What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You asks Work at Home Grandma
The Meaning of Thanksgiving
We had our first winter snow here in Minnesota this week. The maple tree still has its leaves and the brisk wind that followed the snowfall whipped them into the air and blanketed the white cotton on the ground. It was a rather unique picture but one we seem to see often in November the last few winters.
I can recall years past when the first snow arrived on Thanksgiving and we were prepared to have late arrivals or cancellations for dinner. It was Minnesota after all. So many times we weave our lives around the expected, the predicted or the vast array of traditions.
The other day I was listening to the Glenn Beck program and watched his heartbreaking story of the illness that was slowly overtaking his body; an illness that was just recently diagnosed and is finally being treated. It took several years for him to get to the place he had finally reached, just as it often takes us several years and even a lifetime to realize how much God has given to each one of us.
Trusting Him for the Little Things
He Walks with Me
Each day of our lives we suffer setbacks and disappointments but it is what we do about them that matters not that they are bestowed upon us. I don’t believe God punishes by making people ill or allowing a tragedy to happen, but I do believe God is there in the good times and the bad times. He’s there even when we need him the least and so we forget that he still walks with us. When difficulties come, we reach out to him and we are often befuddled that he is still walking by our side, so much so that we stumble to find his hand. How painful it must be for him when we treat him like a stranger and forget how he is there on our daily walk.
Let God Light Your Path
We often stumble yet God picks us back up
This past year I have experienced one of the most difficult times of my life. I used to think being a single parent was one of my most difficult trials; I thought for sure that my devastating illness when my daughter was born had to be the worst thing I would ever endure. But this past year I have found myself very slowly falling into a very dark place and struggling to be able to climb out. I had lost my patience and long suffering becoming irritated with God that the answers I needed seemed so far beyond my reach. Though prayers abounded for me and from me, things just seemed to go from bad to worse and I was making all the wrong decisions.
The most difficult thing to do is to trust the Lord when he keeps whispering softly “wait --- wait”. Just when I feel the end is in sight another hurdle is thrown my way. I find myself wondering how Job survived yet it was by the grace of God. When I was a child we lived in poverty. My father had left his family to starve and had never looked back. My one and only Christmas gift was a toy from the welfare box and the clothes I wore to school were tattered makeshift garments from the thrift store. Although I was a well adjusted child, I determined that my children would never suffer as I had. I was blessed that even though I was a single parent I had the support of my children’s father. He made sure we never went without.
I’ve never considered myself a hateful person but watching my beloved granddaughter suffering this past year has been the hardest trial of my life. She is under the influence of a despicable human being who cares more about hatred and retribution than the happiness of his own child. During the summer she was not allowed to visit very often and missed our spa days, our gardening and a trip to Duluth. At night when she is at her father’s house, she lies awake and tries to think good thoughts and struggles to sleep. I pray for God’s protection as her father is reckless and irresponsible, risking her health and well being on many occasions.
I decided after listening to Glenn’s story and speaking with a close friend who deals daily with her own personal illness, I realized that I was keeping track of all the wrong things. I was concentrating on how much my granddaughter was suffering that I forgot about her loving spirit. I was so worried about her being in danger from her father’s irresponsibility that I forgot about God’s shield of protection that he has placed around her. I was so angry about the monetary things my granddaughter was missing that I had failed to remember living with so little and having so much joy with one small thing.
Trust Him One Day at a Time
Reach Out to Him
Right now we are waiting on another court decision. I sometimes feel we will spend our entire lives in court until my granddaughter is 18 and able to be on her own. I don’t know why it seems that the bad guy always wins. I do know that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and my granddaughter is one of them. I am so thankful she trusts in Jesus and carries in her heart a wonderful loving spirit that not even her father can destroy.
Hate is a very powerful emotion but love is a stronger one. Satan is powerful but he doesn’t hold a candle to Jesus Christ. So at Thanksgiving we need to count our blessings instead of picking up sticks of hatred. When God says wait on him, close your eyes and enjoy the rest. Take each day one at a time and tomorrow will take care of itself. When you think you've lost your way reach out to Jesus; put your hand into his and let him carry you.