About the Author

Jennifer is a newly returned expat learning to better live her faith, love her man, and raise her kids.

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  1. I was reading this and thinking of your family because of the Ireland reference–and then it turned out you had actually written this article! God is so good to provide us with his hands and feet that come along and support us. It may not be pretty, but it is always beautiful.

  2. Jennifer,
    Yes, for many of us, the holidays are not the typical Norman Rockwell painting. When families have been broken by divorce and all the other life happening that break people…they are anything but perfect. But, as you so beautifully pointed out, there are always blessings there if we look for them…if we invite the uninvitable to join us at our table, there can be bittersweet beauty. I believe when our circumstances are not picture perfect here on earth, it reminds us that this is not our home – that a banquet table with no sorrow, no pain, no tears awaits us at our Heavenly Father’s house in heaven.
    Blessings to you this Thanksgiving season,
    Bev

  3. I needed that reminder today. We don’t have to look far to find a way of giving thanks. Each day is a gift. I pray that all of us will celebrate the “thanksgiving” in every day.

  4. Bless you Jennifer,

    Today you have reminded me to remember what it’s like to be on both sides of Thanksgiving—

    I know this story well having lived away from the family of my youth for most of my adult life. Thank you for sharing such encouragement to “Reach out. Lean into the pain and joy of those around you. Gather with your rag-tag group of family, or friends-like-family, or people-who-need-a-family and celebrate.”

    For all those years away from family we were that rag-tag group and sometimes the suffering meant loneliness or feeling out of place. Once or twice somebody graciously called and asked, hey, would you and your family come for… dinner, fourth of July fireworks and yes, even Thanksgiving… Oh what joy!

    • Yes, it is always so sweet when those invitations come. We had one such invite from neighbors right after we moved in and it was such a breath of fresh air!

  5. Thank you! I LOVE this perspective & will keep this printed near my mediation space to pull out & remind myself.

  6. Yes families and holidays are never perfect like how we would plan them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find joy and give thanks for it all. I like that you are encouraging us to go ahead and gather together and not stay home alone.

  7. Jennifer,

    Great article! We need to be giving thanks in all things. This Thanksgiving many people will not have many, if any family to share a meal with. Most of my family lives out of state. I will be going to the assisted living & eating a meal with my 91 yr. old father. I will try to spread some cheer & happiness to the other residents. Then it will be off to my in-laws. Thank you for sharing your day with others. It means so much to them! This is what Jesus would have done!

    Blessings 🙂

  8. Sometimes those non-traditional holidays speak into our lives in ways the traditional years never even know to listen for. Lovely testimony, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing. ((hug))