Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 T H E S S A L O N I A N S 5:18
Before I matured in Christ through First Place 4 Health, I viewed all holidays from the fridge and pantry doors. All my plans revolved around the bountiful spread of the family’s favorites on the table—the richest of foods containing thousands of calories with practically no nutritional value. (You know the ones—those we think we cannot possibly live or celebrate without!)
Today, most of those foods are hardly missed at my table, or they have been converted into healthier recipes for family and guests. Through the years with First Place 4 Health, my family has also developed new tastes that have led to new traditional favorites. I find it exciting to shop in the vegetable section and to select from the variety of fresh and colorful fall fruits and vegetables. I scan current magazines and cookbooks to find new and interesting recipes to turn into healthy dishes, and look forward to sharing recipes with other First Place 4 Health members. When our extended family gets together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I bring the traditional layered salad, squash casserole and a to-die-for chocolate dessert—all because years ago I volunteered to bring these “legal” dishes so that I wouldn’t starve to death while others were overindulging. Today they are requested, expected and gone at the end of the meal!
One of my nieces began the tradition of the Thankful Box, which she and her daughter made together. During our time together, each of us writes on a card what we are thankful for this year. Then after the meal, both past and current cards are displayed on a table for all to read, seeing God’s goodness and continued blessings in our extended family over the years. What a treat (right up there with the to-die-for chocolate dessert!). With our focus on God and our responsibility to live balanced and healthy lives, even during the holidays, we can see His provision for us and experience the holiday season with a thankful heart. We can always take time to overindulge in thankfulness, which has no calories or added weight—but what blessings it brings!
Lord, may I always be grateful for Your abundance of blessings in my life. Thank You for the fall bounty of fresh produce and healthy holiday fare.
Journal: Create a “Thankful ABC” entry today. List something you’re thankful for that begins with each letter of the alphabet (Example: Almighty God in my life; Beautiful sunset . . .).