- A late night call saying my mom was really sick and being rushed in the middle of the night to hospital via ambulance.
- A really bumpy journey for my mom through the week as she fought her way back to stable health.
- ICU, Observation, various waiting rooms, hospital food, fellowship with other families dealing with similar or worse situations than us, etc.
- Hungry Man dinners cooked in a hospital hostel for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Friends who wrapped around us in prayer from our home which we were away from and also from our old home where we were.
- The overwhelming presence of God's love and guidance as we walked this journey.
I think the thing which I brought away this Thanksgiving was the fact that we sometimes place way too much value in the 'traditional' aspects of holidays, etc. We don't take enough time to just truly breathe and be thankful for the blessings we have. We sometimes seem overly concerned with all the things which are supposed to happen every year, because they always have. Really, as long as you are together with your loved ones, then it doesn't matter one bit whether you do things conventional or not...it's just a blessing that you are able to celebrate together rather than apart.
We were fortunate to have friends invite us to spend a couple of nights with them, so as to have a 'break' from the hospital. It's a really special friendship...they are our former pastor and we worked together, but now are moving forward in friendship, despite the fact we live in different cities. They opened their home to us and didn't expect that we would be up to 'socializing', but they simply wanted to embrace us with friendship and love...they truly succeeded in this one!
We were able to attend church with them on Sunday and hear the Lord speak through our friend. He gave a really awesome Thanksgiving message and it spoke deeply. He asked a very poignant question..."Do we have thankful hearts OR do we have a complaining spirit?" Then he went on to say that our natural inclination is to be selfish, especially when things don't go your way. He talked about how God wants us to be thankful in all circumstances, but we truly can't do this if we are living with a selfish heart...if our our focus is on ourselves.
I walked away with the scriptures he quoted in my memory bank. They really spoke deeply in terms of where my focus needed to be, despite all that was going on.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I know how I need to live my life and where my eyes need to be placed, but this past week, I realized just how hard that sometimes is. I realized how selfish I was, especially when it comes to having my mom by my side for as long as possible. You see, I have lots I still want to do with my mom and I know that she got a lot of life left to live and I found out how hard it is when you truly have absolutely no control over what the outcome will be.
Over at northVUs site http://northvus.blogspot.com/2006/10/being-negative.html, Jollybeggar wrote a post about Thanksgiving. I still have to write my list of things I'm thankful for, but thought, even though for a lot of you Thanksgiving is next month, you might want to read and think about what you are thankful for right now.
For me...right now, I'm just overwhelmingly thankful to have my mom alive and back home. Each moment you get to have with your love ones is precious...don't waste it, squander it, take it for granted that it will be there tomorrow...we don't know what this life holds. We simply need to try and live each moment as it's our last, relish and make all the memories we can!