Ghost of Thanksgiving past…

I remember when I wasn’t very thankful.

I remember hurting.

And the hurt was so bad, and my choices so poor, that it all tumbled out angry.

Complaints piled high in an ever growing heap of perfectionism.

And it was all too easy for me to pick a bone in my earlier marriage or drag a dead carcass around far too long.

Fussing and fuming, and tearing down with my own hands.

Aware of my blessings, yet frivolous about tending them.

Receiving what had been given, minus long lasting gratitude.

My world back then basically spun around me and my pain.

And I extracted more than a pound of flesh on many occasions.

But I tried to be thankful, at least some of the time.

Thanksgiving 1990:  “I peeked out the window and saw them laughing, covered with leaves.”

My preschooler and his dad playing in the backyard. New baby boy sleeping contentedly in his crib, stirring slightly when I checked on him, tiny smile slipping softly across his dewy cheek.

For a few weeks before the holiday, several friends had commented to me how very lucky I was to be so blessed. And I thanked them, and wrote about how easy it was to take everything we have for granted.

Only I didn’t live my words.

It was easy to forget to count my blessings when it was hard to keep from being wrapped up in myself.

Self called the shots while shooting myself {and my loved ones} in the foot.

Three and a half years after I penned those words, my world crashed and burned.

Hearts burned.

Badly.

With great collateral damage. And none of us were ever the same. A family of five, now missing a parent.

And the uphill battle to find the place of thanksgiving in the heart, a heart rendered humble through God’s grace, and its own and others’ bad choices, began it’s long march.

Day by day I learned to forgive and repent; to let go and grow up.

Flash forward to Thanksgiving 2012.

Life in the second half teems with blessings great and small, and I have learned to count them all.God now sits on the throne and self sits at His feet.

And I sit wrapped in grace.

So may my words of loss be as hard won words to the wise.

And a warning.

From one who did not, or could not, heed the warning and well meaning advice.

Hold it all dear.

Starting with thanksgiving to and for the One who holds you and yours ever so dear.

And for that man {or woman} sitting across the table from you, working long hours to feed his family.

And the precious little ones with all their hugs and giggles and messes and demands on your time and energy.

For they, and every thing else you have, are all blessings from a benevolent Father.

The Lord who gives, and takes away.

Yet all of it is in Love. His Perfect Love.

The Love that sometimes brings tears that teach, with mercy severe.

I didn’t know it then, but the blows that knocked me down were His gentle whispers in the winds of the storm.

Come to me. I love you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

And grace taught me to say thank you…

Michael and I are so very thankful that you visit with us here each day! From Longings End to your house, we wish you the most blessed and grateful Thanksgiving Day. We’re taking a short break over the holiday weekend so we’ll see you again on Monday. And we pray that all our hearts in thanksgiving will stoop low so that He who loves to give good gifts can be lifted high. God bless you!!
~sheila

 

 

 

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