Taylor-003‘Tis the season for “#noshaveNovember” and social media “#30daysofthankfulness,” and while I haven’t participated in either – one for obvious reasons, and the other because I don’t have that much time on my hands, there is something to be said about being intentional about remembering what we have to be thankful for.  So, here it goes:

  • God loving me enough to die for me
  • My hubby for being my partner, my provider, my friend, an amazing father…
  • My eldest son asking Jesus into his heart this year
  • My youngest son finding his own things to be proud of in his life
  • Grandmas and papas who love my kids beyond what words can say
  • Aunts and uncles who even from far distances love and encourage
  • Friends for sharing in the journey of life
  • Hugs before bedtime
  • A roof over my head
  • Food to eat at every meal
  • Broncos games on Sundays
  • Fuzzy socks on cold days
  • Peppermint coffee creamer
  • Kids singing in the back seat of the car

 

I really could go on and on with this, but as I reflect on these things, I think about those of you I have talked with who feel more overwhelmed by loss, grief, anger, sadness, etc… than feelings of thankfulness this Thanksgiving.  These come because:

  • You have lost a family member who used to sit at the Thanksgiving table
  • Your family split up and you have to choose where to have Thanksgiving
  • You can’t stand the person who calls themselves your partner who sits across the table from you because of all the hurt between you
  • You can’t be with the people you want to be
  • You or family members are ill
  • You have been deeply hurt by someone
  • You have been through something else that steals the joy of the holiday
  • You are too stressed by work or life’s busyness
  • You have your own reasons…

 

I understand, and have had holidays filled with more of those feelings and experiences and I know that it is not easy.  So what do you do?   I don’t have all the answers and certainly don’t pretend to, but here are some suggestions that have worked for me and others:

  • Find five things every day to be grateful for – even in the darkest places, you can find good
  • Spend time reading about Jesus in the Bible in the book of John – you will find that He knows your pain personally
  • Honor those you have lost by sharing good memories of them
  • Give to others who are less fortunate than you are
  • Slow down and be in the moments
  • Give yourself time and space to grieve
  • Think about how to make new traditions with the people you still have
  • Work toward making amends where you need to
  • Find someone to help you through the hurt – you are not meant to deal with it alone

 

From my family to yours, my hope for you is a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving – no matter where you are in your journey.