by Kristi Muston
I always associate November with Thanksgiving. Growing up, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday, and was one of the few holidays of the year that my brother and I got to spend with my dad, stepmom, and half-siblings. We always had an evening meal, but my dad would prepare so many “apps” to snack on while we cooked that most of us were already full by the time all the food was done. Somehow, though, we always made room for dessert! After dinner, we’d bundle up for a walk in the frigid late-November night air. Whether it was snowy, windy, or one of those rare “warm” years, we were always the only ones out walking off a “food coma” in the dark.
As we have all aged, our Thanksgiving traditions have changed; because of marriages, job commitments, and cross-country moves, it is rare that we all get together on Thanksgiving anymore. But the spirit of the day sticks with me. I will always be grateful for those childhood memories, and look forward to building new ones each year with my husband and daughter.
Thanksgiving, however, is more than just a holiday; it serves as a reminder to live a life of thanksgiving to God. Gratitude and thankfulness are attitudes of the heart. This month, Melissa Meyers reflects on how journaling fuels her thankfulness, and Annie Bowden shares how baking brings joy and gratitude to her life. Jill Pearson adds autumn touches to her home and Laura Kycek snuggles up with her boys and a good book.
November is also National Adoption Month, and a time to recognize those in our lives who have been directly touched by adoption. Ann Fitz shares a heartwarming story about her own search for her birth mother, and Ann Shephardson’s continued trust in God’s plan, despite her own adoption challenges, brings us hope. These stories, and the many other adoption stories at Calvary, model God’s love for us. God adopts each of us into His family, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Each year, thanksgiving takes on new meaning as my understanding of God’s love and grace deepens. Phillippians 4:4 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” So wherever you find yourself this November, whatever trial(s) you may be facing, what joys are you experiencing, let us find our joy and strength in the Lord.
Kristi Muston has lived in Rochester for almost a decade. She is married to Michael and mother to Sophia. After teaching English for nine years, Kristi is now a stay-at-home mom. In her spare moments, she loves reading, running, and eating dessert. At Calvary, she co-edits The Stir blog and is involved with the worship team and Renovaré.