I have been thinking about what to write about this week as I ponder on the Thanksgiving holiday. That led to many things; my train of thought went something like this:
"What am I most thankful for? God, of course... Family check. Yes, love them so much. Speaking of family, they are all coming here; I need to make my grocery list. Note to self: defrost turkey, wait, we have a birthday in there too, should I make cupcakes or cake, Costco cake? Not a good idea. I’ll be in a coma by Thanksgiving night. I'd better get started on Christmas decorating, but I need to leave up fall for Thursday, so I will get that done on Friday. I need some new stuff, my old decorations suck. How many weeks till Christmas? Is Thanksgiving early or late this year? I need to get our holiday party schedule on the calendar. When is Church? I know they asked us to greet. I need a cooking bag for the turkey. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. I should order that a minute while it's fresh on my mind. Oh wait, what was I doing? Oh yes. Thankful, back to that."
Do you see where this was going? My thoughts of what I am most thankful for sped me up into full blown planning and list making mode. It's a prime example of how easy it is to get caught up in that mindset as the holidays start. As I reread those things, there was no mention of the real reason we celebrate any of the holiday; just all the baggage we load ourselves up with! So, I took a deep breath and pretended I like to mediate and tried to focus on what I am most thankful for this year. The usual was all there, but as I tried to stay quiet (a struggle for me, always) this word kept coming into my mind:
I stayed there for awhile and then this verse came to mind:
It was exactly what I needed! To guard my heart and mind against all these zingers coming at me, that hijack my brain from all things the holidays are supposed to be. Things like family time, worship, love, and a spirit of giving.
I decided that this Thanksgiving and beyond my answer is peace. With peace, everything else falls into place. My relationship with God, my role as wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I am truly thankful for every one, but it starts with peace. It’s true!
You’ve heard that phrase, “it starts with you.” If I stay grounded in the peace of God, everything else falls into place. I need to stay close to him through it all. In all the holiday preparations that try to take away from the reason for the season, I stay grounded in my peace and hopefully it radiates to all of those around me. And if it doesn't, I’m still ok.
There were many holiday seasons in past years I have not had peace. It was more about how to manage the holidays and my drinking at the same time. Believe me, there is nothing peaceful about that. I am so glad to have found real peace because it truly rules my heart and mind and gives me what I need to stay sober and present every day.
As you sit at your table this Thanksgiving, I pray you are grateful for all who are seated there and take a moment to thank God for them. Find peace in your heart for those that are hard to love and accept.
Work hard to stay peaceful and blessed on Thanksgiving and the holiday season to follow.
When people or situations make it hard for me to stay grounded, I’m going to say a quick prayer asking to stay peaceful in it. I am also going to take a little advice from Elf and just smile through it. The moment will pass, I guarantee it.
Peace on your holiday weekend,