Thanksgiving After


Today as I write about my last several days, my heart overflows with all the love and caring that I have experienced this year around my birthday.  With this last week being Thanksgiving, it has made me even more thankful for everything in my life.

I know many who don’t want to think about birthdays and another year, but I have always enjoyed my birthday; the fact that I have been blessed to live another year with my family and friends.  Thanksgiving always gets mixed up with my birthday…but I have always just rolled with it.  It has never really bothered me because I always had my family around to help me celebrate!  I might have to celebrate a day or two early, or sometimes on Thanksgiving and I am cooking, but I didn’t really mind.  This year was no different…my birthday was two days after Thanksgiving but my boys were here to visit and I had family and friends from all over wishing me a Happy Birthday!  It doesn’t get better than that!  Cards and messages that say deeper things that are sometimes harder to say face to face, my son working hard to give a special birthday/Christmas gift to me and hubby, and celebrating my special gifts from my sweet man.  So much to be thankful for.

The day after, we slept in a bit and Aaron did some work again on the house.  In the late afternoon the boys and I went to a movie together.  I hadn’t gone to a movie at a theater in like thirteen years!  So fun…they bought me the ticket and popcorn and Aaron and Ethan shared a pop and Jesse and I shared a pop.  And oh!!!!  Red licorice;  oh yes.  I have taught them well!!  So much fun to have that time together with them.  When they were young, I found things that I could have in common with my boys.  We collected sports cards together, comics, and all things Bruce Lee.  So we watch the Marvel movies, and Bruce Lee and they have memorabilia from it all.  I love that we can still enjoy that together.  Now we enjoy target practicing together also!  On Friday we had a movie morning together with laughs and relaxing times.  We made a last-minute decision, typical of our family, to bag the bad weather and just go out and target practice.  I got to shoot my new hand gun that was a gift from my hubby.  We put up a canopy and were fortunate to have just a few showers, and had a super time.  Stayed out until dark and then went back into town for pizza.  Great way to spend a day!

In between all the fun times, Aaron, my middle son, worked on the changes in our bathroom and hallway.  We got a shower door put up, trim work on the floor and ceiling and also a completed shower wall cover above our shower.  It’s all kind of a rustic look in that room.  It is looking nice.  There is still a couple of things to finish, but it looks great to have it more complete.  What talent he has!  I’m so proud of him and what he can do.  I pray God blesses him for all the help he gives his momma!!

I would love to say that living in thankfulness is more the norm than not the norm in our world.  But that isn’t the case.  We have people complaining about weather, traffic, and someone too slow in front of us, or things just don’t go the way we think they should go.  We hate this or hate that.  I have found that thinking that way doesn’t do anything to make me feel any better, nor does it help anyone around me.  However, living with a thankful heart means its hard to be negative.  When we think about the good things, we can’t think about the negative at the same time.  It has always been my goal to live with a thankful heart even in the hard  stuff.  I have visited places where people don’t have homes, or if they do they are living with whatever they can find for walls and a piece of tin if they are lucky, for their roof.  Food is scarce if they have any.  The change of clothes may be non-existent.  When I came back home, I couldn’t believe people complained about the very blessings they have.  I came back home vowing that I would never complain about things.  If I do, the Holy Spirit taps my shoulder right away.  I am so blessed; rich actually in terms of other places in the world.  Today, if you are reading this, you are breathing, you can see, you have a computer or phone to read this, you have a place to sleep and food to eat.  You may even be able to go out to eat at times you choose.  You have provision.  Remember those who don’t.  Not everyone is out there without a home or provision because they want to be.  The unexpected happened, and that changed their lives.  I know hard.  I have a first-born son, whom I love deeply, that has chosen, for over 14 years at this point, to not be a part of our family.  That is a deep hurt.  I know also that some do not think that is as hard as losing a person to death.  In many ways for me,  I think it is worse…a very helpless feeling.  But I pray for him daily and one day his heart may soften to see what he is missing by not having relationship with his family, especially his brothers and nephew.  I pray that is so.  God knows.  I leave it in His hands.

As the day ends today, the lights dim on one special day, and I turn the lights on for the Christmas Season.  Every year, it is my goal to enjoy the Presence of
Jesus in my life more than the presents under my tree.  I am thankful for those also, but I’m just as happy with something done for me as I am for anything else.  For me, I celebrate Christmas because of what Jesus has done for me.  THAT is my focus and I try to keep the right focus and remember to relax to enjoy all the facets of Christmas.  Just having my family together is my present.  I love light as you know, so just looking at a Christmas Tree with the lights on blesses me every night.  THAT feeds my soul.  I don’t put it up and then ignore it.  I take it in every time I look at it.  I enjoy each ornament that is on our tree because each one has meaning to me.  Don’t let the times of hardship keep you from seeing the blessings in your life as well.  It is always hard when we have lost something or someone, in our lives, and the holidays approach us.  So… I am praying for you this Season.  If you need help or a person to talk to, find someone who you can share your heart with.  It’s ok to ask for help.  However, Jesus is always there.  I pray that you will find comfort in Jesus, and allow Him to walk through this time with you.  Maybe you will share a tradition of the lost one, clip a picture of

them on your tree, tell a story about their life, or plan a get-together with a friend so you aren’t alone, or even invite someone to share a coffee or dinner together with you during this Season.  Share the love with someone and you will be the one blessed.  Do what you feel most comfortable doing for this time in your life and where you are.

So with a heart bursting with gratefulness, I leave you with a sense of gratitude I have for each of you who come to visit with me here on the blog!  I love it when I hear something has been encouraging to you.  I’m no different from you. I have the same struggles as you may have.  But I do have a Savior who never leaves me.  Never!  THAT is something to shout about!  Keep it simple and enjoy the Season.  Let the lights of Christmas remind you to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment… truly realize how blessed you are.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving After

  1. My dear cousin I am grateful you are in my life. Even though far away I can feel a connection. My heart hurts for you and your son that’s not with you. Both of you are in my prayers because I KNOW he loves his Mama. Big hug, Karen

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