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All this talk of Thanksgiving and being thankful, and there’s encouragement right under our noses.

The pilgrims, do you think of only the silly hats and clothes? What other things do you remember about them?

A huge banquet with their newly acquired Native American friends?

When you think about them, in your mind’s eye, do you see happy people?

I remember seeing pictures of them celebrating with happy faces around a table filled with food.

Have you ever dug into the backstory of the pilgrims? I mean read about their lives over in Europe, which started the whole process?

The Pilgrims

These people wanted to worship God in their own way, without being told how to worship.

Disgruntled folk would be an understatement.

They picked up and moved from England to Holland and set up to worship freely, or so they thought. Once again, they were rejected and denied so they set their hearts on America. The land of the free where they could worship freely without the rules and decrees of the governing party.

The trip to America wasn’t on some plush Carnival Cruise line.

Here’s a list of what they encountered on the trip to America:

  1. One of the ships they were to sail on was not sea-worthy so they tightly fit onto the Mayflower.
  2. Delayed due to the non-sea-worthy ship so they traveled during the height of the storm season on the Atlantic.
  3. Seasick and one passenger drowned.
  4. Two months at sea.
  5. Blown off course.
  6. Ended up in the wrong place.
  7. Lost half the people at sea and half the crew.
  8. Landed right before the winter season, no food, and no shelter.
  9. More than half died during the winter due to sickness, malnutrition and winter conditions.

Are you thinking like I am? Did you put your circumstances in a new perspective?

Here’s the thing, once winter was over, these people worked hard to establish a new community.

With help from the Native Americans, they learned how to farm and find what local resources were available to them.

The pilgrims forged ahead in spite of what they went through.

Could you imagine losing a loved one while trying to survive during the winter? When push comes to shove, you need to work like you mean it, instead of curling up in a self-pity ball.

When summer came to a close, they celebrated.  A full on festival with food, conversation and fellowship.

Celebrating when they nearly lost what they had?

So how did they do it? Celebrate in the midst of so much loss?

I found an example of another set of Pilgrims in the Bible, coming into Jerusalem, and these verses explain what they were feeling.

But honestly, these verses could come out of our mouths.

How do we find our way back to God after a difficult season? Or how do we try to find God in the midst of the hard?

(Psalm 121, NLT).

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1 I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

2 My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

3 He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.

5 The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

6 The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon at night.

7 The Lord keeps you from all harm

and watches over your life.

8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

both now and forever.

Have you been wondering how you will celebrate this year with the situation that is keeping you awake at night? The problem or loss that gnaws your heart apart?

God sees you and knows what you are going through. He has plans for you that are good. A future that is filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He is working out both the good and bad for His glory (Romans 8:28).

Why the Pilgrims Weren't Pushovers. Have you been wondering how you will celebrate this year with the situation that is keeping you awake at night? Will you be pushed over and declare defeat?

Can you trust his provisions and be assured of His protection? Will you believe He will use this to bless you?

When we believe this in our heart, even when we experience the worst of situations we can have thankful hearts like the Pilgrims!

Don’t let the situation push you over, rather embrace God’s grace and His provisions to help you move forward.

Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many. ~William Bradford (Mayflower Pilgrim)

Thanksgiving Place Card. Free printable. DIY. Entertaining.

 Here’s another Thanksgiving goodie. A printable place card for your guests.

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