Standing at a Thankfulness Crossroads…

     In Monday’s post, I told you my husband and I just returned from a two-and one-half week vacation to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. For over a year, we’ve been planned to mark this milestone by enjoying the birthplace of U.S. history and the splendor of a New England autumn.

     Ron and I flew into Boston the afternoon of Wednesday, October 16th. A few hours later, an epic Nor-Easter blew into the region. The motel where we stayed rattled from the force of near-hurricane-force winds.

     Local news Thursday morning was filled with photos of huge trees, which had crashed into houses, smashed cars and made many roads impassable. Thousands were without power.

     We’d planned to begin the day of our arrival exploring Boston via the “T,” which is the name locals have given to the Boston transportation system. Instead, we used Uber to take us to dinner and then visited nearby museums on Thursday while winds still gusted around 40 mph.

     Storms often alter our plans!

     That storm set a new vibe for our entire vacation.

     While planning our special getaway, I’d envisioned hillsides, dense with deciduous trees decked out in brilliant autumnal tones of ruby reds, golden yellows, brilliant oranges and rich rusts, framed against azure skies filled with fluffy cotton ball clouds.

     Instead, autumn arrived early in New England this year. Peak colors faded prior to our arrival. The violent storm snatched many of the changing leaves. Skies were often filled with dark, menacing clouds. My least favorite weather element—wind—was plentiful.

     During the one full day we were able to discover Boston, I observed notable street names like Acorn, Commonwealth and Hanover. These signs reminded me our long-anticipated vacation may have placed me at an important thankfulness crossroad where I needed to ask: Am I going to choose the road called “Grumbling” or the path named “Gratitude?”

     Storms provide opportunities to choose thankfulness!

     After this awareness, making an attitude adjustment was a relatively easy choice. Choosing gratitude because vacation plans don’t turn out as envisioned is one thing. Other choices aren’t nearly so easy.

     Life often deals us hands that are painful and puzzling to play. Options may involve:

          disappointing decisions,

               painful possibilities,

                    crucial, uncomfortable conversations, and

                         adjustments to a ‘new normal.’

     Because I meet with many folks who are hurting, and frankly, because I am simply part of humanity who lives with the reality of changing human conditions, I encounter transition quandaries almost daily.

     I will never minimize how desperate and energy-draining some situations are for those traveling through them.

     Despite the difficulty, however, I’m convinced God has given us free will to choose whether we will grumble about our circumstances and resist accepting difficult changes or prepare to take each arduous step with a faith-filled, grateful heart:

Despite the storm, I can choose an attitude of gratitude!

Prayer: Dear Lord,

Even though the circumstance through which my friend journeys is difficult, I pray You will give him or her the strength to choose the pathway of thankfulness. Please, Lord, bless my friend with glimpses of goodness each step of the way.

Amen

One of the “glimpses of goodness” we experienced on our recent vacation. The night skies were clear, so Ron drove to a nearby meadow to practice some astrophotography techniques. I hope you can make out the Big Dipper’s spectacular reflection in the pond.

Blessings to each of you…

Sue Reeve

4 thoughts on “Standing at a Thankfulness Crossroads…

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post Sue…this is how I started my day and it is so comforting. It seems my life and two of my children (now adults) in my life have caused great worries, sadness, emotional roller coasters, separation from a sweet granddaughter now 7 years old, and marital issues (extended family). I came to you for your wonderful spirit filled counsel a few years ago when we lived in Coeur d’Alene and attended Lake City CC. I have prayed and prayed and prayed some more for God’s intervention, discipline, and guidance for my two and it seems God has a different plan. I will reflect on this post again and pray for thankfulness. Warm regards ❤️✨

  2. I read this with interest because I just returned from California close to the end of October. I went to visit my oldest sister who lost her spouse of 50+ years in 2018. It was a tough visit in many ways because there is nothing I can do to “fix” what’s wrong in her life (but would if I could). I’ve also prayed for my husband, adult kids and others that I see suffering and have asked God a thousand or more times to intervene in these lives but seems as though He has chosen to remain silent – so I choose to be grateful for His love and mercy for me and trust HIM to change the situations in HIS time and according to HIS plan. Thank you for such a great reminder of who HE is!

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