Always Give Thanks

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 9:1

This past Thanksgiving holiday was not what I wanted it to be. I felt sad even though I originally hadn’t wanted anything differently than what I had planned. It’s not even a holiday I grew up celebrating, but I still was emotional on how the day turned out. My attempts at making it better were shut down and I sat with my loneliness, looking forward to the end of the day.

It would have been easy to stay bummed out because I couldn’t celebrate the way I wanted. As I dragged my feet through my pity party, the thought that there is still plenty for what to be thankful for came to mind. This year, we have had two big answered prayers: a new member in the family and a new job for my husband. We are healthy, surrounded by love from family and friends, and emotionally lighter than any other year. We still hold on to our faith, which has sustained us throughout rough times and look forward to growing in it.

As I brought the blessings to memory, I felt my frown release itself from my face and my heart step up from its misery bed. The day was not what I wanted but it can still be a fun day. I started making some food that I later enjoyed and even started some sale shopping. I was content in my reality and enjoyed what I had on hand. I can now say that my Thanksgiving wasn’t bad at all. On the contrary, it gave me a loving lesson I had to learn.

First off, I realized that there is always something good going on. It might not feel good, but in itself it is good. Counting these blessings and being grateful for these provides perspective of what is important, and takes down the high place we can give distractions. Recognizing what is already going on can give us hope for those things we wish we had.

Second, I felt the ache of what being away from loved ones is. I have friends going through tough times or that live away from family. I had never understood what they were going through until the holiday turned sour instead of joyful. I am grateful for those around me, and grateful for the opportunity to be more empathetic.

With a content heart, I now face the Christmas season. This is one that for me, means servitude, humility, and dedication, for God gave everything up to come to this world to save me. I needed to have that realization of how much I already have and who gave it to me, to remember the values I want to live by. I need to recognize how good God has already been in order to continue on this path we call life and can at time be so hurtful and burdensome.

I wish you the best very merry Christmas season and a lighter heart to go with it.

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