Friday, 15 November 2013

Public Displays of Thanksgiving

Now that it's November, half a dozen of my friends on Facebook post  things they are thankful for each day--enumerating the blessings we take for granted eleven months out of the year.  I've been thinking about a  blessing which I'm thankful for and it's time to put it out there.

This blessing started when we moved in with Dan's mom three years ago.  We were out of work and homeless without any other option while we waited for a job to turn up.  She graciously opened her home to us and made every effort to make us feel comfortable and welcomed.  Nevertheless, I remember feeling covetous when I drove around, resentful that  people had  homes while my family didn't.  Looking back, I don't have great memories because I was in survival mode; putting my head down and plowing through it, sure that God's plan was going to be one of those tragic stories where everyone suffers years of poverty before some tear-jerking final scene.  Of course that wasn't the case; four months after we arrived, Dan got a job in Texas. Three months later, I joined him  and we bought a house.   As far as I was concerned, that horrible episode was past--we could start rebuilding out life together and try to forget that really distasteful chapter we had just been through.  It took losing Dan's mom several months later to bring things into sharp focus.

Those seven and a half months with her were a gift we were being given.  It was a blessing to live with her and talk with her, comfort her and be comforted by her.  I remember how much Logan loved helping Grandma  or just sitting by her.  He was a joy to his Grandma, filling her darkness with light.  Once he said, "Grandma, you have such soft skin," completely melting her heart.  I'm grateful  he  and Hannah have  memories of  Grandma that never would have been made had we not been "homeless" those few months.  I didn't realize at the time that God was giving us a final window of opportunity to love and be loved every single day by an amazing woman--I didn't see the blessing because I could only focus on what I perceived was disaster.   I should have trusted that  "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:24). 

So I want to say "Thank you" for giving me a gift I wasn't willing to accept. Thank you for giving it to me anyway, knowing I would recognize it's value later.   I regret not cherishing it when it was given, but I do now and I'm filled with gratitude.