November. The month of everything pumpkin, dipping temperatures, and a whole lot of THANKFULNESS. It is such a great time of year in so many ways! Even though we recognize we have things we are grateful for throughout the year, the month just brings about a larger emphasis on reflecting and expressing our gratitude. We think there is a whole lot of good that comes from slowing down and intentionally taking time to be thankful. Although this could be all about stopping and thinking about all the wonderful things in our lives, our hearts are feeling something slightly different. In the last couple of weeks, we have had countless conversations, texts, emails, and phone calls from people that are hurting, struggling, and walking through incredibly hard things. Granted we know that being a therapist (Kyndal) and a family ministries director (Emily), that this comes with the territory. As we are thinking about Thanksgiving we can’t also help but think about how hard it can be to experience the holidays when life is currently really tough.
It feels WAY more natural to be thankful when things are going well. Sometimes it can be a little painful, challenging, and even frustrating when the waves are crashing down. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Although we know it’s true, that hits hard sometimes when things aren’t looking quite how we hoped. It is especially in those moments where we have to remind ourselves, let others remind us, and fix our eyes on who God is; His character. He is love. He is powerful. Faithful. All knowing and sovereign. He is for you and has not abandoned you. This rings true 365, every year. We have said it with a smile and we have said it through tears and frustration. He is our hope.
Our kids experience painful life moments too. Being thankful in the tough moments of life is hard for them as well. As parents, when we lean into Jesus in the hard moments and see His goodness, our kids are able to see what it looks like to depend on Jesus. Our moments of thankfulness in trials encourage our kids to walk in this way as well.
We encourage you this week to find an opportunity to share with your children a time you saw Jesus in a season of trial and what you were thankful for in the midst of it. Allowing our kids these glimpses into our own struggle and redemption story builds trust.
May we all fix our eyes on Christ and trust that He is the bread of life, and we shall never be hungry or thirsty again (John 6:35). I know that God is so faithful and will express His love to you and through you. You are the perfect and chosen expression of the bread of life to your family!
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Kyndal Jacoby and Emily Soule
Author: Kyndal and Emily
Kyndal has been a member of GLF for the past 15 years. She served as a volunteer youth leader for 10 years and has been on staff in GLK for the past 5 years. Her and her husband Juan have been married for 10 years and have 3 delightful and active boys! Kyndal is also a licensed counselor and has the privilege of walking with others through life’s ups and downs in her full-time private practice. When she isn’t enjoying her family or her work, she loves to relax with friends, try new restaurants, and organize and decorate her home.
Emily has been serving at GLF for the past 9 years in the youth ministry, 5 of those years as the Youth Director and one as the Family Ministries Director. She has been married to her husband Scott for almost 10 years and they have three beautiful daughters.
She likes to read, and find a good deal at TJ Maxx!