Many think about being thankful at Thanksgiving time. I try to be thankful everyday because that is what my faith says. Whether things happen that are good or bad, I need to find something to be thankful. I learned that, many years ago, when we had an unemployed household. And I continue to learn daily.
I quit working, for pay, when our family moved to Spain. When we moved home, it was decided that I would continue to not work for pay so I could manage the home, the children, our lives, as Kent would continue to travel in the United States for his work.
Well…that was the thing, there needed to be employment. That did not happen for nine months. We were faced with financial and social strains that we could never have imagined.
All of the friends that we had in Spain were no longer available in our life. There were no more business lunches or dinners or drinks. And things had changed at home as well.
Kent would go to his office, in our home, every day but there was no connection to others. I would take our son to the bus for Kindergarten and take our daughter to pre-school and we would go to church on Wednesday and Sunday, but things were different. There was a disconnection with our life.
Life moved forward without us in the United States. The friends with whom we had socialized had met new friends and it was hard to fit us into their busy schedule. We had our son at school in one town, our daughter in pre-school in another town and our church was in a different town. It was a mess and it was getting difficult to act as if everything was okay in our home. There was a lot of stress and arguments. How could we pay our bills? How did we get to be so distant from our friends? How are we going to survive?
There did not seem to be much to be thankful. I felt my life was falling apart. But I had to find something. So I began thinking: ‘We may not have a job, but we have money to pay for insurance; if someone becomes ill we can still go to the doctor. We still have a roof over our heard. We still have food to eat. The adults may not be getting along, but we still need to be thankful that our children are happy.’ No matter what our ailments, place in life, our financial status, I can be thankful that I wake up in the morning.
In my life as a Christian, I do not always do what is proper. I don’t always pray as I should. But, I think, always give credit to The One who sees to my needs. While things were not easy for those nine months, we survived and grew stronger. It was because of my faith that I muddled through and learned and became a better person.
When I have a conversation with God, I Praise first. I thank God for all of the things that he has given me. Sometimes what I am given is not what I want but it is what I need. It is through our trials and tribulations that we grow in our faith. If things were always hunky-dory, we could not grow as a person; we would become spoiled brats, always getting our way.
Next I Repent. I ask God to forgive me for falling short of His expectations. And I fall short every day.
Thirdly, I Ask. I don’t ask for things because that is not what we need. I ask for guidance and inspiration and His patience, while I try to figure it all out.
And lastly, I Yield. To me that means that I give myself to Him to use my life as He sees fit. Does that mean that I become a Job-type character and I am inflicted with sores and poverty? Or am I blessed to no end and can take my blessings to help others? I don’t know. On any given day, I think that I could be used as either. But however I am used, I remain thankful, thankful for my loving, imperfect family and my blessed and imperfect life.
Now, after nine months of unemployment, my husband did find a job. We have not had that sort of turmoil in our home since. It was a great learning experience and through our trials, we grew as a family. I do not have all of those lessons down pat; I still make huge mistakes in my life. But I know that I can survive. When it does not seem that I can, I P.R.A.Y.
Happy Thanksgiving, every day!