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Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy


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Monday, November 20, 2017

Why I am Thankful This Thanksgiving Looks Different Than Last Year’s

Do you remember this time last year? People were walking around acting like the world was going to implode at any moment (myself included) because of the incredibly divisive 2016 election. There were sketches and parodies galore about how to handle Thanksgiving with your family members on the other side of the politics. There were articles offering advice on what to say and what not to say around the Thanksgiving table.

It was a weird time, y’all.

And, I am not saying there was not a reason to feel all twisted up inside. That election brought out some of the worst in most of us (again, myself included). And, Thanksgiving was the first holiday after the big event. Of all the holidays, what a holiday to fall after a time of boasting and mourning (depending on what side you were on).

Thanksgiving is a time to gather together and give thanks. It is a time when we hold hands and say prayers. A time when we express gratitude for what the good Lord has given us. But, with the tumult in the world around us, it kind of felt icky. The pie was good though.

So, as I was reflecting on the upcoming holiday, it hit me. This year feels so much different than last years. The world did not implode. People are still loving and kind (for the most part). And, God is still good.

The heaviness has somewhat dissipated. Yes, we are still totally divided. And, yes, the world still feels like it has gone crazy. And, yes, there are still days when I am a little scared about the world I am raising my kids in.

But, as we come full circle, I am thankful. Thankful for a loving family who accepts me flaws and all and welcomes me to the table. Thankful for great friends who make me laugh from my gut and give me hugs when I cry at the dinner club table. Thankful for a husband who helps me rein in my crazy by holding my hand across the table. Thankful for my kids who give me the reasons to be crazy and who pray blessings around the table each night.

And, thankful for the lessons this year has taught me about the world around us, the people who need us, and what really matters.

Year after year, I come back to those silly old Israelites fleeing Egypt and trekking to the Promised Land. They grumble and complain and wish to go back to slavery rather than eat that yucky old manna from Heaven. And, boy, does that humble me and convict me. It’s easy to think they are being foolish and outlandish. But, I have been in their shoes many times. Last November, I was certainly in a place where I struggled to see the manna right in front of my face.


But, this year’s Thanksgiving is going to be better. I can feel it. Can’t you? 


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