Holidays have been, for me, a matter of running here and there, trying to fit in as much family as I can, and overwhelmed with making sure everyone is given equal quality time. Sometimes in the midst of scheduling and planning, I forget to take the time to remember and to be thankful. Thursday, was about taking that time and counting my blessings. I am learning that no matter what life's circumstances may be, there are blessings and praises to be given.
I started my day, by heading over to my dad's. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed with family I haven't seen in a very long time. The coolest part, was that 3 new people joined in on our family feast. People that didn't have a place to go. A widow, a single lady, and a prodigal son. In the midst of whatever life circumstances they were in, they were there laughing, sharing their stories, and giving thanks.
It was my grandma's first holiday with out my papa, her husband of 52 years. He was truly missed, but seeing her laugh, hearing her stories, and watching her love on people remided me that no matter what life brings, there is much to be thankful for.
After stuffing our faces with amazing food (great job daddy!) games, hugs, kisses and goodbyes, I headed down the road. This year was different. Instead of heading out to farms of Victoria, VA, I was driving into a beautiful sunset in the mountains of Charlottesville.
Previously in the week tradegy struck in the lives of some family. The joy and excitment of the birth of two precious babies, was quickly cut short by a horrific car acciendent that involved their dad. As I knocked on the door, my heart was heavy. I was greeted with warm smiles and encompassing embraces. It was bitter sweet. There were these two beautiful babies that exuded joy, happiness, and hope. But the absence of their daddy, knowing he was in a hopsital unable to enjoy the first precious moments of these lives, brought saddness, questions, and despair.
It was a privilege, however, being in their home that night. In the middle of this nightmare of a circumstance, there was this undescribable love, sense of togetherness, and strength. They counted their blessings and were thankful despite what faced them.
Yesterday, I went and celebrated the life of a beautiful woman, a life that will be missed. She lived her life with one purpose, giving thanks and praises to her Creator. She knew that no matter what bumps and hiccups came her way, that God was for her. Her persepective never shifted from what He was doing, it never got bogged down with the questions or with doubt. She lived a life of praise and giving thanks. Ms. Laura, we will miss you, but are forever grateful for the example your life has been, and the legacy you have left.
It's been a great Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my family. We may not be perfect, we may have made poor choices and have caused hurt, but I love them, I cherish them, and they will forever be mine. I am thankful for my friends. We may no always get along, we may not keep in touch as we should, we may not always understand one another, but they bring so much love, laughter and joy into my life. I am thankful for my church, PCC challenges me and PCC walks along side of me through lifes ups and downs. I am thankful for my job, a roof over my head, food in my pantry. I am thankful for health, smiles of strangers, beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I am thankful for quiet early mornings with a cup of coffee, my journal and the Bible. I am thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. And I am thankful that no matter what mess I find myself in, no matter what mountains stand in my way, that I can stop and look around for blessings, for things to be thankful for and my cup runneth over!
1 Thessalonians 5:116-18 "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."