Thanksgiving: A Deeper and Stranger Thanks

Thankful heartOf course I am incredibly thankful for the blessings of my husband, children, friends, health and so much more. But after peeling back the surface layers to feel a deeper, authentic, and often not recognized gratitude, this is what I discovered. This is my meditation of special thanks this year…

The cold of fall and winter. I love seeing how still the earth is, empty of its busy tasks of life. Nature is at rest now, hibernating, quietly regenerating. I connect with this and enjoy bundling up, putting on my soft, thick winter hat and watching my breath become small foggy clouds against the cold. I am grateful for nature’s sign that it’s ok, necessary, to rest.

Loneliness. This is a strange thing to be thankful for isn’t it? While it’s not preferable to feel lonely, it does keep me anchored to God. I keep striving to know His will, mercy, and love to get me through. And you know what else? I am grateful for my loneliness because it has sparked me to create a faith and friendship group for moms. Through this small, nascent gathering, I have met beautiful women who are teaching me new ways of seeing my condition and vocation in life. I am gaining new knowledge, new perspectives on love.

Sight and hearing. So many days the light and hope that keeps me going are the smiles and laughs of my little boys. I could not imagine the pain of not seeing their faces aglow with love and delight. Of not hearing them say, “I love you Mommy!” I know pure moments of love through the gift of sight and hearing.

Exercise. I fight for this valiantly. There are people and circumstances that try to rip me from my 35 minutes of glorious daily exercise, but I am relentless. I crave expending energy, releasing endorphins, and yes, dulling my mind by watching a TV show while I do it. I am grateful for my little sliver of space in the cold, crowded basement where I can just glide.

My journal. Most of the time, my notebook is the only tangible thing that hears the truth of my challenges, revelations, and darkest pain. It’s like a companion who simply listens as I pour out everything trapped and tangled inside me. It catches my tears and holds my inspiration. It records messages of love and mercy from spiritual readings and a flood of prayers I lift up in hope for strength, healing, and insight on what I’m supposed to be and do in this life. I am grateful for my journal where I release the words to feel my way forward.

If I meditate deeply, I truly see so many blessings, present and past, immense and connected like sprouting branches and a myriad of budding leaves. I have peace knowing all good things come from God and He is writing my story.

James 1:17: Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

He is the vine and we are the branches. If we tether ourselves secure and take root in His providence and provision, what would we lack? Perhaps the better question is: What would we gain?

Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

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