A Thankful Heart

2009-11-CCOKC-Thanksgiving

 

I have spent most of my adult life away from home during the holidays.  For a woman fiercely loyal to time with family, that absence has never been easy.  God, in His mercy, graciously provided a family connection through the years with precious friends.  While some years’ celebrations had the comfortable feel of familiarity, others have had the adventuresome spirit of new friends and surroundings.  God has shown me that thankfulness depends upon my own heart.  Thank You, Lord, for each experience as I learned to savor the old and embrace the new.

I wrote the following poem as I reflected on those early years away from home and the lessons I had to learn along the way.

 

A THANKFUL HEART

Saying thank you

this time of year,

obligatory acknowledgments and half-hearted best wishes

sound forced and insincere.

I set aside my to-do list,

the wish I were somewhere else thoughts,

and lackluster attempts

to appear as I am not.

A single tear escapes.

I remember when the holiday meal

was accompanied by laughter and cheer.

Schedules were flexible

and relatives arrived when they could.

Delicious smells filled the house,

children played games outside.

Childhood stories were retold,

drowning out any grumblings

that our food might get cold.

This year,

I am so thankful

for those holidays long past.

Away from home,

I remind myself …

Each Thanksgiving holiday

must always begin and end

with my own grateful heart.

By Delores Brouillette Adams

 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (Colossians 3:15 NKJV)

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Special Reminder

This piece was written when our children were very young and posted in an e-zine no longer published. Those early stay-at-home mom years were sweet and tender. But, quite honestly, they were also full of hard work and sometimes, utter exhaustion. God always sent whatever was needed at just the right time. Be it a friend offering to help fold laundry, a family member surprising us with a cooked meal, or a kind word of encouragement from a dear sister in Christ. I pray I never forget those precious years nor the angels of mercy sent my way.

SPECIAL REMINDER

It has been one of those days that young mothers have so often. The laundry is piled high and I fear one of the babies may crawl into a pile and disappear. The unwashed dishes are stacked haphazardly. I just know that the little one, trying to help, will soon send dishes crashing to the floor.

I walk from room to room, seeing many household tasks before me. From morning to night, my feet tread the same path. At the end of the day, I often feel as if no progress has been made.

As I open the refrigerator to fill drink cups yet again, my eyes stray to a familiar newspaper clipping amidst the colorful magnets plastered all over the door. The poem’s author is unknown and I’ve read it many times before. But for some reason, today the poignant words strike a chord.

I read of a mother’s tender reflections on hands once too busy to play, now hauntingly still. My eyes fill with tears and I release a heavy sigh. It was exactly what my weary soul needed to hear on this difficult day.

Often my own hands are busy when my children ask me to play. My days are spent cleaning our home and caring for my babies. But in the busyness of daily chores, a very important part often gets left out. I rarely set aside time to just play with my little ones.

It was no accident that poem caught my eye today. God, in His gracious mercy, had answered my earlier request for encouragement.

I realize that as my children get older, they will not want to play games, find hidden treasures, or chase butterflies. Time flies and they will be grown with families of their own someday.

Much too soon, my own arms will ache with loneliness. I will no longer be able to kiss the hurts away, play with their dollies and cars, and read the same stories over and over.

God gently reminded me to cherish this gift; this special day with my children.

2 Corinthians 1:4 … [God] who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. NKJV