The Simple Things: A Really Big Deal

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Today was a lovely, weird day.

I’ve got a strange tickle in my throat and some uncomfortable pressure in my ears. I chugged special tea and slathered on my essential oils, though, because we had stuff to do today.

Little Miss had a dentist appointment this morning and we had to head to town, but not before I put bacon on the skillet on the stove, then walked away and completely forgot about it. 

It smells like I diffused “burned bacon” essential oils in our home… Continue reading “The Simple Things: A Really Big Deal”

What If I’m Not Thankful?

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It’s the time of year when everyone is preparing to gather ’round a home cooked meal and tell, one by one, everything they’re thankful for.

For some folks, the thought of having to share thanks stirs more angst and anxiety than thankfulness.

You’ve lost a loved one. You had to bury your child. You’ve received a terminal diagnosis. You’re going through a divorce. You lost your job. Your car stopped working. Someone stole your wallet. You’re immersed in negativity. You’re stuck. Your past haunts you.

“I’m not thankful. I’m hurt. Angry. Sad. Grieving.”

What if I’m not thankful?

I resonate with those feelings. That despair. Resenting the holidays because while some were skipping around in “the most wonderful time of the year”, I was realizing more and more what wasn’t, and what would never be.

In the same breath people were telling me they were sorry for our circumstances, and either quoting scripture (to try to pipe me out of being sad) or another cliche phrase they assumed would magically make everything better.

It is true, scriptures says, “In all things, give thanks.” (1 Thess 5:18) There is an important clarification to make note of here, however.

The verse says IN all things, not FOR all things. Even when you’ve been dealt the worst possible hand in life, while you don’t have to be thankful for that circumstance or situation, the premise is – though you may have to dig really deep to find it – there is still thanksgiving to be found. No matter what situation you’re facing, there is always appreciation or joy in something else.

There are things I will never be thankful for. That doesn’t mean, however, I can’t find something else to appreciate.

If you find yourself in the throes of thanklessness and if you find yourself resenting this holiday season, I want to encourage you to take baby steps.

Maybe you’re not thankful – for so many things! – but your breakfast tasted good. Start there.

Try to find one thing, one day. Two things the second day. And don’t confuse being thankful with being happy! You don’t have to be giddy about anything to be thankful. One little step at a time.

I’m thankful potatoes were on sale.

I’m thankful for cashews.

I’m thankful I choose my own holiday traditions.

I’m thankful the sun is shining.

I’m thankful for indoor plumbing.

I’m thankful it’s almost January.

Wherever you have to start, start there.

If anyone is trying to force you to be bubbly, or over-the-top enthusiastic because they somehow deem this is what this period of life is about, be thankful you’ve got more depth than they do.

I know this time of year is challenging, to say the least, for so many people. I know while the hustle and bustle of gatherings and food and decorations has everyone else occupied, you’re trying to figure out why you have to get out of bed in the morning. No matter what you’ve been through or are wrestling through still, others have decided it’s time for you to “buck up and be thankful.”

They’ll never get it. Don’t expect them to understand. They can’t, and a lot of them won’t allow themselves to.

Be thankful for the people who do, and who are, supporting you right now, where you are. For those along for the journey while you grow, taking one step at a time.

As we head into Thanksgiving, and then into Christmas, I want you to take the pressure off yourself. If you’re not thankful for what you’ve suffered through, no one can blame you for that. And if they do – find new people.

Try, though, to find one little thing – anything – you can be thankful in. I promise you, there will be things that present themselves that may surprise you. You’ll be thankful for things no one else will realize or notice for themselves.

Work through your feelings. Work through your issues. And simultaneously, look outside of those feelings and issues to find what you can appreciate. It will bless you. Somehow. His way.

I’m pulling for you. You can count on that.

Snow Thankful

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Our snowpocalypse storm that was originally calling for 6 – 10 inches of fresh snow overnight ended up dropping under two inches.

And I’m here to tell you I’m okay with that. Very okay.

The wind is pretty wild outside today, though, so I haven’t taken Little Man outside to test his new snow boots or snow pants. There will be lots of time for that over the next several months, though. The wind is getting woolier as the day goes on, and as I hear it throwing things up against the outside walls, I’m so thankful.

I’m so thankful I get to work from home.

I’m so thankful I didn’t have to drive over ice and snow in rush hour traffic to go anywhere this morning.

I’m so thankful, as much as I am going completely insane from and detest living in an apartment, we have a clean, cozy, comfortable abode, protecting us from the elements and with no responsibility of snow removal.

I’m so thankful Hubs got the flat tire on the mommyvan fixed before the storm rolled in.

I’m so thankful I canned until I could can no more this season, and we have a hall closet and kitchen cupboards full of home-cooked goodness that will get us through these blustery, freezing cold days.

I’m so thankful Amazon delivers right to my door. And so does the grocery store.

I’m so thankful for prayerful friends who respond to a “please pray” email with wisdom and affirmation – and prayers!

I’m so thankful for Rotel casserole and how it fed me three times this week. #leftovers

I’m so thankful even though we live in one of the harshest winter climates in the nation (In 2011, Fargo won The Weather Channel’s “America’s Toughest Weather City” poll.), we had some of the most beautiful, enjoyable summer and fall weather this year I’ve ever experienced.

I’m so thankful I can plop down in my favorite spot and hammer out a quick post on a blog, that people actually read. I’m so thankful for you. Really.

I’m so thankful my oven smells like chocolate chip cookies when it preheats.

Which reminds me, I need to go bake a squash.

There’s a lot of stuff going on these days. Some of it has me shaking my head, some of it has me shedding tears, some of it has me cracking up. But it’s all stuff, nonetheless. I thought I’d give myself a break and remind myself of a few of the many – many – things I can still be thankful for, even when everything isn’t going how I’d like it to.

I’m so thankful I care enough about stuff to get riled up about it. I’m thankful I’m free to express my heartache, joy, and peevedness (made up word alert).

But for real, I need to go bake a squash.