Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Thanks

"I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you."  ~ Philippians 1:3

Thanksgiving Breakfast

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you..."  ~ Colossians 1:3

"We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers."  ~ I Thessalonians 1:2

"We must always thank God for you.."  ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:3

Little Man stroking his uncle's head! 

My mother in law had ALL of her children around her this Thanksgiving! 

The balancing game - totally made up and spontaneous!

God is so good - this year Thanksgiving came at the perfect time for me, personally.  While I have always been extremely thankful for my family, this year I have been struggling to be thankful for our current family dynamic.  Our adoption story is not, on the surface, wonderful or beautiful.  I know that in God's economy it is absolutely miraculous, but here in my economy, in my home, on a day to day basis, it is hard and messy and ugly and painful.  Daughter H is a very angry person, and while she has valid reasons for feeling angry, she doesn't yet know how to handle her anger and it often erupts onto me and various members of the family.  Each of the boys responds to her anger differently (daughter G being away at college means she deals with this the least now), and therefore our family dynamic is much different than it used to be, and different than I thought it would be at this stage.  

Most of the time all of my physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental energy is required for the here and now of daily life, and there is a large part of me that has been reluctant to spend time "looking back" for fear it would make me discontent with "now."  So I have just not allowed myself the time to grieve what used to be.  I did that this week, before Thanksgiving.  Just let myself feel all the sadness that has been hidden in my heart for a long time.  The regret.  The longing for things to be different.  

When Thanksgiving morning came, I woke up at 8 to get the turkey in the oven, and I felt refreshed. Cleansed.  Ready.

Holidays are complicated for us since daughter H joined our family. So many emotions are churned to the surface for her, and those emotions often bleed out to the rest of us.  I won't say it was "easy" to navigate this Thanksgiving, but it was easiER.  

Daughter H's emotional baggage will always be part of the backdrop of our lives, and helping our other children navigate it will be a full time job for the foreseeable future, but she and her baggage are part of God's plan for our family.  Our dynamic is meant to include her.  It is hard and messy and painful and amazing and mysterious and beautiful.

I am thankful. 

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