This week here in America we pause our busy lives to get together and celebrate all the things we are thankful for. Sure, there will be family drama, there always is when family gathers, but the heart of the day is to remember and honor the ways in which we have been blessed throughout the year.
It is the one major holiday left that has yet to fall to the power of consumerism, though Black Friday is doing its best to change that.
In that spirit, whether or not you are an American, I encourage you to pause and reflect on the good things in your life. I know some of you face hardship and will find this hard, but search for that one piece of goodness and focus on it. Think on what you have to be thankful for. Often it is the small things.
I see one of my loyal readers fairly regularly as she attends the church where I am serving as a pastor. Unlike the vast majority of the people whom I meet in the flesh, she is not just saying she reads my books to be polite. When a new book comes out and I hand her a signed hardcover you can see the joy in her eyes. She tells me about how much she enjoys them and goes on about the love story in them. If you listen to her, you would think I was a romance author.
One thing I am thankful for is readers like her. Readers like her are why I publish books. Readers like her are why I write the kinds of stories I do. In a day and age when the darker, grittier stories are selling better, I will continue to write hopeful stories. I have nothing against dystopian writers, but that is not for me. I write stories in the hopes of bringing light to the world, and thankful that I can sometimes see the fruit of that labor in readers like her.
This year as you gather, take the time to pause and reflect. Do not let the pressures of the coming shopping days eat away at this time. Instead let peace and joy transform you and the day into something you can hold on to for the seasons to come.