As I sit here looking out the window of my home office across a tree-filled front yard reflecting over the past year, my heart is full of thankfulness.
When the end of the year arrives, I begin a time of reflection. Thinking back through the past year helps me to remember reasons to give thanks. When I forgo this important ritual, I tend to get caught up in the weeds of each day which often only serves as a way to blind me of the many reasons for thankfulness.
Year of Change
This time last year I was recovering from major ankle surgery hoping it would heal enough so I could chase my young son around.
Soon after my surgery we bought and moved into a new home (new to us) that sits on 5 acres. This brought lots of change. Especially for our son. Not only did he move from the only home he remembered, but he also began Kindergarten at a school where he knew no one. As you know, change can be very challenging for a young child, especially one with a trauma background.
About the time I finished physical therapy on my ankle, Danielle had what should have been minor surgery. However, her recovery was inhibited by an infection during the summer months. Not fun when you have a young son who is constantly on the go, but Danielle was a trooper!
Since I don’t like to be too bored, I decided to pull together my notes to write and self-publish a book! I had been working on a few different writing projects, but finally got serious about getting one of them finished this year. (I will share details on how I wrote, published, and promoted the book next week for those interested in that sort of thing.)
Whew! Needless to say the past 12-14 months flew by for us. I really do look forward to a little more settled 2017. Many times I wondered how smart it was for us to impose so much change into our family in such a short time. Granted, not all of it was avoidable, but much of it was.
I had days where I did complain. I complained about my ankle. About the stress around buying a house and moving. About how we didn’t do much for fun during the summer. About how my son kept saying he hated his new house.
Just being honest, yet that wasn’t my overall attitude. But I can remember feel that way from time to time.
Like us all, I have a choice. I can complain about pain, hurt, busyness, stress, and disappointment.
Or I can look at the same events and look for the good in each of them. I learned a few years ago that I really don’t have an accurate enough perspective on life to know whether something is good or bad. All I can see is what is right in front of me, and usually I don’t completely understand what I am seeing.
Only God truly knows what is good or bad. And He promises to work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
This is why I spend time each year looking back reflecting on what has transpired. My view and understanding is more clear. I can see how God has been in control all along and moving in my life. Events, days, and decisions that at the time brought on stress, possibly even pain, even if I still can’t understand, I can see reasons to be thankful now.
- I am thankful that my ankle recovered and healed enough that I can run with my son, I can jump on the trampoline with him, and I even can play a little basketball.
- I am thankful for our new home and how, not only my son, but all of us has transitioned into living in a new place.
- I am thankful that even though Danielle’s slow recovery was unexpected and frustrating, it forced us to slow life down this past summer.
- I am thankful that I accomplished a huge goal in writing, compiling, and publishing my second full-length book. I needed to focus and get it done. Many people encouraged me along the way. Many assisted me as well with the writing, editing, feedback, publishing and promoting.
When I consider all these things for which I am thankful, I realize how blessed I truly am.
I know for many of you reflecting back over the past year is painful. I have close friends who lost loved ones during this time of year, and that alone makes it nearly impossible to meditate on what is good.
For others simply the fear of the future because of who runs your country, or the illness of a loved one, or the stress of finances render you paralyzed and unable to find thankfulness in anything.
Still, I trust that if you too will take a moment as we draw near to the end of 2016, you can find something for which to give thanks.
Will you take a moment and leave a comment about one thing you are thankful for?
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