Although I’m very blessed to be hosting 40+ family members at my home for Thanksgiving, I almost forgot to be thankful…
The plan was to move my husband, our two kids, and myself into our new home this past weekend. Then, be ready to host my 40+ extended family members for Thanksgiving less than a week a later. A little ambitious, I know, but I’m very organized and had a solid transition plan. That was until…
The movers CANCELLED on me the night before our move!!!
We immediately went into “emergency mode.” We secured the largest Uhaul we could on short noticed, and hired a group of local high school boys to help us perform this move. BUT, this meant my blue-printed plans for the smooth move were thrown out the window.
As expected, the move was chaotic and not nearly as organized as I had envisioned. Although everything was moved successfully, I now have a home that looks like a war zone and I can’t envision how I’ll ever be ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
When you’re completely overwhelmed, it’s easy to think about how your “glass is half-empty.” If I sat down right now with a pad of paper and a pencil, I’m pretty confident I could list the 100+ things that are: not right, lost, frustrating, or quite far from how I had them planned out. I’m sure you can relate.
However, if I made that list, I would completely lose sight of how “half-full” my glass is and how truly blessed I am.
I have a home to raise my family.
I have family and friends that could be present to make the move happen after the movers cancelled on us.
I have some beautiful possessions (even if they’re currently hard to find at the moment).
And, I have the problem of hosting 40+ family members for Thanksgiving.
Holidays are stressful for everyone: the hosts, family members that don’t want to see each other, people grieving lost friends or family, and people that wish they had more family and friends with which to celebrate.
So, I encourage you to turn any frustration you have about the upcoming holiday, into something you can be thankful for. It might sound like…
“I’m thankful I have a family to argue with.”
“The mashed potatoes might be lumpy, but at least we’re blessed enough to be enjoying them.”
“I really don’t want to go to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving, but I’m thankful I have some place to go.”
“I really wish my Mom were here for Thanksgiving, but I’m thankful I had many wonderful Thanksgivings to spend with her.
For us, this year, it will be, “I wish we were sitting in chairs and not on boxes, and using silverware instead of plasticware, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring my family together.”
Also, at this time of year, we so easily get self-absorbed into our own problems and dilemmas. As we’re reframing our challenges into our “thanks,” let’s also try to think of others and their challenges.
Is there somebody you know that will be spending the holiday alone?… invite them over.
Is there somebody mourning the loss of a loved one?… tell them you’re sorry for their loss and you’re still thinking/praying for them.
Is there somebody you’re arguing with?… brace yourself, this is a tough one… forgive them and remind them that you both should, perhaps, be thankful for whatever relationship you do have with one another. Because you never know when it may not be there one day.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that this message inspires you to brighten the holiday for one more person!
Susan Kruger, author of the SOAR curriculum