In my life, I have been abundantly blessed. I have a loving, supportive family, many wonderful friends, a beautiful home, and a fulfilling job. But it is my faith in God that has provided a foundation for my life, and has kept me strong through the darkest times.
Trusting God through the toughest challenges in life has not always been easy, but it has provided me with a greater sense of freedom. It allows me to step aside and let go of things beyond my control. This is easier now that I can look back and recall the many ways God guided me, or my loved ones, through some seemingly hopeless situations.
How often I remember trying to force my way through a challenge, thinking my path was the best way forward. Through a lot of trial and error, I learned that is never the best way unless I seek God’s guidance first.
This Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for a God who forgives me time and again for thinking I always know what’s best. (I don’t.) I am thankful for a God who loves me even when I’m convinced I can go it alone. (I can’t.) And I am thankful for a God who is bigger than whatever life dishes out. (He is!)
As you gather around the table, wherever it may be, may gratitude fill your heart, and may the Lord bless you abundantly.
I am so happy that election week has passed. Amen?
Fall, which is usually my favorite time of year, has been an unsettling season thus far. Our family has been broken-hearted following the passing of my father-in-law last month. The mid-term election was a distraction amidst our grief. The non-stop drama didn’t end on November 6th, and continues on today.
Somewhere in all that chaos, November arrived. This realization hit me when the Black Friday ads spilled out of the newspaper this week. Ugh!
First things first. We finally tossed the Jack-o’-lantern that was sitting on our front steps. His toothy grin stuck around as long as the leftover Halloween candy. Both needed to go.
Next, my mom and brother came to visit and we dug out our fall decorations. This is something we usually do together in early September, but the delay didn’t seem to bother anyone. It was a crucial step in preparing our home for the coming holiday season and the long, cozy winter months ahead.
Yesterday we spent much of the day relocating our daughter’s two house rabbits, Max and Charlie, from the guest room to the basement. That sounds simple enough, but it was quite an undertaking! Each has his own hutch, toys, litterbox and dishes. Then there is the food — assorted types of hay, timothy pellets and treats. The move was stressful for the bunnies, even though it was only down two flights of stairs. We love them dearly, but look forward to the day that all three of them find a place of their own. In the meantime, our son deserves a proper (and rabbit-free) guest room, as opposed to the sofa in the basement, when he visits us later this month.
The weather is feeling more autumnal too. We had our first real freeze last night and the remainder of our flower garden died. The zinnias were blooming through last week, but now everything is brown and wilted. The birdbath had ice on it this morning, so it was time to add the heater. Our daughter filled all the feeders today and told me the Dark-eyed Juncos had arrived! This is a sure sign that winter is on its way.
I know many people dread the colder months, but I enjoy living where there is a clear distinction between seasons. What Northern Virginia lacks in fall color (from my perspective as a former New Englander), it more than compensates with its beautiful springtime blossoms. Our summers are hot and steamy, and our winters are damp and windy. Snow is hit or miss (mainly miss) but every now and then we get walloped.
But now I must pause before looking too far ahead. November is where we are now. I am determined to focus on each day as it comes and stop fixating on what I cannot predict or change.
I know that the Lord wants me to live in the present — not on the past or the future — but the now. And that is where I plan to be.