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Monday, November 23, 2015

Blessings

This week we will have another quiet Thanksgiving Day.  Divorce alters traditional family celebrations forever and spending big days without some of those you love the oat is one of the most enduring markers of a divided family.  Holidays will never be the same.  My children requested a Thanksgiving celebration at home this year, and so we will enjoy a feast on Saturday along with traditional holiday decorating.  Mr. Wonderful and I have reservations for lunch on Thursday.  Thanksgiving is such a family-focused holiday that I struggle against the sadness.  I'm glad I'll have Saturday and Christmas to uplift my spirit.

Yesterday at church, I was sharing our Thanksgiving plans with a fellow solo-mom.  I mistakenly assumed that she might understand the challenge of celebrating without the presence of your child.  "I haven't ever had a holiday without *Kaley, I just can't imagine." she said.  I just nodded, but I felt even more isolated and less understood.

I'm very conscious of many blessings I have been given.  It's so easy to notice what I don't have and long for more: time with my children, clothes in the closet, updated furniture, modern conveniences, etc.  These thoughts are very me-focused, and I am practicing looking outward.  The news displays clear evidence that I have so very much and am rich in material goods.  My family and children reflect how deeply I am blessed in relationships.  Mr. Wonderful is such a tangible presence of understanding, partnership and love.  The comfort of knowing he "gets it" is so monumental.  The very fact that we have walked similar hardships bonds us more closely together.  Those I love most are healthy and cared for.  It's hard to ask for more.

And so it is with most things.  If we look, we can find the blessing even in what is negative.  We miss our one who went away to university this year.  Yet we are so grateful for her intelligence and what she is learning, experiencing and the way she is growing.  Middle school has been so challenging and yet my son has matured and is stretching himself.  When I practice gratefulness, my perspective shifts and I feel so rich.  Let's be intentional about noticing the blessings.  It's a practice of perspective that has the power to change your life.


*name changed for privacy.