Friday, November 28, 2014

Faithful Friday: Thanksgiving

Happy belated Thanksgiving!  Knowing the week I would have, this post was started early, something I don't normally do.  I put the finishing details on it this morning, complete with coffee and PJs.  My hope is that your bellies and hearts are full by the time this reaches you.

Our Thanksgiving day was spent serving, a fairly new tradition our family started a few years ago.  As usual, God had great things in store for this year's event.  In the midst of the organized chaos, He never ceases to amaze me how it works out perfectly.  As the drivers were dispatched, trays of turkey and dressing in hand, calls began to come in.  "Where is this street? GPS can't find it."  And unexpectedly, "I have the same list as someone else!"  -oops.

The best message though came from a driver who shared that at his last stop, the lady answered and told him someone had already been there.  (Not the duplicate list mentioned above!)  As he was about to leave, she shared that her two sons were on their way.  As it so happened, two meals were what he had left.  I double checked all the routes and the lady was only listed on his.  Most certainly a God thing!

Thanksgiving had been a particularly difficult holiday for us, as it was our last one with Austin.  As such, there's a lot of painful - and bittersweet emotions around this day.  The first Thanksgiving without him I just wanted to ignore and avoid.  It was a welcome change and a perfect fit for a family focused on RAKs in the month of November to be a part of delivering meals to those in need.

Of course, with this new tradition, I no longer cook a big meal to have family over.  Instead, we eat lunch with the volunteers that day.  In some ways I miss it, but knowing how special our last get together was, which happens to also be my most popular post, gives me comfort in how it ended.  Time changes things and God has a purpose in it all.

The week will still be peppered with family, beginning with a Wednesday meal at my niece's (so strange to see her all grown up and hosting!), a visit at my grandma's, and ending with our own little turkey meal at home.  A new-to-Tina activity will be a night at the Shriner's circus, thanks to this girl winning tickets on the radio.  We haven't gone since the boys were little.  She is super excited and I'm thrilled to share this experience with her.  An added bonus is that my mom, sister and her littles will be joining us.

Folded in will be lots of Random Acts of Kindness as we wind down to Austin's Heaven-anniversary. We've done RAKs throughout this month but tomorrow will be the big day, complete with our favorite tradition, the Reverse Shopping Spree and a new one, backpacks for foster kids.  

Though we may do better year to year, prayers are still appreciated.  Keeping our minds busy doesn't take away the tug in our hearts.

Truly though, when I think back to those first holidays after losing him, it is amazing the healing that God has brought to our family.  I remember the broken, being lost in the darkness and depth of grief, and wondering if the pieces would ever come together again.

We will never have a day that we don't miss Austin but the pain, most days, does ease over the years.  And for that I am ever-thankful to my God.  He has returned JOY to us, even in the midst of our loss.


Gale Fitts said...

My heart is deeply touched by your posts. I have found joy again after losing my firstborn son & my only daughter to tighten cord knots at birth 44 years ago. Our God is a merciful God to help us find HIS joy once more.

heather blair said...

thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for your losses but rejoicing that you have found joy again. Hugs & prayers.

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