By Reverend Sherri L. Board, M.A.

It is hard for some of us to be thankful when we experienced trauma in our childhoods.  After all, being hurt by the very adults/caregivers who were supposed to protect and create for us a loving foundation from which we could spring into adulthood can leave one, well, ungrateful.

But, the Bible commands us to be thankful. “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 LASB).

Why this command? I mean, how can God expect us to be thankful when we were treated so poorly? He directs us to be thankful in all circumstances because he is our finest counselor. To be sure, all good counselors know that replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is beneficial to one’s mental health.

I would like to suggest that during this Thanksgiving holiday season that we have on our tables a Thankful Turkey craft. The turkey is made out of such things as a Styrofoam ball, brown yarn, toothpicks and colored paper. The premise behind the Thankful Turkey is that everyone present writes what they are thankful for on a paper feather and then all the feathers are applied to the back of the turkey. Kids, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, can all participate. Concentrating on this simple and playful way to express our thankfulness distracts us from the complexities of this life, and makes God smile.

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving Day.