Thanksgiving Blues--Breaking A Thanksgiving Tradition

Again, the little sneaky jerk called ‘expectations’ has shown up to steal some of my joy. “Expectations are premeditated resentments”—I LOVE that quote. It has brought me more comfort and peace this week than pumpkin pie… and this is the season for $5 pumpkin pies at Costco! 

I know this is ‘supposed’ to be one of the best times of the year. But the reality is this time of the year is also one of the most painful times of the year for so many. I know some people have wonderful Thanksgiving traditions, but I am realizing one of my Thanksgiving traditions is to struggle. This year has been no different. I always tend to struggle around Thanksgiving. This time of year just seems to highlight some of the pain and losses for me in my life, more than it highlights the things to be thankful for. But I am trying to shift that in my life. My hubby—'Mr.Cup half-full' (actually, annoyingly, and more accurately-- ‘Mr. cup OVER-flowing') has this gift of easily finding gratitude in e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g… 

I just have this picture in my head of what Thanksgiving “should” or “could” be. But the reality is—Thanksgiving, just like life, is not always as it “should” or “could” be. But if we live in “should” and “could”—good luck finding “joy” and “peace”. We ALL have some legitimate pains and losses to contend with. This time of year tends to highlight those losses. Maybe you are mourning the loss of a loved one, or a broken relationship, or a financial loss. Or possibly your struggle is that life isn't like it used to be in one way or another...

I am finding the more open and honest I am with the struggle, the less it controls my emotions and life. The more I face, acknowledge, and admit to myself and at least one other human being—or publicly on my blog as it seems, that things are not all as they “should” or “could” be, the more free I am to actually embrace, enjoy and even love what I do have. 

I don’t want to live my life haunted by “should haves” and “could haves”. And I have so much to be thankful for when I can move past the loss. 

The other issue for me is feeling like everyone else has that picture perfect family moment at Thanksgiving dinner—everyone at complete peace with each other, and experiencing peace in their own lives. When the reality is even ‘perfect’ families have imperfect people with their issues too. My Pastor says “there is weirdness in every family.” I once heard him also say something along the lines of “if you don’t think you have weirdness in your family, you may be the weirdness!”—isn’t that profound?! 

It’s ok to acknowledge and mourn the loss. But I also need to give myself permission to celebrate all the good too!  I don’t ever want my losses to overshadow ALL the good and ALL the grace! 

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.” Thankfulness for even the littlest of things gives room for the Spirit to move, grow and heal our hearts. 

So this Thanksgiving, I won’t give in to my unmet expectations or the “should haves” or “could haves” and I will just embrace and be thankful for all I do have! I am so thankful for my family and friends walking this broken, yet beautiful road with me. 

Psalm 107:41 “But He lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.”—you belong! You are loved! And no matter what you are facing or feeling—you my friend, are not alone! 

I am thankful for you! 

Now that I have found peace and joy I am off to enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie with Mr. Cup-OVER-flowing! 
Daily Grace to you. 

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