“Many of these girls came from sheltered homes and settled out in the wilderness of plains, living alone in the little isolated shanties out of reach of human aid… In winter they were marooned for days and nights at a stretch without a human being to whom they could speak, and nothing but the bloodcurdling cry of coyotes at night to keep them company.
They tried to prepare themselves for any situation so that they would neither starve nor freeze; with books and papers to read and the daily grinding routine of work to be done on every homestead, where each job required the effort and time of ten in modern surroundings,
they managed to be contented. But it took courage.
In spite of the rigors of the winter, the settlers made merry.” *
Even if you live on the frayed edge where depression meets joy, where pain meets relief, where poverty meets gain, where darkness meets light, grasp courage by it’s (sometimes scrawny, little, scruffy, flea-bitten) neck and don’t let go of it ’til the good Lord fills the jagged nooks and crannies. And when you recognize the gift in the shards, you best make some merry.
Thanksgiving need not be about human perfection or fleshly expectation; but about grabbing hold of the light.
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:15-16 NKJV)
* Kohl, Edith Eudora. Land of the Burnt Thigh. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1986; p. 176. (1st published by Funk and Wagnalls, Inc. 1938.)