Giving Thanks when Things Aren’t Perfect


by Meredith Mills


What does the perfect Thanksgiving look like to you?

christmas-583369_1280I think of Norman Rockwell’s painting Freedom From Want – all the family gathered around a beautifully decorated table laden with once-a-year favorites. Sweet smells, pleasant company, happy hearts.

But real life isn’t always that perfect, is it?

Just last week, we had a “Thanksgiving Feast” with our homeschool co-op. I should have known it wouldn’t be a perfect Thanksgiving when my car refused to start that morning. My hubby, mom and dad were all out of town.

Thankfully, a family friend was working from home that day and came over to jump my car. It ran long enough for us to arrive at co-op, dying once again as I turned it off the in the parking lot.

Thankfully, I had all day to figure out what to do next.

As I took our feast contributions to the kitchen, I realized I’d forgotten the two-liter soda I was supposed to bring.

Thankfully, a friend would be joining us later in the day. I sent her a quick text and she agreed to pick up the drink for me.

Festivities were scheduled to begin around noon, so I hurried to our abbreviated classes. A few hours later, I looked up to see my daughter’s face in the door. She mouthed the words, “We have a problem!”

Her costume had ripped, and she needed me to fix it. I had neither a sewing kit (who knew a mother should carry one in her purse?!) nor the skills to mend it well.sewing-kit-1468262_1280

Thankfully, another sweet friend offered to run home and get hers for me. And thankfully, my visiting friend had just arrived and is quite skilled in sewing. She fixed the problem in no time.

We enjoyed a delicious meal and an adorable program with more little pilgrims and Indians than I’ve ever before seen in one place. Before the program started, my friend texted her husband and asked him to come look at my car saying, “He’s pretty handy with cars.”

Thankfully, he knew just what to do. While we watched to our little ones perform, he jumped it, drove it to buy a new battery, installed the battery and brought the car back.

Later I found yet another friend washing my dishes in the kitchen when I forgot to pick them up after the program. Thankfully, she overlooked my forgetfulness.

As I returned home in my recently-repaired vehicle, I thought about the precious gift of friendship. It was a rather imperfect day – car troubles, costume troubles, memory troubles (not to mention the flu bug that hit that night!)

But my God supplied my every need…using my friends. His people were His hands and feet to me that day – sharing Jesus’ love in very practical ways.myGodwillsupply

Perfection isn’t often experienced outside of fairy tales (or Norman Rockwell paintings). And sometimes things are much worse than a day ridden with frustrations and forgetfulness.

But, as my daughter reminded me after my husband’s car wreck several years ago, “There’s always something to good” for which to be thankful. Because our God delights in lavishing love on His children – and in bringing good out of imperfect circumstances.

So this year as we celebrate Thanksgiving, may God help us see His abundantgood gifts. May we savor His kindness and enjoy the people with which He’s surrounded us.

For what are you most thankful today? Please comment below!

Related Posts:

Thanksgiving in the Midst of Failure

Thanksgiving Thoughts


  1. Teresa West

    I love this! I’m so thankful for my family and friends.

  2. Carole Sparks

    What a great reminder of “in everything, give thanks.” You had a great perspective on a day full of difficulties, and I’m blessed that you shared it.


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