Every year we Americans look forward to our holiday, Thanksgiving, where we get to cram our bellies full of turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, yams, veggies, salads, dinner rolls or biscuits, greens, pumpkin flavored treats like pie and cheesecake as well as classic fruit pies and newfangled desserts. We mustn’t forget the cranberry sauce! We get together with our families and play games or watch football, all while in that after-dinner hazy dream state of eating way too much from the smorgasbord of deliciousness.
We also normally say a prayer of thanks for our blessings, or go around the table while each person announces something for which they are grateful. This is good. This is a giving of ourselves to the energy in the universe. We should be grateful for our families, friends, homes, cars, boats and abundance.
Something strange has happened to me this year, though.
Instead of thinking about and saying the normal blessings for which I am grateful, and I truly am, I have been pondering on the blessings in more difficult areas of life. God shows up in the oddest places. Though my husband and I have been under extreme stress this year, I am grateful for the opportunities the hardships have brought because they have brought us closer again. I am grateful that my hubby has had to really take stock of his life and make decisions about his future, and in turn, so have I. I am grateful that even though my heart is breaking at the thought of my daughter moving away from home in the next year, she is beautiful, kind and intelligent and is able to get into college. And, that she can afford it! I’m grateful that even though there have been spiritual struggles, the Lord has given me places and people to refill my pot when it has boiled dry.
Most especially I have recently seen what abundance I have and take for granted, compared to others who do not have the stuff, making me doubly grateful to God for those “regular” blessings.
This year I will thank God for my hardships. Genuinely and with a full heart. For without the hard, how can we appreciate the easy? And, I will try not to take for granted the easy, because without a word, it may once again become hard.
May the Lord bless you, and may you see the blessings in every situation.