truer words are hard to find in my life right now.
because holidays bring with them traditions and memories and emotions.
Thanksgiving is always a vivid week for me. Big things tend to happen in the seven days dedicated to pumpkin spice and thanks and football. Some life changing, others confusing, and every so often some bring relief. But what about the happenings between the big things?
Thanksgiving this year was full of slow mornings and cups of coffee.
I thought about Thanksgiving last year in Cambodia and the one the year before. About the canceled plane ticket and the I don’t think we should date anymore. And the one before that…
And all of the happenings between those Thursdays.
It would be easy to wish away some of the happenings…. to want only the Thanksgivings without the hurts and growing pains in between. But we would lose so much if that was the case.
I would lose the sweetness of these moments without the struggle of steadfastness.
I would lose the gratitude for what I have today if I didn’t know the story of how it came to be.
I don’t want to overlook the everyday happenings of a year. I don’t want to look back and wonder how did I get from there to here? There have been so many days that take my breath away recently…
Days when I’ll look at M and say, “how did I get you?”
and I’m asking… but really I know. I know that SO much happened in my life between Septembers to get me to that football game. I know so much had to happen in my heart before I stayed to hear a band play. Important stuff, some days hard stuff, some days monotonous stuff. But it got me here.
Thankful and around a table.
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
A lot can happen in a year. A lot happened last year, and a lot is still happening.
So this year. I aim to be thankful not just for the holidays and the big things, but for all of the happenings in-between.