Three geese white like sugar honk their early morning song a few doors down. Roosters, who as my dad would say are short a doodle in their do, are cock-a-doing in haphazard unison. The sun is kissing the mountain tops in a display of sherbert splendor. It's a new day, in a new home and I find myself bathed in thankfulness AND soaked in sadness, like vinegar and oil mixed together on a lovely salad.
-There is MUCH to be thankful to the Lord for - too many things to count and yet sometimes I'm like a toddler with an empty Easter basket staring at a lawn full of not-so-hidden eggs with nothing in my basket. How can I NOT see ALL the pastel eggs perched atop the grass in full visibility? How can I NOT call out all of the blessings that are blatantly in my path? I'm guilty of staring into my "empty" basket when blessings are literally ALL around me, waiting for me to recognize them for what they are AND grab a hold of them. This is a sad confession that leads me to the desire to do better at not only seeing the blessings right in front of me, but also for giving thanks for them out loud to the One who gives them. Cultivating a thankful heart full of gratitude is a daily decision to really say thank you for the obvious: waking up, having a roof over your head, for your family, such as they are - such as you are, for the mountains and sunlight and honking geese that all point to a very creative and magnificent God. Who am I that He should care for me? Yet He does so very personally and spectacularly.
The mixing of seemingly contradictory emotions can be tricky to navigate. Does my sadness negate my thankfulness? No, it just nods at the recognition of a loss while at the same time seeing the egg in the grass that's waiting to be snatched and put into my basket. So the mingling of multiple emotions has been the whirlwind of my life, more so in the last 6 months than another time that I can remember. We sent a daughter to school in another country (sadness), and she gets to go to an amazing school that the Lord provided for and have a whole new set of experiences in a new place that will challenge, grow and change her (thankfulness, happiness). She is apart from us for the first time this Thanksgiving (sadness), but she has a new friend from school who invited her to her home to have Thanksgiving with her family (thankfulness!) We abruptly had to move from a community we loved (sadness), but we are in a great home with a yard and space to spread out (thankfulness, happiness.) Vinegar and oil together enhance the flavor of life.
So, in this tossed salad of emotions that I sometimes have found myself drowning in, I'm reminded that it is ok to lament a loss, and that I need to stay in a state of thankfulness while I grieve. I'm not a mess, I'm human. I can cry AND rejoice. Today, I am thankful for all of the ingredients in the tossed salad :)
How do you handle a mixture of emotions?