Thursday, November 27, 2014

No smiles necessary

I'd be a pretty poor blogger if I didn't write the obligatory Thanksgiving thankfulness post.  (Let me clarify, the obligatory American Thanksgiving thankfulness post... who knew other countries have things to be grateful for?!)

But the problems is, I'm not very good at being thankful at specific times and in specific ways.

Gratefulness is always sneaking up on me.  I can try and try, but I'm always most thankful when I least expect it.

Like when the kids should be sleeping, but are giggling like rabid hyenas instead.  And I'm not even mad.  I'm just soaking it in.  Because I know, in that moment, I'm listening to the music of my future memories.

Or when my husband offers to do the dishes, but the kids just want him to play, and as I'm up to my elbows in plates and cups my heart won't stop swelling with each piercing scream, and I'd do all the dishes in the world just to hear their joy.

Or when Finn is crying because his clothes aren't right and his cup's not right and the small seam of his sock's not right, and I notice he needs a hug, and he melts into me as if I'm all he ever needed.

I'm thankful then.  In those moments.

And oftentimes right before bed.  Even after all of today's chaos.  And tomorrow's to come.  I smile as I snuggle under my covers, because I'm incredibly thankful for it all.

There is so much good in my life.  And I'm well aware of just how lucky I am.

But there's hard too.

And I imagine for some people this year, this Thanksgiving, it's hard to be grateful.  It's hard to turn on a smile and say, I'm thankful, despite...

Right now, things are more good for me than not.  But that could change tomorrow.  It's certainly been the opposite in the past.

Now I can say I'm grateful.  Now, in the valley, with the hills and mountains behind and before.  I'm grateful for the sadness and the loneliness and the rejections in my past.  Because they brought me to this place and they shaped me and they made me feel cared for by a God who can feel so distant sometimes.  By a God who can feel like a happy idea when times are good, but who is so real and near when times are hard.

I couldn't have said it then.  That I was grateful.  Or that I one day would be.  Maybe I knew it.  Deep down.  But you couldn't force me to say it.

So to anyone who's more sad or scared or frazzled or angry than they are grateful this Thanksgiving, feel free to cry or shout or lock yourself in the room with a pillow over your head.

You don't have to smile here.  You don't have to be grateful, despite.  You don't even have to know you'll be thankful, someday.

You just have to carry through.  Climb and stumble and fall and slide.  And then get back up only to do it again.  And again and again, if you have to.

Because there will be another side.  Someday.

But for now, today, this Thanksgiving, just take someone's hand, or let Someone take yours, and carry on.

No smiles necessary.


  1. Grateful for your blog Kim. Always Grateful. S

    1. And I was so thankful to be able to spend Thanksgiving with you! And to hear just a part of your beautiful story. You inspire me.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Kim and Joel and your squealing little ones!

  3. Shanti directed me to your blog. This post sounded similar to the post I wrote just yesterday about being thankful even when each day is filled with hard things. As a mom of five kids under the age of five, I definitely can relate to you speaking of things that make your heart want to burst with joy at the sounds of happy kids. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    1. Wow! I'm sure you get this all the time, but five kids under five! That's amazing. And I love that what you can relate to is your heart bursting with joy:) So glad Shanti hooked us up.