Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

I live a charmed life.  Honestly.  
I have a beautiful, healthy family.  Wonderful, supportive husband.  A job I love.  A warm home and the best friends a girls could ask for.  
But I also know that this could all change in an instant and I'm not disillusioned enough to think that life isn't hard.  So, today, while I was searching for what to write, I kept coming back to this message by Rick Warren from last year.  It has stuck with me for an entire year, and in case you haven't heard it before I hope it sticks with you as well.
"Thanksgiving is a difficult holiday for many.
How can you be thankful when your doctor says it’s cancer? How can you feel grateful when the one you love just walked out of your life? Or when you’ve been fired, or your dream has collapsed, or an economic tsunami has wiped out all you’ve worked for?
This year became the worst year of my life when my youngest son, who’d struggled since childhood with mental illness, took his own life. How am I supposed be thankful this Thanksgiving? When your heart’s been ripped apart, you feel numb, not grateful.
And yet the Bible tells us Give thanks IN ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The key is the word “in.” God doesn’t expect me to be thankful FOR all circumstance, but IN all circumstances. There’s a huge difference. The first attitude is masochism. The second shows maturity. We’re not supposed to be thankful for evil or sin, or the innocent suffering caused by these things. But even in heartache and grief and disappointment, there are still good things that I can be thankful for.
I used to think that life was a series of mountain highs and valley lows, but actually we get both at the same time. In our world broken by sin, the good and the bad come together. On the cover of my wife’s book, Choose Joy, is a photo of a railroad track heading into the horizon. Like that photo, our lives are always running on two parallel rails simultaneously. No matter how good things are in my life, there are always problems I must deal with, and no matter how bad things are in my life, there are always blessings I can be grateful for.
So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I’m thankful that although life is not always good, God is always good. Having had a close friendship with him for nearly 50 years, I know without a doubt that God sees all I go through, he cares, he grieves with me, he is close and his strength is available at all times.
I’m thankful that even though I don’t have all the answers, God does. In tragedy we seek explanations, but explanations never comfort. It is God’s presence that eases our pain.
I’m thankful that this life is not all there is. It’s not the end of the story. One day God will right all wrongs, even the odds and settle all accounts. Justice will be served. Evil will not win.
I’m thankful for the hope of heaven. I won’t have to live with pain forever. In heaven, there are no broken relationships, broken minds, broken bodies, broken dreams or broken promises. The Bible tells us, “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”
I’m thankful that God can bring good even out of the bad in my life, when I give him the pieces. It’s his specialty. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections, and then benefit the whole world. God never wastes a hurt if we give it to him.
Itzhak Pearlman once broke a string at the start of a Lincoln Center recital. Rather than replacing it, he played the entire concert with a broken instrument. At the end he said, “Sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.” That kind of humility honors God. This Thanksgiving, don’t dwell on what’s lost, but on what’s left."
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!! I hope your day is delicious and full of friends and family.  I'm thankful for all of your support and readership.  Y'all rock!!! :)

20 comments:

  1. That is beautiful!

    Hope you are feeling better ... happy thanksgiving!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I'm thankful for so many things, one of them is being able to call you my friend. Enjoy your thanksgiving !!!

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  3. Thank you for sharing that! Your joy is infectious. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. this is beautiful. thanks for the ugly cry. ;) can't wait for the glorious day that i will be reunited with my precious babies in heaven but i'm so so thankful for the precious days with my babies here. :) xo

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  5. Thank you for posting this Andrea. Hope you and your sweet family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  6. Wow! Very moving. I lost my brother to suicide a little more than 9 years ago now and I needed to read this then for sure. But I will say that I am living his advice now, as much as my loss still makes me sad especially around the holidays, I have so, so much to be thankful for. Thank you so much Andrea for posting this. It feels written for me. Have a fabulous thanksgiving with your family today!

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  7. Andrea, this was so awesome to read this morning. Thank you for sharing this and your sweet heart with us through your blog. Brandi

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  8. Andrea,
    I really appreciate that you shared this. I think A LOT of people needed to hear that. The blogverse is filled with people blessed, fortunate, and their lives are downright close to perfect. If you ask me, it can be a very tough pill to swallow. Lots of blogs only show the wonderful sides of life, which I get is their choice, but life is not like that, nobody has it perfect. However, after ready many blog, people can start to feel worthless. Thanks for sharing the other side, the real side. It is important for readers to see.
    Mandy Destin

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  9. Thank you for sharing this, Andrea! I'm going through a lot and honestly don't feel thankful at all these days...and then feel guilty for my lack of gratitude. Reminders like this are helpful. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. Thank you for this!!! Such an encouraging read. You are an encouragement to me through your blog every day!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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  11. I loved this! Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to your beautiful family.

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  12. Amazing post that hit home for me. We get bombarded with so much of 'be happy, it's holiday time' on social media and in advertising that it's hard for anyone struggling during the this time of year. I think it's very wise and shows your true heart by recognizing that not everyone finds days like today happy or easy. Blessings to you and your family.

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  13. Happy Thanksgiving Andrea (and family). Hope you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing this message/passage. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think of God's wondrous ways. God is so good.

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  14. This is such a great post! Although the holidays are a tough time for many, we as Christians have so much to be thankful for, we serve and are loved by a wonderful God! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family! Love your blog!

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  15. Just what I needed to read this morning! Thank you andrea for sharing your life with all of us! Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  16. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family! Hope it is a great day!

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  17. You know, until I read your post, I was about cut the cord on blog reading. Recently most of the blogs that I read have become NOTHING but rstyle links, sponsored by Nordstrom's, liketoknowit, etc. If I am being honest it really, really bothers me. It seems so many people have lost their focus are after the ever mighty commission. It is just sad, but I do enjoy reading your blog as you have empathy. Not too many out there. Thanks for posting this. I am just appalled that some of these ladies are posting links on this most sacred of days. Good for you...I wish others would follow your lead.
    Charlotte Franken

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  18. Love this! Your blog is the first one I read every morning, and this is totally why. Enjoy your little ones today and have a Happy Thanksgiving, girlfriend! :)

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  19. What a wonderful reminder and message. Thanks for sharing! Happy thanksgiving to you and your sweet fam! :)

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  20. Thankful to you for sharing this wonderful message. I really needed to read this today. I hope you also had a wonderfully blessed thanksgiving.

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