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Thankful Through the Good and Bad

by Bev Berens

Published: Friday, November 19, 2021

Telling Your Story

It's the time of year to put the turkey in the oven and gather around the table with family and friends in thankfulness.

I'm working hard on my pre-Thanksgiving thankfulness quotient. There are so many good things, good people, family and friends, circumstances and events for which I am blessed and grateful. I am listing them as they pop into my thoughts. There are also some hard bumps in the road, losses and worries, and mountains to climb—tough parts in life's journey. This is where the really hard work starts.

Have you tried being thankful for life's trials? Well, it certainly isn't easy, nor does it even feel right. Why should I be thankful when pain strikes close to home, or even strikes oneself? It doesn't even make sense.

I've been working at being thankful for trials and trouble in life. Honestly, it doesn't make me feel any better, at least at the moments of having that talk with God. But in time, I am finding a bit of peace and even some direction from thanking Him for problems, pain and suffering. Faith growth comes from the watching and waiting, knowing God will unfold the plan, his plan, not ours. Patience and faith grow here.

Once the last of the turkey and dressing are scraped up and put into casserole and soup, hang on to those thankfulness lists—life's pleasures and life's trials lists—and remember that being thankful is a way of life. Not an easy way of life, or even a way of life that makes sense all the time, but a way of life just the same. And it's never too early or too late to start.

And wouldn't it just add to the Thanksgiving joy if all the crops are in by Thanksgiving? It's always the goal, right?

The house is not in the order I would like to have it since the move, but maybe it will be closer by the time Thanksgiving arrives. I am so very thankful that our daughter will be home for a few days, she is as anxious to be home as we are to have her here. We will all be together. Even if the turkey isn't perfect, the week will be because family will be together. I am beyond excited.

Wishing all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Bev Berens is a mom to 4-H and FFA members in Michigan. Do you have a story to share? Email her at

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