Abundance and Gratitude in the Midst of Distress

I think it’s safe to say that despite it’s blessings (so thankful we are expecting another baby, so glad I’ve made new friendships and strengthened old ones, so worth it to take a big trip before the insanity of baby #2 started…) 2016 has been a ROUGH year for a lot of people. It has definitely been a rough year for my family and myself.
I’ve been pretty sad going into this holiday week. It’s the first holiday season we will have without my grandma and I can’t stop thinking about her. I’m drained emotionally from the year in general and I am physically drained from my morning sickness returning just in time for a day of celebration that centers around food. I’m feeling the holiday crunch for time and money already and it’s not even December. I’m feeling discouraged… but I am doing everything I can to keep moving forwards and embrace the upcoming seasons of Advent and Christmas.
I’ve had to make a conscious effort every day to find gratitude for what I do have instead of sorrow over what I don’t. I’ve had to take a hard look at my own sense of privilege and entitlement. I am feeling a little better today than I have the past few so I’ve been trying to bake so I can bring my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. I’m making a recipe for rolls I only make for the holidays because it takes about 5 hours and a whole lot of milk. And I’m thinking what a luxury it is to be able to tackle a five hour recipe- even if part of that time is waiting for dough to rise or mixtures to get to the right temperature!
I look in my refrigerator and see what can only be described as an embarrassment of riches- bulk meals made from our CSA, the ingredients to use up our final pieces of squash from that same CSA not in a simple dish but instead in a rich casserole filled with dairy that, although we are on a budget, we can still afford. Treats for my toddler just because. Flavored carbonated water because that’s what helps my morning sickness. THREE varieties of hot sauce because we’re obsessed with spicy everything!
So yes, it has been a rough year and a year of giving up a lot of things we thought were basics or necessities, but it has taught us a lot about what the basics really are. We have food. We have shelter. We have each other. I am exhausted but I am oh so THANKFUL. I hope you all can look at the blessings that surround you and let it change the way you approach this holiday season. (and if you choose to participate in the Black Friday madness then please stay safe and stay kind!). I’m hoping to have one more post before Advent starts but may end up taking time to unplug with my family until Sunday 🙂 So in the meantime…

Bonus thing to be thankful for- my kid is now old enough to enjoy the Charlie Brown holiday movies… I’ve been waiting for this age!

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