November 26, 2010

reset button

This past week has just been a beat-down. Nothing dramatic, just feeling like each good thing got smacked in the back of the head by two bad things right behind it. I blew a tire on Monday, one of the tires my compassionate dad had bought for us five weeks before, just as the circus known as Driving in Winter is set to start. And I didn't even have to really deal with it; my saint of a husband spent the next 24 hours on a laughable, under-60-km-per-hour tire replacement hunt. And things sort of just sunk from there.

Thanksgiving is the first holiday I have noticed and felt a difference living outside of the U.S., and it felt a bit strange. Not really sad, because I don't really have much nostalgia or sentiment attached to it; but, when I thought about giving the thankful train a wave from across the border, it just felt forced. This week has been a doozy to pretend to be grateful for, and giving thanks for the standard food-shelter-family-freedom just rang hollow.

So, it is good we did not sit at home on Thanksgiving. Because we were tempted. It sounded really good to just wallow and eat some junk food and drink a half a box of wine and go to bed at 8:30. But we dragged our asses out the door and went to small group.

It wasn't earth-shattering, or anything much more than ordinary, but it triggered a small thanksgiving for me. Despite setback after setback lately, it's still marvelous to me just how many of God's small mercies are all over the place. Our own tornado of life changes could have dropped us anywhere, dizzy and bewildered, but it dropped us here, in a pocket of warmth and generosity and people who love Jesus. There is so much richness in that alone, and even Negative Nancy can't deny that.

Tonight we'll probably have a mini-Thanksgiving, and roast a chicken instead of a whole turkey, but there will still be stuffing and green bean casserole, and if I have anything to say about it, an apple tart I am already thankful for. And I am grateful, as Anne Shirley says, that "tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."

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