The Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday season is all about being grateful for you blessings. You get to spend time with people you love, share gifts, etc, etc, etc. I've always known this and tried to remember this and incorporate it into the festivities.
But this year was different.
November was one of the most trying months I remember. I totaled our car (in an accident that was in no way my fault), we had to buy a new one (definitely NOT in the budget for two college students with a baby), I lost my job (and was notified about it via text message), two kids I went to high school with were killed in an accident, Tim and I have both been sick, and there are some on-going personal struggles we've been dealing with for a while that just tend to wear on you.
I was getting pretty bogged down by all of it.
A few of the girls at school knew I'd been having a rough time and gave me this book with a little "Hang in there" note from them.
I haven't read all the way through it, but in the second chapter there's a story that made me pause and think about some things. The author was preparing a talk and wanted to look up "Hope" in the Bible Dictionary.
"What do you think I discovered? It wasn't there! Hope is not in the Bible Dictionary. I was amazed! Just to make sure it wasn't only my Bible Dictionary, I asked a friend 'would you please check your Bible and see if hope is in the Bible Dictionary?' It wasn't in hers either. I had to work a little to find stories and verses about hope around which I could construct my talk. Perhaps this little experience is indicative of our lives. We have to look for hope! We have to create it!"
I had been having difficulty recognizing the blessings in my life. This was the first holiday season where I actually felt like it was a stretch to find things to be thankful for.
I'm not yet grateful for the trials we've been dealing with, but it has been good for me to look harder at my life to see the good. It has made the holidays a little more meaningful, even if sometimes it still seems like the rest of my life is falling apart. :-)
So thank you Devyn, Emily, and Sidne. For the long chat in the abandoned jail house, and all your support and encouragement. Thank you Jake's grandparents for loaning us money for the new car. Thank you Tim for giving me things to smile about every day. Thank you family for loving us. And thanks to Heavenly Father for being patient with me as I get the perspective I need in life.
Here's to the end of the semester and *hopefully* starting over in January!