Good Morning Dear Ones –
I am grabbing a few minutes here while my miracles are still curled up in their beds to share with you some thoughts that have been on my mind. Like a freight train America is careening towards Christmas and in some places it seems like we could miss Thanksgiving altogether. It does appear that there is one “holiday” (and I used that term with all the sarcasm I can muster at this early hour) still to arrive before Christmas and that is Black Friday. Oh sure, I love a good deal as much as the next mom, but there is something special about Thanksgiving that seems to be rushed past.
It’s almost like the whole idea of being grateful has disappeared. Oh, not necessarily in word, but in pace. It feels like in our hearts we no longer take the time to slow down, look around and see what we truly have. Often we don’t even take a short minute. I have been oh-so-guilty of this. And it’s true, I do have some valid excuses. Being hugely pregnant, chasing around 2 active boys, trying to get a house moved and cleaned and closed on before baby comes, trying to get a new space organized and the list goes on. This list of excuses that tempts me to complain rather than praise. This list of excuses that draws me into the dark rather than shining the light. This is where I could focus. I could forget about all the amazing things that are happening and in fact for a period of time this weekend I did. I allowed the frustration and hormonal imbalance to take over. I stepped off of solid ground into the quicksand of depression. Things weren’t going my way. I hurt. I wasn’t getting everything I wanted. Nobody was listening to me. I hurt. I feel alone. There is so much to do and I have no energy to do it and if I don’t do it, well, there is nobody else to do it. I just need a break. I just need some peace and quiet. I hurt. Not quite sure why I was wanting to spend my time focusing on these things. They did nothing but drag me deeper. Sadly, I wasn’t even looking for a rescue rope to pull me out of my pit. I think I may have a had a shovel to dig myself in deeper.
I was not looking for blessings. I was not grateful/thankful for anything. Have you been there? Please tell me I am not alone. Please tell me that in some form or another you have been there and done that. Well, even if you haven’t it’s possible you might find yourself there and I just want to encourage you that not drowning in the hole of self-pity (justified or not) is way better than drowning there. If you are looking for a place to drown I can offer a suggestion. Take a dive off the highest cliff of pain you have in your life right into the amazing sea of love that waits for you. Suck in the water of life. Literally breathe it in. This, my friends, this is drowning. This is where you allow everything you’ve focused on to be pushed out with only the one thought…”I want to live. I want to live free.”
Thanksgiving is a choice. Our American ancestors could have spent that first thanksgiving mourning their losses and looking at all the things they didn’t have. They could have argued and complained their way through the beginnings of their new lives and probably some of them did opt for that route. The life they chose was not easy. They gave up more than I think many of us can even imagine. They lost more than many of us may ever know. And yet, they took the time to count their blessings. They refused to let go of the promise that God had given them of freedom. Some things are worth the most valuable treasure we have. Some prices are worth paying.
And the counting. That is the most miraculous part. Somehow, when you being to count your blessings; when you begin to turn your complaints into thanksgivings all that is truly of value seems to multiply. Suddenly the list of garbage does not seem so big. Suddenly the mountain of pain is not so insurmountable. Suddenly, you are soaring with eagles wings over it all. Imagine this – Light begins to surge through your darkness…just a small flicker at first. Maybe it’s the flame of a candle in a large dark room. Then suddenly you are holding a flashlight in your hands and even though shadows are all around you can see. Next you find a lamp and it drives the darkness from a corner or two of the room and then…oh, then comes the pure joy. The floodlights are thrown on and hope releases the aroma of freshness. There is no more darkness. Not only can you clearly see your blessings, but you can taste them and feel them and dance with them. It’s a new day. This is what thanksgiving is all about. This is what Thanksgiving Day can be all about. This year instead of rushing through to get to the next “holiday”, stop and live in this moment of grace. Think on the sacrifice that was paid for your freedom. Find at least one little thing to be thankful for and allow it to grow. Let yourself dive into love and drown in it. I can tell you that this light of thanksgiving is much more satisfying than any darkness of mourning.
If you haven’t gotten it yet, Ann Voscamp has a free APP for One Thousand Gifts that I encourage you to add to your phone. Maybe it will help you take that first step out of darkness. http://bit.ly/vG6I6O
Praying you find the freedom of thankfulness this holiday. Matthew 11:28