{trying} to focus on perspective.

(image available at drawpilrgim for free download)

My devotional this morning was about keeping a proper perspective in a situation...and really how it makes it easier to be thankful and more aware of the blessings that God has given you and take the focus off of what you are wanting or longing for. 

This time of year is always hard for me to keep that perspective in line.  My parents (and as a result my brother and sister and entire family) are not part of my life...or my boys lives.  Every holiday season my heart just breaks for the family I don't have...for the warm and fuzzy holiday times...for getting together with family and having it be GOOD.  I grieve for all the things you would expect a person who has been orphaned by her family would grieve for. 
But I try to hard to focus on what I DO have.  

I have Doug, a wonderful husband who is great to me...who is mentally, physically and spiritually healthy.  I have two wonderul boys who are a joy and healthy and wonderful.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  And there will be no turkey at our house.  No mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie or any of the other holiday goodness that normally surrounds the day.  It will for all accounts be a normal day here.  Doug will have to work until 10am that day and be back to work by 2 AM the the next morning.  There is no reason really to have a big dinner that would just take away from the time we will have together.  In reality the money we would have spent on that dinner is going to help other people this season who need it.  

And honestly that is not the part that has me bummed out.   It's the fact that this year that we will see NO family whatsoever.  And the comfort of extended family is something we are all craving more of.  It's been extra tough this year...

Part of the reason I think I am taking such a beating is the waiting we have been doing for an answer that we are waiting for.  An answer that I have prayed for dozens of times a day since we found out that an answer could be near...so I guess I am saying that I am coming into a highly emotionally vulnerable season...already emotionally vulnerable.

So I am trying to change my perspective... 

Instead of being sad about not having a Thanksgiving this year I am trying to be thankful that Doug has a great job...that allows him to take care of his family and allows me to stay home with our boys.

Instead of being sad about not getting to see family...I am trying to focus on being thankful that we do have family that wants to be part of our life year round and NOT just during the holidays.

Instead of being sad about not having an answer yet...I am trying to be thankful that my level of patience is growing.  And that the "problem" we are facing is a first world problem. 

Instead of being sad about the possibility that we may not get the answer that we want...I am trying to focus on the fact that I know God's plan is best.  Even if I can't understand it.  Even if I feel like I will be crushed if it doesn't work out the way we are hoping for.         

It's a slow and grueling process for me...but every year is a little easier.  If I know anything about myself, I know that slow change tends to be more permanent that quick one...so I least I feel that I can count on my growth to stick. :) 

It's all about perspective.
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Anonymous said...

I feel for you. But the grass is always greener. I have a disfunctional family with divorced and remarried parents who don't speak. I end up with 3 dinners to go to, only 1 of which I enjoy. I'm just thankful for my normal in-laws who make the holidays seem somewhat normal. Otherwise it's the standard bitterness of who I somehow end up spending more time with and the other one gets mad/jealous. Sometimes staying home with the hubs is a blessing in disguise :)

Crystal said...

i couldn't not agree more anonymous. if i can't be with my wonderful in-laws i am thrilled to stay home with my wonderful husband. :)

Biz said...

Please know that I am praying for you and for your answer that has yet to be proclaimed.
God has plans for you and your family to prosper and grow and I know and understand what it's like to have a messy family.
Thank you for your honestly and vulnerability, you make it easier for us to be open and honest with each other.
Have a Blessed Day!

Julie W said...

As a single person, when you spend the holidays with -no- family you learn to look for other ways to be thankful. Glad you are able to see through the disappointment and to that which is priceless. :)

April@gingerbreadgirl said...

I am so sorry you are having such a hard time...perspective is good...and it seems you have a wonder husband who supports you....big hugs your way!!

A Little Of A Lot said...

I can sympathise 100%
My blood family are all deceased, I have one brother who is in England.
My ILs are awful, despite me not liking my MIL's toxic ways I try to keep communication open for the sake of my kids, I invited them here for T'Giving since we won't be seeing them at Christmas and was given a very curt "No thankyou" We won't be seeing them at christmas because MIL is taking her other children and Grand children to the Dominican, we could not afford to renew 5 passports, drive back and forth 3hrs each way to a major airport, pay for the long term parking at the airport or pay for a dog sitter. MIL who is a multi millionaire is mad at us. I just let it wash over me, my kids speak only negatively of their only G'parents, it breaks my heart for them but it is what it is.
We have started our own traditions and will enjoy and be thankful for the time we have together.
Holidays are hard, Christmas time especially, my Dad died Christmas Eve 6 years ago, the last time I saw my Mum was the day after Christmas.
I'd like a better relationship w/ my ILs but they have made the choice to not be a part of our lives, other than the bi monthly guilt trip phone call when MIL calls and says"I wish we all lived closer" Uhm, ok, why ?

Wish we all lived closer, you could share our dinner. Want to drive 4hrs ? :)

Courtney said...

yes, perspective! hmmm...

would you share the devotional?

i'm in a period of waiting right now and i KNOW He's trying to teach me patience. i KNOW it. but it's so hard! i'd love to read what you read...

oh! and happy thanksgiving!

xo, Kate @keeping up w/the Moreland's said...

i know what you mean, i miss my family as well, enjoy what YOU do have, I know you do & make the best of tommorow who needs a certain to give thanks... we should be thankful everyday!!!! remember god gives you what only what you can handle, he has something very special in store for you guys!! hang in there love!!!

Laura said...

I appreciate your honesty more than you know! I have been doing a great Bible study that last week was discussing perspective. While it is certainly important and worthwhile to keep that perspective, it is also more than OK to be sad for what you are missing. Just because you grieve that and acknowledge it doesn't mean you're not grateful for what you do have. That came across loud and clear to me in your post! I continue to pray for you and the answer you are waiting for...in His timing it will come...hoping that His timing is soon! :)

Anonymous said...

Praying for you!!!I am home with the kids as Al is working. Trying to enjoy the holidays just with my little family:)Elma

Anonymous said...

You know what- get over it! Sounds like you have an awesome family. Why can't you celebrate a simple Thanksgiving meal with your kids and husband? No excuse. Don't let your past dictate how your children are brought up. Why shouldn't they experience the joy of a great family meal and celebration?

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