Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

I've been reading a lot about being deliberate in my life. Devotionals, blogs, random friends' facebook posts- everyone seems to be talking about being intentional. It is a good reminder. Living purposefully makes a huge difference in big and small ways.

For instance, this holiday season, I am going out of my way to make Thanksgiving and Christmas memorable and special for Little Man, even though I'm not feeling it. What I'm feeling is sad and tired and huge and kinda mopey. Instead of thinking turkey and stuffing, I'm thinking that last Sunday was our due date for the baby we lost in March. *Yay* for this week! Yep, I'm feeling Thanksgiving. Please notice the heavy sarcasm...

But you know what? Feelings can be deceiving. Feelings can change like the wind. Feelings don't have to control me. So Sunday, instead of lying in bed all day eating Nutella and pretzels like I wanted to, we went to church and cried through the service. Then we had donuts and juice and talked with our friends. And I smiled and cooked lunch for my guys. And when I got really crabby in the afternoon, I went for a walk up the dirt road with the dogs. It was cold and quiet and beautiful outside. And suddenly, I noticed that I wasn't sad anymore. I was too busy marveling at the ice crystals on the beach, and watching the dogs run through the snow covered forest, and breathing in the fresh, winter air mingled with the scent of wood stoves to notice I was supposed be sad and moping. It took all day, but intentionally focusing on things other than my feelings worked. Of course, then I saw the Vikings score and was a little sad again.

Living intentionally. Making good choices even when it is difficult. Giving thanks even when I don't feel thankful. These are all things I'm focusing on and it is working. I'm getting ridiculously excited about all of the cooking and baking tomorrow and Thursday hold. And the eating. And the family. I'm thinking about where the Christmas tree is going to go and what kind of homemade decorations Little Man and I can work on together. I'm spending more time looking out instead of in and finding all kinds of things to be thankful for.

It reminds me of the book One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She basically states that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. She's right, too. And I'm really trying to be intentional in my thanksgiving. When I'm feeling my crummiest and least thankful, that is when I'm trying my hardest to find something to thank God for. There is always something.

Little Man made this great envelope and we've been writing down what we are thankful for.

Isn't that so cute? He did the whole thing all by himself. The other side is decorated with leaves and flowers. I love his handwriting. It has been fun to think about things to write down every day and fill it up. Here are a few things I am thankful for this week.

Homemade bread.

Loons on the lake.

Icy beaches and a husband who is a great photographer.

Happy memories and Jesus' sacrifice, which means this goodbye isn't forever.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, full of love, grace, and joy.

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