This little index card is priceless to me and is hanging up in the kitchen. I love this because it sums up our family perfectly. Nothing that comes out of my kids mouth about our family has ever really surprised me (we’re a little kooky I admit) except for Jackson in kindergarten when he told everyone, teachers included, that we grow weed in our front yard. He left the “s” off of weed. I had a lot of explaining to do to a lot of people.
You have no idea how much truth Haley spoke – or wrote for her 5th grade assignment four years ago. Our family is not for the weak and if you dish it out, then by golly, you’ve got to be able to handle it coming back at you full throttle. Every year we’ve gathered at Momma and Daddy’s for Turkey Day, complete with oyster dressing, and a 40 lb turkey (I exaggerate a tad but not much) and all of the trimmings that are family recipes handed down for generations. The dinning room table would barely hold all of the food strategically placed around a beautiful center piece and all of us circling the outer perimeter. And no meal was complete without the hilarity of telling stories and laughing at each other. Momma was ALWAYS at the center. She gave us such good material! We could sit at that table for hours laughing and talking.
I miss those days of all us together, madly. I’d give anything to turn back time.
To say that I was glad to see Thanksgiving come and go this year was an understatement, of a lifetime. This year Daddy and I did all the cooking. Instead of eating at the dinning room table, we sat in front of the tv with the kids and watched the rerun of the Macy’s Parade. It was a quiet, different day that will never be the same as it once was. It was a relief to put my pj’s on, have a cup of hot tea and turn in for the night, turning off the lights on a hard day.
Without fail, every November 1st my news feed on Facebook is full of everyone sharing something they’re thankful for. I’m sure you’ve seen it. And for the last few years I’ve participated…but not this year. This I decided to withhold all of my thankful fors.
I know that I do have much to be thankful for. MUCH. And I know that I am to give thanks in ALL circumstances. To know it and to do it, consciously, is a different game. I’ve gone through much of this thankful season withholding my thanks for no other reason than being stubborn and disobedient. Like a child having a temper tantrum with my arms folded across my chest and my eyes closed tightly refusing to cooperate. I didn’t get my way so I’m not going to do what you have asked God. I know a portion of this is the grieving process but I also have the ability in me to not let it consume me. And consuming me it has. Everyone’s journey through grief looks different. What works for me may not work for someone else. How I grieve isn’t the same way my dad grieves or my children for that matter. But what I have been shown these last few weeks that finally hit me is when I’m spiritually disobedient and stubborn it’s not only just between me and God. It trickles down into every area of my life. Remember me telling you in an earlier post that God has to talk to me in a loud voice. This time he spoke loudly and clearly through my kids. He not only allowed me to hear but to also see it. With my own two eyes. Last night I had a moment and was getting on to Jackson about an incident that happened earlier, all the while he’s throwing his arms in the air at me and crossing them over his chest and finally stomping off. AND THIS, this is how I’ve been behaving towards God. Oh yeah, and just like my son, I’ve also had to have the last word. (It’s the curse that keeps on giving – two kids just like me.)
I absolutely have every right to be mad. But not at God. He didn’t cause any of this. But He’s my safe place. My safe place to be ugly, to show my behind. To have my hissy fits and act like a brat. To act on whatever emotion I’m feeling. My safe place because I know that He won’t love me any less and he won’t leave me. But just like a loving parent who only wants the best for their child, He will show me and He will direct me. So that is what I’m thankful for….accountability – from my Heavenly Father, my Dad, my kids, and my close friends and my Mom – who would always point me back to the cross.
So I will not dwell in my sufferings, but I will focus on what God will do through them, yielding perseverance, character and hope. And I know that I will not be disappointed because of the love that my Heavenly Father has poured into me and who has given my the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me. Romans 5:3-5 – my version.
This is not a guide through grief, just what we’re experiencing. But if you have something that has helped in your own journey, please share!