This year my 31 Days of Quiet in October have really affected my usual November 30 Days of Thanks (a blog thing I’ve done since 2009 … that I did NOT do this year).
First of all, my 31 Days of Quiet did not go as I planned anyway. I planned to share and expound my (limited) wisdom and convince people that QUIET was the way to be … I was going to teach you how to respond to various quiet issues and people … HOWEVER, things went a very different direction.
You see, I came across a few blogs where several someones self-righteously (in my opinion; no doubt, they too were well-intentioned like me!) pontificated their opinion as a fact. They were adamant about what they preferred, even believed was the best conclusion … when in fact, their lecture just made me kind of feel sorry for them … maybe even just a little angry at them for thinking so highly of their own opinions. And I realized, I could be guilty of the same. Part of being quiet can be just that: being QUIET!!!
And so, I started thinking about the balance of my own life. Of course, I have opinions and standards and preferences that I believe are good. For me and my family. And of course, it isn’t wrong to share that … as what it is: my opinion.
Then there are things that I know are true! Those things are founded in God’s Word. Those are the things I have seen and experienced first hand. Those are the things I can tell you I know without a doubt.
Which brings me to thankfulness. I started to write various THANKS posts to at least give a nod to the traditional month of Thanks-giving. And I deleted most of them. Because this month has been HARD … not so much because I am unhappy with our decision to move … but because we are still reeling and dealing with things that are consequences of our move and the stuff that goes with a huge transition as well as just the grind of daily life with a family. It has just meant we are not living a very easy life right now … things are not working out too smoothly (at least how I think they should be!) … and so I have been busy and tired and weary and a little …. cranky.
I was going to write about that – stir up some sympathy perhaps with the tales of our continued car woes (add our good car to that list: we ended up with 2 new tires on it yesterday due to somewhere picking up screws deeply embedded into the 2 rear tires – praise the Lord for the warranty we had on the original tires!!) … and the thanks for my husbands overtime work, mingled with the woe of having to pick him up at midnight when the shifts ended for many nights because we only have one reliable vehicle.
I have never been one to suffer in silence very well…..If I am suffering, I want people to know (see how I sneaked in some of our trials above!!). Just being honest.
But then I watched this episode of Lark Rise to Candleford (one of those PBS/Masterpiece/BBC series), and it spoke to me. Stick with me on this … I realize this isn’t the Bible truth that is teaching me something – but I got the message!!
The episode was in part about a man who had learned a fine craft and had an amazing artistic gift/talent (ie. had something special to offer) but was having to do manual work just to feed his large family … and to top it off, his wife was berating him for not having enough work and for taking too much valuable time to make the work he was doing (simple stone work) into a beautiful piece of art (by chiseling art work into the masonry). The episode dealt with the hurt and the pain that the man felt … how he did not feel valued by the very person who should be his greatest support: his wife.
(I always liked Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey … and love him in this series ^ )
Back to modern day Northwest Arkansas: I have a hard-working husband who is doing his dead-level best to provide for his family by doing tedious work somewhat beneath his abilities and experience … and trying to take pride in just being able to provide for his family. And what do I do: complain about our broken down car and having to be taxi service for our family and whining about the inconvenience of it all.
There was yet another lesson in the above mentioned episode: dealing with another couple going through their own trial. At the end, the wife asks her husband if he told anyone about their trials (it had to do with infertility) … and he said:
In marriage, we share the joys with the world. In sorrow, we only share that with each other.
And so, going back to my quiet theme melding with my thankfulness theme: I am keeping more quiet about all that I think about and worry about and complain about. I am determined to keep my blog posts more positive … and that may mean I post less often (until I am ready to shed a positive light on things or have worked them through my mind). While I want to document my journey these days because despite my bad attitude, God has provided over and over again amazingly (and those blessing stories should be remembered!). So, even if everyone I know gives up on reading my blog, I want the focus to be right. I want to be discrete and most of all, I want to honor my husband and the Lord because He has chosen this situation for us to be in right now. I don’t want to bring anyone else down when they visit my blog or to feel badly for us (we are truly blessed!) … and most of all, I want to focus on being THANKFUL.
Happy Thanksgiving Week! May you too find joy in the simplest of things like yummy food, faces of family around the table, and laughter and love … and all the blessings God gives to ALL of us!