Thanksgiving and Sacrifice

It’s the Wednesday pre-Thanksgiving and I am listening to Christmas music, baking bread, and feeding spiced apple cider to my big and the neighbor girls whom I adore. It’s easy, isn’t it, with the actual smell of Thanksgiving in the air, to clutch my mug and look at the good life we’ve been given, offering my heartfelt thanks to a God who has blessed us so.

It is infinitely more difficult to return to the extraordinary mundane and continue in a posture of sincere gratitude over the far less picture-perfect moments that populate our days.


“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” ~ Romans 12:1

Paul is teaching to both the Jews and the Gentiles. One church, together, as the people of God for whom the blood sacrifice has been made. The sacrifice that remains is that of thankful response. {Paraphrased from the New Geneva Study Bible}.

Our days are chaotic and messy. We are knee deep in bold and sassy toddlers, emotional first graders, and dramatic tween angst. We are in the thick of parenting, of making hard, right decisions for our family, and with a (possible) move on the near horizon. And right down here in the trenches, I am constantly reminded to give thanks. Give thanks, you say? Most days I can barely hold back the tears. But-and pay attention here, this is big-we are set free by the mercies of a just God. And every thought, word, and deed we have in this lifetime is a response, sacrificial or selfish, to the grace we’ve been given.

And oh friends … I can’t lie. It is a sacrifice. My heart on the hard days is not usually one of thanksgiving. It is a deliberate, intentional sacrifice to bend over, look a screaming child in the eye, parent him (or her) with some semblance of grace, and offer a quiet thanks for the healthy set of lungs assaulting my ear drums. Because what I really want to do is stuff some gauze in my ears, give them whatever they want, then curl up in the fetal position and take a nap.

Let me weave for you the thread that prevents my unraveling.


We serve a loving God. In His wisdom and sovereignty, He knows my hard heart on the hard days. And so, His mercy is evident even in this. My desire for His righteousness, my gratitude for His grace, flows from Him to me. I am delivered, and I am grateful. There is mercy for you in the dark days. And even in the moments that seem to break us, gratitude flows with grace, a living sacrifice to the Father who freed you.

As we move into the Advent season, I pray you rejoice with thanksgiving over the gift we’ve been so freely given. Also, I pray you have comfortable pants to wear tomorrow, and that you are known and loved around your thanksgiving table.

With love,


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