Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Independence Day are my favorites. Any excuse to have a party, I always say. This is why I love Pinterest! Tons of ideas for decorations and festive creations. Like that cover photo I snagged from my board Festive | Holiday : perfect little place setting for a farm house Thanksgiving dinner!
But I didn’t even pull off small bits of holiday style this year. My hands are so full with my new bundle of joy and my brain is so sleep deprived that late night pinning does not transform into tomorrow’s crafty project. Alas, most of my holiday inspirations are unachievable this year and I will have to settle for instant mashed potatoes, one partially dead pumpkin on the front porch, and our plain old unfestive farm house.
Don’t get me wrong. Even though I’m not capable of being Pioneer Woman this year, I am still enjoying this holiday season. Last year my husband and I barely survived the holiday season. Heidibird, our firstborn, passed away unexpectedly, so we didn’t want to keep on living. Somehow we made it through (the “somehow” actually being the grace of God). We miraculously had our second daughter in August, and we’re able to share these good times with her.
But even in these better times for us, I wonder, after reading world news and watching my friend suffer cancer and remembering others who endure hardships, what is there to be grateful for and how do we appreciate the good amidst the bad?
As my counselor said, we can’t explain why bad things happen to good people or why evil seems to triumph and we certainly have no guarantees of what tomorrow will be, BUT we do know that God will go with us through the storms and He will prevail in the end over all that is wicked (Isaiah 41 “Fear Not For I Am With You,” the book of Revelation). When life seems out of control which is ALWAYS, because something is never right somewhere in the world, God is Sovereign (all powerful) and Trustworthy (gracious & merciful).
So, after such a very long and difficult year, what am I grateful for this Thanksgiving? I’ve had to mull this over. Yes, we’ve come a long way from the pit of grief we were in, and I am grateful for the winds of change and a different vantage point. However, I realize the longer I live that life is fraught with trials, and there are more to come. That fact frightens me. I’m not even 30, been married only three years, and I’ve experienced a variety of trials and heartache. Frankly, I’m not sure I look forward to the future. Who can know what the future holds?
Though it’s hard to reconcile, I think I’m coming to terms with a perspective that doesn’t wear rose colored glasses: I need to be content with where I am and be thankful for the moment. That’s it. Plain and simple. Taking off the rosy glasses and taking in the big picture is hard for me to do! But it’s reality to “accept the things I cannot change and [to have the] courage to change the things I can” (Serenity Prayer).
My house is messy right now and I still haven’t made that Pinterest recipe pound cake I told my mom I’d whip up…. But creative productivity doesn’t define my self worth and decorations don’t define the holiday. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that’s been, joy and sorrow, and to be grateful for what God has done to bring us to this moment. Just this moment.
Life’s not perfect and I’m not going to be a fool to make it so. I’m just going to snuggle my daughter while I miss my other daughter, and thank God for being Good. Through it all, He has been faithful.
I pray blessing and peace for you this holiday season as you reflect. May you enjoy the simplest things in the moment you’ve been given.