When We Won’t Need Thanksgiving Anymore

I think it’s interesting that we have a season and, specifically, a day: Thanksgiving, set aside to turn our minds toward being grateful. I guess sometimes thankfulness doesn’t come easy.

Like the day my car conked out right on the other side of the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, infuriating hungry people who couldn’t get their food into their mouths fast enough, because they couldn’t get past my car. Honking horns and dirty looks!

I guess they were HANGRY!

But the Bible commands us to be thankful in all things and in all circumstances even the hard ones.

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I think we can all agree with the Bible when it tells us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:9)

His narrative is:

We have to be last to be first.

We have to die to self in order to live.

God’s thoughts and ways are counter-intuitive to our human logic because He is sinless and selfless. And because of God’s selfless act of sending His Son to die on a cross to save us from our sinful acts, we can choose to have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

When we do, the perspective on our circumstances change.

Every year, I write out a list of what this kind of thankfulness looks like to me. This year, as I am continuing to learn how to  surrender to God’s will,  I’ve added a few more perspective changes to my list:

This year…

I’m thankful for the tooth I cracked because, with God’s help, I overcame my fear of going to the dentist and having it crowned.

I’m thankful for my car breaking down in the middle of the Chick-fil-A drive through, because it taught me that impatience breeds impatience, but kindness opens the door for mercy.

I’m thankful for dirty dishes and stinky laundry, because it reminds me I have food to eat and clothes wear.

I’m thankful when I can’t sleep, because it gives me a quiet space to pray.

I’m thankful for deadlines, because they teach me the discipline of time management.

I am thankful for regrets, because they remind me to seize God-given opportunities.

I am thankful for the problems that I can’t solve, because they bring me to my knees before my Heavenly Father.

I am thankful for humiliation, because it strips me of pridefulness.

I am thankful for the ability to laugh at myself, and laugh hard, because it keeps me from being too serious.

I am thankful for struggles, because they help me reach forward toward my full potential.

I am thankful for my weaknesses, because, in them, God shows me His strength.

I am thankful for hurt feelings, because, through them, I am better able to comfort others who have been in similar situations.

I am thankful for conviction, because it brings me to repentance.

I am thankful for my failures, because that’s how I learn to succeed.

I am thankful in grief, because God is close to a broken heart.

I am thankful for the scars of past sins, because they remind me not to go there again.

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On this side of heaven, we will never fully view this life from the angle God does. But as we pray and study His Word, learning to trust Him–truly trust Him–we can begin to see how His ways actually make sense, and then thankfulness in everything will come as naturally as taking a breath.

And when this happens, we won’t need a “special” day to turn our minds to giving thanks anymore, because everyday will be Thanksgiving. With that being said, however, we will still need a special day to have an excuse to over eat!  Amen?

Hope you have a happy, joy-filled Thanksgiving.


Christy Mobley{This article was written by Christy Mobley. Christy is a girly girl at heart. She has a passion for fashion and decorating which is to say, she loves to shop and move things around her house. She chases tennis balls for recreation and enjoys scavenging the beach for shark teeth. She and husband David of 32 years, are life group leaders and have been at Chets from it’s earliest beginnings. They have two adult sons and two daughter-in-laws. Christy loves sharing God’s Word through writing, speaking and teaching. Check out her personal blog at www.christymobley.com.}

Pull the Plug and Get Real!

Women, especially in our current culture, crave connection. We find a myriad of ways to keep in touch with our families, friends, other moms, co-workers, women we met at Target or at Bible study. And society doesn’t hinder our efforts either, with the push to keep up with everyone you’ve ever even heard of through Facebook. Or, if you’re a little younger, Instagram. Or, even a little younger, SnapChat. Just yesterday, Ciara Parker excitedly gave me the beginnings of what, I’m sure, will shape up to be a very informative SnapChat tutorial. Or these cell phones now, the size of a small iPad. The iPhone 6+ won’t even fit in the Chick-Fil-A phone coop! (FYI—we crammed ours in because, let’s face it, we all wanted free ice cream!) Everyone and everything is at our disposal; or we could consider that WE are at everyone’s disposal. And many times, we make SURE we are at everyone’s disposal…because how will they manage without us?

In addition to the constant connection to people and the world around us, we are imprisoned in our own personal struggles, like anxiety, depression, family issues, broken relationships, fear, the comparison trap. I mean, I constantly compare myself to Sally who is over here making apple-shaped and scented homemade soaps for all her kids’ teachers on the first day of school. And I’m just over hoping I can use the bathroom by myself for five minutes. Seriously. I struggle with anxiety, and have since I was a child. Some days my unfounded anxiety controls my entire day, and I find myself engaged in a battle that, seemingly, has no light at the end of the tunnel. And who wants to share with everyone all the baggage they deal with constantly? Because if Sally who makes apple-scented soaps knows my issues, then she will NEVER invite me to come over and make soap with her and her perfect Pinterest friends, and I’ll be a loser mom. And wife. And woman.

So, what do I do? I was taught from an early age to “fake it til ya make it.” And I have mastered the art of faking it…to my detriment. Why do we, as early as we understand how to, hide our weaknesses and struggles and pretend to be someone we’re not? While I know that transparency requires some discretion, especially on social media and in large groups, we often put up a façade even to those who love us and know us best.

Listen, friends, we as sisters in Christ should be unified, “encouraging one another, all the more faithfully as [we] see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). We’re all broken. Don’t be fooled by a Facebook profile picture or apple soap. We all have struggles and hard days and crazy kids and difficult relationships and—stop traffic—weaknesses. And sometimes we just need to intentionally walk away, lay it down, shut the door, UNPLUG the power that satan deceives us with. That is what UNPLUGGED is all about—coming together as sisters who love the Lord and acknowledging that we don’t have it all together…but our God does. And when we plug into His goodness and power and rest and peace and mercy, his love mends our brokenness and makes us whole. Remember that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So—truly—come as you are, and join us for Chets Women: UNPLUGGED ~ A Night of Songs and Stories.

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This event is free and open to all women. Let us know you’re coming and easily invite your coworkers, neighbors, friends and family by sharing the Facebook event. Childcare is provided for kids, babies to 5th grade, by online reservation.


April

{This post was written by April Tapp. April is an Arkansas girl who is enjoying her newly transplanted life in sunny Florida. She is married to Jeff, the Minister to Students at Chets Creek Church. With a heart for girls ministry, April serves alongside Jeff in student ministry, as well as serving in the women’s ministry role of leading the team for large group gatherings. Jeff and April have two boys that keep April on her toes, especially when their fun involves surfing (read: sharks), skateboards, and high speeds. She loves her Keurig, writing, teaching, and you’ll always see her in a great pair of earrings.}