HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I am so thankful for each and every one of you! Thank you for being loyal friends, and taking this journey that is Jules & James Boutique with me. Thank you for trusting me to pick out your clothes and style your outfits!
As I take time today to reflect on giving thanks, I am reminded of a verse in the Bible. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As I was growing up, this verse came easy to me. As a child in a safe home, with a family that loved me, and friends surrounding me, it was not hard to give thanks.
As an adult, there have been trials and tribulations. As a family, we’ve dealt with not only sickness, but various other hardships along the way, that have completely brought us to our knees.
According to this verse in Thessalonians, we are to give thanks even in these circumstances. Even when we don’t know what will happen next. Because God wants us to be reminded that He will get the final victory in our lives. Our soul may feel like it’s being blown about by the storms of life, being pulled in every direction, and ripped apart piece by piece. But this verse reminds us that our soul is secure in HIM. The storms of life cannot take us from our safe place in Him. Oh, God, let me be a woman that gives thanks in all circumstances, and trusts you completely!
As I reflect further on the month of November, while most of it is a blur (November is a crazy month in the world of retail!) I also am thinking about our Generosity Project we held about two weeks ago. Our entire staff, from our warehouse to our office, brought their husbands, parents, and children, to help us with a service project. We invited our community, our church families, and other friends and loved ones. We were not sure what to expect in how many would show up to help, but we had committed to package just shy of 30,000 meals.
We worked with an organization called Rise Against Hunger. You can read more about them on their website, and all they do to feed hungry people all around the world. We formed assembly lines, and every one had a specific job. There were some that scooped the dried food into the bag through a funnel, there were some that weighed the bag, there were others that sealed the bag, there were runners that would take the completed bag to our packagers, and our packagers would box the completed meals up and tape the box shut. The meals were now ready to be shipped to families around the globe that are hungry.
We ended up having 100+ volunteers and we met our goal of packaging almost 30,000 meals!
I loved the project we chose to do, because it involved all of us coming together as one staff to do something that we will never see the return in. We most likely will not meet the children we packaged the meals for. We will probably never hear a thank you from them. The amazing thing is, though, that none of us cared a thing about that! As we were all working together to package the meals, there was a sense that we were doing it for a much greater cause. Something beyond ourselves. And that brings a sense of joy deep down in our souls that simply cannot be explained.
As we talked in the weeks before the Generosity Project, we encouraged our Jules & James friends and family to do their own act of service on that day. I heard stories of people baking pies for their neighbors, picking up trash in their neighborhood, and buying a cup of coffee for a stranger at Starbucks.
This is what it’s all about! Generosity. A heart that gives, and is generous, is a heart that God can use! I don’t know about you, but I so desperately want to be used by God, that I pray I never lose what it means to be generous. Even if God sees fit to take material things away, or take health away, or bring another trial our way: I hope in Him that I will always be generous. A generous person is a thankful person.
As you spend time with family and loved ones this Thanksgiving, I pray you will be thankful and generous. If you do not have a family, my prayer is that God will use someone in your life to show you His love. God has given us much to be thankful for; let us today look for those blessings, big and small, and use them to be a blessing to someone else!