Living Happily Ever After



“Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in the light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!” (Henry Ward Beecher)

Last year, at this time, I felt so alone. I tried not to, but there was no disguising the emptiness attendant with the shock of being thrust into a life you don’t feel prepared for.

Last Thanksgiving, the first of my unexpected life, made me apprehensive. It was our first–in our new home, in a new state, we didn’t know many people yet, we were still reeling from the shock of so much change that had taken place so quickly, it was my first as a single mother and…it was the year all of my siblings were scheduled to spend the holiday with their in-laws.

A good friend (“family,” to me and my children) invited us to share the day with her family in Utah. They could not have been more gracious to us. They all made us feel so welcome, we didn’t even feel like guests! And instead of the hard day I’d feared (we had a lot of those back then) my children ended the day saying it was their best Thanksgiving ever.

What a difference one year makes. This year, I couldn’t feel less alone.

I will be sharing the day with my siblings and their families in the little town of our heritage, Ephraim, Utah. Bachelor #5, his family and his mom will be joining us. My birth mom also invited us to have dinner with her. If you’d have told me last year, at this time, that in just one year’s time I’d have more family and loved ones to celebrate with than I could work into one day, I’d have laughed in your face. Yet here I am–juggling time with many loved ones!

I would have to write a novel if I tried to record the bounty in this year; or string the pearls of the many blessings I’ve received in 2010. There haven’t been many dark days, just a whole lot of light! How grateful I am to give this day to thanks, joy and gratitude of which I have much. What a relief!

So if you happen to be in the throes of your unexpected life, if this day is one of your “firsts,” know that you are going to make it and that next year, there will be even more to be thankful for. I guarantee it.

You may even be amazed, as I have been, at the bounty that can come out of such devastation, destruction, grief and challenge.

That pretty much sums up my unexpected life…today. It says it all.

Oh wait. One more thing.

“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” (Kevin James)

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