I’m going to be honest for the sake of being transparent and authentic, because I have learned that it is in admitting my struggles that I find freedom, and maybe loan a little out, too. Holidays are difficult for me. Whether it’s Christmas, birthdays, 4th of July…I have to fight some degree of sadness, and sometimes my fight is weak. I grew up in a big family, and everyone lived within a reasonable distance. Holidays were very grand at our house and my grandmother’s houses. My mom and grandmothers were all great cooks, and definitely fed many small armies over the years. As much as the food, I remember the fellowship, the laughter, the sporting events on TV, big firework displays, football games in the yard, all the men falling asleep on the couches-:)… I remember so many people, the constant roar of conversation, laughter and the euphoria of kids everywhere-a lot of kids! Every holiday was as old as it was new, foreign as it was familiar, and frayed as it was revitalizing. They were truly wonderful times that have branded priceless memories deep into my heart. As 4th of July approaches Friday, I have felt that restlessness settling into my soul. I have to be intentional to remember the happiness of what was, while forging gratitude in what is. What is, is still beautiful, it’s just different. If you have the luxury of having most of your family healthy and close by, don’t take it for granted. You are truly blessed. I am blessed too, my blessings just look different than yours. A couple of weeks ago I was flying back from Texas, (where all of my family is), to Birmingham, AL. As I was standing in line with my children waiting to board the plane, a dialogue was going on in my head. Was I flying back home or leaving home? I was conflicted in my answer. I later realized that the answer didn’t really matter, because home is wherever the people we love are, and that can be many places. Also, in his grace, The Father reminded me that all these homes are just temporary resting places along the journey to my forever home-a place where it will be one big, ongoing reunion with all those I love in attendance. Jesus promises that “in my Father’s house there are many rooms.” I’m so grateful, because we will need them! As for this holiday, it may be quiet, it may be small, but sometimes it’s the quiet and the small that create the most sparkle! More so, though, it is about focusing on cherishing my blessings and committing to choose joy in all situations, whether they be extraordinary or ordinary. So much beauty in life really is found in the ordinary.
D’Anna is the Client Coordinator at Restore Ministries.