmas themed crafts on Thanksgiving.  As we take them out each year, we recall the joys and the challenges we faced when we crafted each item.  It is a beautiful way to build memories for years to come.
  6. Give.  Find a way to give to someone who needs a gift.  Your gift may be your time, a phone call, a visit, a meal, a home repair.  Whatever you can offer, give it to someone who needs it.
  7. Build.  Intentionally build your family up by sharing the positive traits you see in them with them.  They will cherish your words of affirmation for the rest of their lives.

Have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving!

I am rooting for you!