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Canadian Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” NRSV[1]


This past weekend, my fellow Canadians celebrated our Thanksgiving. For those who aren’t aware, the Canadian Thanksgiving happens around the second weekend of October while the American Thanksgiving is on November 24th. The origins of this holiday are slightly different. A great resource to better understand the Canadian Thanksgiving can be found here.


The American one can be found here.


These websites explain it so simply and elegantly that there is no point to rehash how they came to be. It’s interesting how different our histories surrounding Thanksgiving are and yet they are also similar in the fact it historically has people coming together to celebrate the harvest, to be thankful and get prepared for the long winter ahead.


This week, I celebrate being grateful for all of the gifts one has, for the work that God has done in the past year, and gratitude for what is yet to come.


As a Canadian, in the past, my family consisting of my mom’s parent’s, my uncle, my parents and I would get together at my grandmother’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. We always had turkey & dressing, mashed potatoes, fresh buns and since my mother was born on Thanksgiving weekend my family also celebrates her birthday. We got our cakes from a local bakery until it was found that I’m sensitive to gluten, then we made homemade cakes since, at the time it was extremely difficult to find gluten free baked goods. One of the things I am grateful for is how much the gluten free industry has changed. It is so much easier to find gluten free products that are delicious, taste amazing as in before so many tasted like cardboard and they also taste as if they contain gluten. These days there are quite a few bakeries that make gluten free products whereas when I was first diagnosed, they didn’t exist or if they did, it was at least an hour’s drive to buy something.  I can write more about that journey another time. The family had good times. The grandparents have long since passed and my uncle is living in assisted living, so we don’t do a lot to celebrate this wonderful holiday. This year, my parents and I are keeping it small and compact meaning we aren’t making a big meal but instead, ordered a chicken dinner.


Gratitude comes with being thankful for the gifts that one has in their lives as well and being thankful for how far God has taken one throughout the past year. In the past few years, God has been wonderful to me. For instance, in Spring 2019, I returned to school to do a DEP in secretarial studies. I received government funding for the cost of the program which paid for all tuition including living expenses, etc. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, it closed down the program for three months. The government still continued their financial support. My original internship that I was supposed to do in June 2020 was cancelled and yet in September 2020, I was still allowed to do it at the same location, which was a miracle because at the time, very few places were granting internships to students, (at least in my area). I completed the program in October 2020, ironically about a week before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t find work at the time, which was okay because so many companies weren’t hiring and I had saved enough to support myself until it was time for the next journey.


In March 2021, despite having a medical scare due to an old health condition, I was able to start my ASP in Medical secretarial studies. Again, I got full government funding to do it. (Another miracle according to my agent). I completed that in early July 2021. Had two job offers. Selected one and although it didn’t work out due to no fault of my own (it was a bad fit on both sides), God opened the doors for me to work at my present place of employment. On labour day weekend 2022, I celebrated one year of being at the medical clinic I still work at.


The journey I just described wasn’t easy. The programs were intensive and exhausting, but my teachers were amazing. I was lucky to attend the first school in the city I live in and the other was 90% online so it added a new dimension, a new level of discipline that gives me the skills to work in office or at home. Right now, my job is 100% at the clinic, which is fine. I love where I work. I love the team of people consisting of fellow secretaries, doctors and nurses who work together to make it a wonderful place to work. This time last year, I was only one month into the mandatory three-month probationary period. It is the most stressful period when one starts a new job Quebec, Canada where it is legal for employers to layoff new employees without valid cause. It is hard but when the job is meant to be, somehow it just works.


It is exhausting but every job is tiring. I am grateful for finding a job where the commute is fairly easy (one bus straight downtown,) as opposed to taking a bus and metro (subway) that can add extra transit time because the metro system is always acting up for one reason or another which lengthens the transportation time because of missed buses.


It is important to find thankfulness and gratitude in one’s life. If you can, find it every day because as seen in this most basic testimony, it shows how much work God has done. There are lots of small stories that could easily be added to this article if I had more time. To get to where I am, I had to be open to God’s plans because after completing a Master’s degree in 2015, I was totally done with school, and didn’t want to return. God gives us the strength to do what HE needs us to do.


John 15:16 explains:

“16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.”[2] NRSV

By agreeing to returning back to school, so many wonderful opportunities including joining this team of It Ain’t Over Ministries, has opened up. Gratitude is about being thankful for the small things in life. For instance, I am always thankful when I catch my bus by the skin of my teeth because the commute is long and sometimes tiresome due to traffic and construction. Waiting for the next bus, prolongs the journey home. Sometimes the wait is great and others not. We can discuss this in a future post.


It is also important to be thankful for the journey ahead. Will it be challenging? Maybe. Will it be full of blessings? I hope so. Will it be full of joy and happiness, I always hope because when we are hopeful and set our eyes on God, no matter what happens, God is always by our side. It is giving us the gift of life because no one knows how long one has in this world. We are here to serve and help others to the best of our ability.  Every day, we hear of stories of people dying in accidents, dying suddenly from medical causes, and some due to unfortunate cases of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We never know when our time will come which is why it is so important to be thankful for everything we have, even when things are hard or they stink because the situation is tough, unfair and more.


Isaiah 12:4-5 states:

4 And you will say on that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord;

call on his name;

make known his deeds among the nations;

proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;

let this be known in all the earth.[3]


I am thankful for all the wonderful friends, family, and colleagues that I have in my life. There is a support network that is strong and comforting. For those who know me personally, I thank you all for being in my life. We are in this together.






2 Responses

  1. Amen! Good word! We should all take the time to remember and reflect on God’s love, mercy, grace and goodness and thereby live in a state of Thankfulness! 😁