Friday, November 21, 2008

Choosing Gratitude

I was so motivated to finish this week strong, but it didn't exactly go the way I planned.

The week of Thanksgiving is one of my favorite weeks of the year. In anticipation I had scheduled in advance to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off from school.  In all honesty, I am need of a break. 

Thanksgiving week is fun for me because I can organize with an end in mind. It's when I get my menu all put together, and my favorite holiday recipes pulled out. 

It's when I anticipate the setting of my Thanksgiving table and where I will set things.  It's when I dust the full service china settings and remember how much I love my dishes.

It's when we decide what movie we will watch on Thanksgiving night. 

It's when I get to anticipate a full day with the family. 

Even when it's just the four of us, as it would have been this year, I bake and cook and celebrate as if I am having the dinner party of all dinner parties.

I enjoy Thanksgiving. 

So, when The Mister came home and told me that he wouldn't be home for Thanksgiving because he had been pulled for a week of Administrative Duty, you could say I was deflated. 

I went from Martha Stewart to Oscar the Grouch in 2 seconds flat.

At first I was understanding. Then I was angry. Now, I'm just disappointed.

There have been a number of things happening around me that remind me to be grateful.

The family of a friend of mine buried a loved one yesterday. Next Thursday they will sit around a table and give thanks with one forever-empty chair. 

Another friend of ours lost his job. He had no idea it was coming. He just walked into work, was told to pack up his desk, and was escorted out, along with several co-workers.  They will eat turkey with their family and give thanks without knowing what their future holds.

I have friends with spouses fighting in a war.  Thousands of miles from home, they haven't seen their loved ones for over six months. They will give thanks that their husbands (and wives) are fighting for freedom, even though that means missing family milestones and many holidays.

I'm trying to keep things in perspective. Trying to remember that life goes on...even when I don't get my way! The flesh cries out to be heard. To be soothed. To be answered.

Deep in my heart, in that place that never speaks out loud, it cries "This isn't fair!"

But the rational part of my grumpy old self is remembering to choose gratitude.

God has blessed me with a tender-hearted and loving man; two healthy and sweet kids; we have family and friends who love us and care for us. We have a warm home and food to eat. We are, in comparison to many places outside of America, rich and spoiled people. How could I possibly forget to be grateful?

So, there won't be a Thanksgiving event here at the La Vida household this year.  It may be lasagna and salad on Sunday. But I'll remember to give thanks all the same.

Isaiah 51:3 - 
Joy and gladness will be found in her, 
Thanksgiving and the sound of singing.


Darcie said...

Such wise words my friend.

I've had Thanksgivings like the one you'll have this year and they are certainly not ideal. I'm so moved by your grateful spirit though. Your choosing gratitude over "why me?".

I'm sorry your first Thanksgiving back in NC won't be what you were hoping for. I know you'll find a way to make it special for your family though.

Big hugs!

Lindsay said...

I am sorry that the Mister will not be home for thanksgiving. That is tough but you are right choosing Gratitude is so much better!

Michele said...

I am so sorry for your disappointment. I hate getting all excited about something (which really tends to be the little things in life) and then be disappointed.

Kellie, you have wonderful perspective though. I am SO PROUD of you for that! Choosing gratitude - such a simple statement, but very profound!

I will pray for you on Thanksgiving morning that God will just supernaturally show up and bless you and your family with a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Hey, who says you have to have celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual Thanksgiving day? Everyday should be a day of thanksgiving, so why not plan a day when the Mister will be home and CELEBRATE with the yummy recipes you've pulled out then!!!

4 is crazy said...

I wanted to thank you for the beautiful apron. It arrived last week. I love it!

Anonymous said...

You have such a good attitude!

It's understandable that you would be disappointed, you are human afterall.

Hoping that you will still have a special day.

Shannon said...

What a precious blog, Kellie. It is so easy to not have perspective. This was a great remihder to me. Thanks for sharing.

flyinjuju said...

Ok, seriously you made my eyes water, and I'm not an easy one for that. :) I appreciate your attitude as I am aware of a greater need for gratefulness in my life. I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed even with your hubby gone.

jen said...

Good for you!

Last Christmas Handsome was called in to deliver a baby; he got the call Christmas morning right in the middle of the kids opening gifts - ack! It was a first American Christmas for two of our children; then, the delivery ended up being a long one.

I very specifically remember telling myself, "I can do this. I can choose to laugh and enjoy the day. I can be thankful for my children and family who will celebrate with me. I can still be thankful for Jesus...even w/o my husband." And the day turned out great - well, the part where my littlest threw up all over my biggest wasn't so great...but that's another story! ;)

Woman Interrupted said...

So true, we are blessed, period.

That said, I'm sorry that Thanksgiving won't be the same at your house this year. That's not fair.

But what's to stop you from doing Thanksgiving the week after next?

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this disappointment your first Thanksgiving back in NC, but I love the way you are choosing joy and gratitude in spite of it.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

Rae said...

Thank you, Kellie, for this post! I too would have become Oscar the Grouch! You are an inspiration to me!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh, Kellie, I'm so sorry to hear of your disappointing news. I would have been so deflated and grouchy too.

Thanks for reminding me to choose gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for and sometimes I let the all the "whining" consume me.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I am so glad you are choosing gratitude! What a great post - a good reminder to all of us!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Great post, Kellie. I hope wherever you are today that you have a wonderful day with your family.