As a little girl I was taught that Thanksgiving originated because of the Pilgrims and the Indians. The Pilgrims wanted to show the Indians they were grateful towards them and were also thankful to God, the God of the Bible. The Pilgrims demonstrated their thankfulness with a big feast from their harvest and shared it with the Indians. As a child, there was no political correctness labeling Indians as Native Americans. As a child, I didn’t see labels and I didn’t see that they came from different backgrounds. This is not a debate on tolerance or if this is right or wrong!
The point of sharing this is to remind us that children don’t always see things the way that adults do.
These last few months have been somewhat difficult in teaching my son a few lessons in boundaries and how far is too far. Yesterday, I came home from working at my parent’s house all day, where I did a lot of repairs, cleaning and whatever miscellaneous work needed to be done. (Remember my mom had her leg amputated? You can read it in my “Meet the Author”.) I’m trying to earn some fast money for Christmas gifts for the kids; and I was exhausted, hungry and had physically worn myself out for over ten hours. I was Done…with a capital “D”!
I arrived home happy to see my kids, until a bomb shell was soon dropped on me. The principal of the kid’s school had called my husband regarding an incident with my son in class that day. To be transparent, my blood boiled and I became impressively angry, and I couldn’t believe how mad I got. I don’t understand how many times I have shown my son, taught my son, and educated my son in good manners yet “Whooosh”….it all went right over his head again. Are you kidding me??? SMH
I wish I could tell you I made all the right decisions after that. Mentoring my son, teaching, disciplining and loving on him. What I really did is what most of us do when we get that worked up; I yelled and I threw a big adult fit. I’m not proud, in fact I’m ashamed, and I am willing to admit it because there is a lesson here.
The next morning, I woke up still irritated from the previous night. We got the kids ready for school and I just kept trying to reason with my son why the choices he made hurt others. I kept asking him what was he going to do to make it right? At some point I realized I needed to back off!
As my husband and I got the kids loaded into the car for him to take them to school, I looked down through the window where my son was sitting and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Instant compassion overwhelmed me. How many times have I disappointed God? How many times have I made God disappointed with me for things I do? Does God smack His head thinking “when is she going to get it”?
It was then– in that very moment that I realized my son doesn’t see and process things as I do. Remember the story of how I learned about the Pilgrims and the Indians? This is a great example of how kids do not see things the way adults do. How foolish of me to think he has it all together. My expectations that my son is in a ten year old body; thinking like a 40 year old man??? How unfair am I to expect this from him and treat him that way. Yes, there are expectations for our children but we have to remind ourselves that they are still kids. They don’t have life experiences yet like most of us do.
I think often we are all guilty of “not getting it” at any age. Our stories are all different and our sins are all different, but we all have one thing in common. We all need love and forgiveness.
My son needs to see his worth comes from God before I can even begin to help him understand what he did was wrong. This same situation is applied to all of us. We all need to see our worth is established in a God who loves all of us. Even if you don’t believe in God, He still created you and loves you. Your opinion of God doesn’t make you any less real to Him!
When my son comes home today, I am going to give him the biggest hug and tell him how much I love him and forgive him. He can rest in that forgiveness. I know that if I mess up I want God to love me that way and not judge me on a careless mistake. I can grow from this experience.
I am thankful for this forgiveness. Take this opportunity to forgive your friends, neighbors, family or co-workers. We all know how it feels when we are rejected knowing we didn’t mean to hurt or offend someone. Even if you did something on purpose, looking back we know we need to make it right. So give forgiveness. Rest in that. Then be thankful we have that opportunity.
On a huge side note, personally I serve the God of the Bible, and that is where my foundation is set.
I want to challenge all of you where your foundation is and the basis of where your thankfulness comes from.
Is it just in your own “feel good” opinions?
Is it stemmed in truth?
Where does your truth come from?
The truth I see is not my own truth. I look to God, the creator of the Heavens and the Earth. It’s His truth, not my own. God’s got my back, even with my huge mistakes. I need to be a living example to my son and my daughter.
This is how I want to be “Honestly Thankful this Thanksgiving”. I’ll start by trying to let go of my anger and anxiety, but how do I do that? Through prayer. Even though I don’t understand it all, the Bible shows us in two verses that it is possible. It will guard my heart and my mind.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
On a side note, you really can’t “DIY Thanksgiving”. God did that for you by sending his Son, Jesus. All we can do is accept what Jesus did on the cross for all of us and be thankful.
If you would really like a great section of the Bible to hit you right between the eyes, chomp on this. Ephesians 4:25-32
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Happy Thanksgiving! I dedicate this to the people we know and the children that have crossed my path or my children’s path. Forgive us, we love you. You know who you are. I am so blessed to know we can rest in that grace and be honest and thankful for you this Thanksgiving!
- On a side note I own all the books that are shown above with Amazon. I highly recommend all of them and the Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids is a fantastic stocking stuffer for your child.