“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday for many people. The stress of preparing for the holiday frenzy as well as keeping up with normal daily tasks can be overwhelming. Add in the emotional component of maybe missing a loved one or dealing with the loss of a job or a scary cancer diagnosis, and it is extremely hard to be thankful. Your mind is able to rattle off a million things to be thankful for, but your heart is numb and broken – can we still give thanks?
It has been quite a while since I have written a post. I told my students yesterday, I believe I love my Mother deeper now that I ever have, and she has been gone for 5 years. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and realize life would be so much sweeter (and easier) if I had her here. In those moments, I literally have to choose to be thankful instead of bitter. There are days I fail miserably at that. Holidays tend to be some of those days.
I used to think that life was a series of mountain highs and valley lows, but now I actually believe we get both at the same time. In our world so messed up by sin, the good and the bad come together. No matter how good things are in my life, there are always problems I must deal with, and no matter how bad things are in my life, there are always blessings I can be grateful for.
I once read a story about how Itzhak Pearlman broke a string at the start of a Lincoln Center recital. Rather than replacing it, he played the entire concert with a broken violin. At the end he said, “Sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.” I. Love. That! We are all artists of some form, and it is our task to figure out how we can use what we have to create a beautiful life with much gratitude. This Thanksgiving, I don’t want to dwell on what is lost, but on what is left, and I have so very much left to be thankful for. May you find many opportunities for gratitude and blessings this Thanksgiving.
With so much love and gratitude,