Just around the bend, Thanksgiving, a time for remembering followed by Christmas a time of celebration. Thanksgiving, a holiday I looked forward too with warm anticipation. I’d make a huge dinner with all the trimmings. Not living close to family, my family became those, who like my hubby and I, were “orphans” this time of year. We would invite all to come and join us around our Thanksgiving table. One year we had over 24 people. Yes, it took time and energy, but oh the joy. Joy which flowed as we blessed others through the gifts of time, the gift of family and friendship; not to mention the food 🙂 Those dinners now an item of the past are fond memories.
CVID this year will bring its own challenge to the upcoming holidays. CVID my nemesis disease makes it difficult to accept an invitation to another’s table. First, I might need to explain my disease. Explaining the disease comes fairly easy; the understanding not so much. Then, I need to ask the question, “Will others be in attendance or just your family?” Most of my friends know of my illness, yet, I need to remind them to share with their guests, every one of them, if they are not well or feel a wee bit under the weather, to notify the host. This gives the host time to notify me. Then I’m able to weigh the risk factor in attending.
Inviting others to our home, also has its challenges. To invite others into our home goes something like this…. “Hey, friend, we’d love to have you join us for dinner this Thanksgiving, with one caveat. If you’re not feeling well, or are getting over a virus, or if anyone in your family has been ill, we would need you to cancel; even if it’s a half-hour before your expected arrival. It’s hard to tell someone they would need to make other plans at the last-minute due to a stuffy nose which may turn out to be nothing, yet, might be something. To do so ruins their plans for a great Thanksgiving. Just typing the words, overwhelms. It’s simply easier to go it alone, I think.
Choosing to take the easier road does not necessarily mean sadness. It will depend on many factors. The primary factor of influence is ….. “focus and/or attitude.” It’s a scientifically proven fact that when we focus on the positive, the good in life, we feel better. Focusing on positive things and thoughts kick in the gloom and depression fighting endorphins; they do the battle and we reap a heart filled with joy, gladness and peace…. in spite of unyielding circumstances. Easy, you ask? Sometimes yes, often no!
My hubby and I have much for which to be thankful. I pray I can focus on the good and not what I will be missing this season.
In preparation for our first Thanksgiving with CVID, I’m going to, once again, do my Thanksgiving challenge. I heard encouraging comments from those who joined me in the 25 Day Gratitude Challenge last year.
Purchase, make your own, or grab a plain notebook to use as a “Joy” Journal. In this journal each day you will write down 3 things for which you are thankful or which brought you joy. (Suggestions – People in your life, events which happened, a note of encouragement you received, an answer to prayer, a text or telephone call which made you smile, a late fee waived, finding something which was lost, etc.). Write them before going to bed or after the evening meal, or ??? You pick the time which works best for you.
Each day’s a gift, therefore we can always start our day by thanking God we have one more day of life. If life’s extremely hard we can thank the Lord we made it through, yet another day, or yet another night. I understand the difficulty in finding thankfulness when the world’s an unyielding, unfriendly place. It’s a challenge to feel grateful when debilitating illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of finances, a job, or other equally harsh reality faces you every day. Our challenge is to discover hope in every day, regardless of how we feel. I promise you, if you will write down at least one thing with the goal of 3 everyday, you will begin to not only see hope, but feel hope.
Until next time,