Grace, Gratitude, & Thanksgiving Day

There will be sweet potato pie, crispy green beans served with almond slivers and a pat of butter, and I’ll splurge on that delicious roasted brown sugar ham.  Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year, and this year is no exception.  As I prepare for a quiet time at home with my family, and a simple dinner of delicious goodies, I am beginning to get a little emotional.  You see, this overwhelming gratitude has settled in my heart these last few days leading up to Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a gratitude for the seemingly “small” blessings in my life that have somehow become so much bigger over the last few years. The message my Pastor preached this past Sunday was on “Gratitude and Grace,” and he talked about how the two are so tightly connected, that you almost can’t have one without the other.  He went on to explain that both are a choice, you have to choose to operate in them.  So true, so very, very true!

Just five years ago, I wasn’t in the celebrating mood on Thanksgiving Day.  I was alone in my rental house, eating pizza and wings takeout after a grueling 8 hour shift on my feet at the restaurant/bar where I worked.  It was one week before the divorce from my husband of ten years became final in court, and I was depressed.  My family was torn apart, as my ex-husband and I were sharing our three young children between us, amicably, but sorrowfully.

Just one year after that, Thanksgiving Day 2007, I was  eating turkey and pie with my restored family from that same divorce (my husband Juan) and those same beautiful kids.  How is this possible?  Only with the invitation and marriage of gratitude and grace…..and for me, at least, these are only possible through my relationship with God.

So this year, I am grateful, again, for the life I’ve been given.  I’m so grateful to God for the man in my life who truly loves me as himself.   I’m grateful that I get to mother, chauffer, cook for, nurture, and guide the four greatest kids a mom could ask for.  I’m grateful for health and wholeness, that we can choose it, and live it.  I’m grateful for every beautiful person God has divinely placed in my path, whether friend, colleague, or client!  I’m grateful that I get to serve others in my dream career, as a coach.  There are so many blessings in my life to be grateful for, that this list could get exhaustive!

So while I am making preparations for a fabulous holiday celebration with those I love most, I will continue to make my “gratitude list.”  As I mull over the list, I’ll remember that grace had, and has, everything to do with my story becoming the story that it is today.