Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. And not because of the food, although I do love Thanksgiving food. It’s because of the family. Family members all flooding into one house, eating and laughing and playing games together, gets my heart all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. I have a big extended family, and we don’t always get to see much of each other. That all changes at Thanksgiving. Aunts, uncles, cousins, occasional grandparents, everybody all in one place is what makes this holiday special to me.

This year is a bit different. We live far away. From everybody. No big family get-togethers for us. So we made a different family. Friends from church. People my husband works with. These are the people we’ve invited into our home to share Thanksgiving with us. It won’t be the same, but it’ll still be special in its own right.

This has been a difficult year. Exciting at times, but also terrifying, and wonderful, and stressful, and awful. I’ve been dealt some pretty heavy personal blows, one after the other, and my faith has been tested in ways that I never imagined. We moved 1100 miles away from everyone we know. We made a new life here, but it’s lonely sometimes. I got pregnant. I miscarried at only 7 weeks, and my heart broke so hard I thought I was dying. I finished a manuscript, and went through the devastating process of being rejected by agents. I’m looking for a part-time job, which may sound like a good thing, but it isn’t. It’ll give me less time to write, and feels like a step backward in my goals. I’m also struggling with not getting pregnant again, and it’s taking an emotional toll.

Even through all the ups and downs, God has been there to sustain me and pick me up. I know that His will is good and right, regardless of the pain it may be causing me in the moment. He allows me to have a spirit of peace and joy and true gratitude.

To that end, I would like to share some of the things I’m thankful for today:

  •  My health. I often take it for granted, but after the pregnancy and miscarriage I had some serious concerns. I’m making a conscious effort to take better care of myself.
  • My husband. He’s my best friend, and my earthly rock.
  • My free time. This is the first time in my life I’ve had the opportunity to write freely, to really try my hand at making something amazing. I never realized how much I wanted it until I made a concentrated effort to make it happen.
  • My writing projects. Even if I never become successful, I’ve still learned amazing lessons and had the opportunity to watch myself grow as a writer. I can tell the difference, and that growth is important to me.
  • Our move. I wouldn’t have chosen this place, and the landscape is incredibly boring. But it’s an adventure that Kasey and I are on together. We’re leaning on each other in ways we haven’t before. It’s a new place for both of us, with new things to experience and learn. I never want to stop learning.
  • The military. Kasey’s job situation over the years has been…unstable. We’ve both at times been on unemployment and food stamps. He’s struggled to find just what he wants to do with his life. The military has provided that stability for us. It’s taking care of our family, and giving Kasey the opportunity to chase his own dreams.
  • My dreams. They haven’t figured much in my life up until now. I had dreams, but there were always reasons I couldn’t chase them. I’m chasing them now. I know what I want, and I’m going to make it happen. It’s a scary thing, chasing your dreams. My fear of failure is second only to my fear of success.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I could never put into words all of the things I’m thankful for. Everyday things, like food and shelter and hot water, would make the task endless all by themselves.

I’m also thankful for you. There aren’t many of you. My posts only average about 3 views, and on a good day might hit 7. But I’m still thankful for your continuing support, and for letting me ramble and vent and try to form my jumbled thoughts into something coherent. This blog has been cathartic for me, and I hope something in it has been helpful for you too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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