Every year in our family, we trade off which grandparents’ house we go to for the holidays. We alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving venues so we can get time with each side of the family. This year, however, things are much different. With a junior at Texas A&M and a senior in high school, there is no “normal” this year for the holidays. And with multiple commitments—from fund-raisers to dog sitting—it’s just not going to be a normal Thanksgiving. For the first time in as long as I can remember, we’re staying home.
As I write this message each November, I think carefully about how to express exactly what I am most thankful for. This time around, all I can think of is chaos! We’ll do our best to relax and be calm after the 5K run we signed up for on Thanksgiving morning, and hopefully I’ll remember to cook the turkey I promised to prepare on my smoker. But before and after the calm part, I’m going to be thankful for the chaos.
I’ve come to realize that chaos is what happiness looks like in our family. Everyone having their own thoughts and schedules, four different sets of interests from four different people. When we take a moment to stop and look at each other, we smile knowing that through it all we are still a tight-knit family that is, despite all the different directions it gets pulled in, one unit. It’s what makes our family work. It may be different for yours, but it works for us.
So this year I am thankful for God’s blessings, His Son, my family, health, and yes chaos. And when I’m considering my immediate family, my mind also turns to the wider Access family. Some of our team members have lost people very close to them this year. We’ll continue praying that they find peace.
Though this week is probably hectic, if you can set aside a couple of minutes, I encourage you to read Psalms 107. It speaks about God’s ability and willingness to deliver us from trouble, and how when He does, we can’t help but give thanks. Psalms 107 verse 22 says, “And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”
We’ll be doing just that at the Elliott home, and my prayer is that you will find a spirit of Thanksgiving in the middle of your chaos as well.
May God bless you and your family this year!