by Emily Conrad
I normally resist breaking out my Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving, but as I type you this note ahead of time so it can post on Thanksgiving, I’ve been sipping coffee from a Christmas mug and a wreath with the word “joy” glitters on the wall to my left.
This year has been different from others. Since I always work from home and don’t have kids, the virus has impacted my daily life far less than it has others’. Still, I’ve met with some challenges that led me to break my rule and jump on the bandwagon of adding some Christmas cheer unseasonably early.
But, regardless of decorations or traditions or challenges, Thanksgiving remains vital. In fact, I would argue that this year, we need Thanksgiving even more, because in a troubled year full of transitions both good and hard, what we need more than sparkly decor or great sales or festive gatherings is Jesus.
A wreath or a mug cannot truly satisfy a soul. Family and friends might seem to, for a time, but we can sit in a crowded, cheerful room, and still feel utterly alone.
It’s in relationship with our Creator that we find the fulfillment we seek in vain when we turn to anything less.
Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7, NET
We often think of peace as accompanying the message of Christmas—and for good reason. But let us not forget that the habit of thanksgiving, whether around a roast turkey in November or in a quiet moment alone any other time of year, is an important step toward peace.
So, though I have my requests, too, I’m also thankful for much.
I am thankful for the opportunity to connect and learn with other novelists through my job with hope*writers.
I am thankful I get to share stories with readers through my short story email subscription. It’s been so much fun! We’re between stories right now, so it’s the perfect time to sign up if you haven’t yet. A cheery December romance starts 12/1. My prayer is that these stories would be a bright spot for everyone who’s subscribed. (And yes, it’s free!)
Though my latest manuscript is giving me trouble, I am grateful to have the opportunity to tell these stories. I’m grateful for the ways that my weakness leads me to rely on God. I’m grateful, too, that I’ve been making progress on the indie publishing front. I’ll be sharing more about that with my short story and/or newsletter subscribers on 11/29. If you’d like newsletters and without the installment stories, you can select that option here.
Reflecting on all of these new stories and opportunities has certainly helped restore my peace this morning. I hope among the announcements, you’ve found something to get excited about too, and that you also find an abundance of blessings to celebrate with thanksgiving.
With a grateful heart,
P.S. I’m grateful for one more thing—being a part of this giveaway. If you haven’t read Justice yet (or even if you have), you can enter on BookSweeps to win it—plus 30 inspirational fiction and nonfiction books from a great collection of authors (including Courtney Walsh and Becky Wade) and a brand new eReader.
To enter, you follow the authors on Bookbub.com. If you’re not familiar with that site, it’s one I recommend to my reading friends, even when there’s not a giveaway involved. On Bookbub.com, you can sign up for daily notifications about sales in genres you enjoy. If you follow an author there, you’ll also get an email when they have a new book out.
In a troubled year full of transitions both good and hard, what we need more than sparkly decor or great sales or festive gatherings is #Jesus.- @emilyrconrad #thankful #gratitude
We often think of peace and joy as accompanying the message of Christmas—and for good reason. But let us not forget that the habit of #thanksgiving is an important step toward #peace. @emilyrconrad
I’m grateful for the ways that my weakness leads me to rely on God. #thanksgiving #grateful @emilyrconrad