It’s was mid-November and there were no signs of autumn or Thanksgiving celebrations in my home. I just didn’t have the energy. Didn’t have the resources. Quite frankly, I wasn’t feeling so thankful.
November came and I woke up one morning to a son sitting down on the steps. He’s supposed to be getting ready for school. Having just gotten out of the shower, the towel is still wrapped around his waist. “Mom, I don’t feel good…”
“What’s wrong?” I ask, not wanting to hear the answer. I already know what’s coming.
“It’s the pain.”
Since 2012, he’s been admitted into the hospital every 6-8 months. We already know the symptoms. We already know the process. I send him off to bed to get some rest. Hours pass and there’s no relief. Load after load, I get the laundry done. Hours continue to pass, the pain continues. I clean, and clean, and clean. We’ve been here before. We know what’s next.
The pain continues.
I take out the bags and pack the clothes. We never know how long it’s going to be. It could be a night. Or, it could be longer. Eight months ago, we spent 23 very long days in the Children’s Hospital an hour and a half away from home.
Lord, I just can’t do this again. We’re barely recovering from the setbacks at the beginning of this year.
By early morning, we were all packed. He comes down the steps. He’s finding it difficult to stand up straight. He looks so thin and pale. My heart breaks for him. He looks at me and says, “Here we go again.”
I muster all the courage I can. Giving him a smile I respond, “We got this!”
He smiles. We walk out the door, making the long trip to the hospital.
Do It Anyway…
I’m happy to report my son is doing well. We made it through another trip to the hospital. And although I am thankful we didn’t have to be admitted, the entire recovery leaves a momma physically and emotionally exhausted.
The last thing I feel like doing is decorating.
Jesus, you’re going to have to fill me with your peace and joy, because I just don’t have any to give.
And that’s when it happened. I took out the yarn and sat with my 6-year-old daughter.
“Okay, let’s decorate and make things nice and pretty for Jaden and Daddy.”
Out came the scrapbooking paper, the yarn, and a few fall items I had stored in the basement.
We cut out the pendents, she hole-punched them. With a Crayola marker I wrote G I V E – T H A N K S. She laced them together with yarn. Up it went.
The phone rang. It was Daddy. That’s when I heard it, “We are having so much fun Daddy. Me and mommy are decorating and we are making the house beautiful!!”
It’s not Pinterest-worthy. But this simple act of choosing joy and giving thanks anyway made the difference. When my husband came home from work, he looked around, breathed in deeply, and with a big smile said, “hmmm… now it feels like fall in here!”
And I sit across the fireplace on the couch and stare at it.
A testimony. Hanging across the stone-cold fireplace.
A testimony. Hanging across the heart gone stone-cold.
I’m not in the mood to give thanks. GIVE THANKS anyway.
I’m not in the mood to celebrate. GIVE THANKS and celebrate anyway.
I don’t have the resources to buy the beautiful decorations sitting on the store shelves. GIVE THANKS and decorate anyway.
I’m tired and exhausted. GIVE THANKS anyway.
How about you? How are you choosing joy and giving thanks anyway?
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