I love Thanksgiving. It gives us a year to look back on with gratitude, but it also allows us to look forward into the upcoming season of hope and joy.
So when I picked Magoo up from school yesterday, I was particularly excited. Not only did I get my kids home with me for four days straight, but I have so very much to be thankful for this year.
As we drove over the river on the way home, I looked over and saw the “Peace of Earth” sign that they display on the bridge every year. Accompanying the sign were remnants of snow and ice and my memories from a few years back.
It was this time of year when everything changed… for the better.
I was reminded of our life before we moved into this house. Before, when we lived in a deteriorating neighborhood in a house I wasn’t comfortable in, and we were desperately trying to sell our home to move out and move on.
The last couple of years in that house left an indelible mark on me. They taught me that things can get really rough. They taught me what it feels like to have a house but not a home. They taught me how empty so many things can feel if you have no place that can act as a respite.
But in all that was lacking, I learned what it really means to be blessed. I learned that as I was a chicken holed up in a hotel room with my girls because a big evil mouse was in my bedroom at home that all I truly needed could be contained in one small room.
And this morning, I find myself sitting in my living room listening to Christmas music while my kids strew toys everywhere and leap across the floor and across my vision to the sound of the music.
Sometimes life still gets overwhelming. But thanks to those years when things weren’t so great, I can see the beauty in the chaos now. I can look past the toys and the clothes, and I can see the love and the peace that this house holds. I find joy in decorating for holidays and in making beds and in preparing meals because I know that these are the things that make this house a home, and I feel so grateful to be able to give my children the peace that comes from a nest that nurtures.
So this holiday season, say a prayer of thanksgiving for all you have that allows you to make a home for your loved ones. And then say a prayer for all those without. This is their season of hardship and trial, and the very least we can do is use our prayers to accompany them on their journey towards hope and peace.
God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.