“If one could only learn to appreciate the little things…
A song that takes you away, for there are those who cannot hear.
The beauty of a sunset, for there are those who cannot see.
The warmth and safety of your home, for there are those who are homeless.
Time spent with good friends for there are those who are lonely.
A walk along the beach for there are those who cannot walk.
The little things are what life is all about.
Search your soul and learn to appreciate.”
This Thanksgiving season brings with it a lot of sadness for our little family. It will be one of the many “firsts” that we will be experiencing as a family of four, not five. When I think about that, my heart sinks. When I think about how much she loved pumpkins and turkeys, I can’t help but to feel like a part of my heart is missing.
But then I look around me.
I look at the amazing fingerprints she left; not only my my life, but the lives of her siblings and family.
I think about the amazing 9 years and the blessings that came with that.
I think about how my life would be so very different if she were not a part of it.
I think about my amazing older children; how far they have come; how much they have been through.
I think about my devoted husband; he has been my rock and anchor through so very much.
I think about my Savior; He has never left me, even during those times that I could not feel His presence.
So, in this seasons of “firsts” when everything around me tells me that I have nothing to be thankful for, I look back and remember all of the blessings that have been bestowed on me, despite the heartache that has come my way. I remember the words of my Father and smile…
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” –John 16:33
I encourage you to stop, think about what is really important. It is not the turkey, the stuffing, or the table settings, but who is around your table table that matters. It is those people in your lives that you simply could not do “life” without.
Be truly, honestly, painfully thankful for the many blessings in your life. Before you know it, they will be distant memories that you long to experience again.
And most of all, be thankful to the one who allowed you to have those blessings. Be thankful for His grace. Be thankful for His mercy. Be thankful for His sovereignty.
Because you and I would be nothing if it were not for Him.
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thank you so much for your post. It is so much easier to remember the really important things after reading it then when stuck between piles of laundry or hurry the groceries. I miss my grandfather so much and I am also frightened by the fact, that no one knows, how long my grandmother will be with us, she is 96 years old. But I am really looking forward to the first child my best friend will have in January. The little one is already with us. I made some knitted stuff for christmas but also just so because I couldn´t wait.
I pray for a peaceful holiday and a nice time with your family. Emma isn´t forgotten. Missing her is also part of a joyful life.
the firsts. so hard. this post is an amazing picture of hope for all of those experiencing those firsts. thank you so much for sharing about such a tough time.
Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) says
Wow what a heartfelt and beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart. Firsts are so hard. So hard. I cannot imagine trying to get through the “firsts” of life without my Lord wrapping His arms around me and loving me through it all. I am thankful you are filled with amazing memories of Emma. What a treasure! I pray continued peace and joy over your family this holiday season. Blessings to you.
I was so moved by your post! I have much to be thankful for. Thank you for the poignant reminder to be thankful.
Blessings to you!
Becky M says
Thank you and bless you. Yes, firsts are hard, God gives you strength.
Gorgeous Heather. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your heart.
This was beautifully written. This season is a “first” for us too. It has been so very hard but reading what you wrote just brought me to tears. May you have the courage to take on every day with compassion and love. That’s what she would have seen you do because that’s what you did for her.
We lost our second daughter in July. She never got to see the world but I carried her for 9 beautiful months. Thanks for sharing this post.
Bless you Heather. This was a beautiful post.
Melissa Vaughn Bowyer says
Beautiful. Again, I am moved to tears. You are a portrait of strength and thoughtfulness. Wishing you a season of great firsts.
You’re so brave! Thank you for being the voice to other’s by reminding us to cherish every moment.
Love you, Heather. You are a gift and I’m
so grateful for all you and Emma have taught us.
Barb Wall says
Thank you Heather, I am typing thru my tears. You are a blessing to “woe-is-me” and I am embarassed that I was feeling the way I was.. Thank you for sharing and God’s grace and peace on you and your family!! Blessings, barb
Beth Williams says
You truly inspire people to be thankful even in the midst of trials.
Praying for you and your family this Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. I know it will be tough–all “firsts without someone are”. May God surround you and your family with His love, grace & mercy this season!!
Such beautiful perspective.
The hardest thing is to lose a child. I cannot imagine that degree of pain. But your post reminds us all to cherish every single day with the ones we love because it is a gift. My heart goes out to you and I pray that you make it through the rest of the holiday season embraced by the Love of God because you will see her again.
Mrs H says
What an honest writing this is. Thank you for sharing your personal revelation.
Kerry A. says
Heather your writing is such a gift to all of us. I pray for your family each day and will never forget your beautiful Emma. Thank you for sharing your heart .
what a beautiful, beautiful post. Your words truly moved me; what a powerful testimony you bring this world by your thankful heart. So thankful to find you here.
Oh sweet Heather, there will be lots of firsts for you and your family, but with your strong faith in our Lord you seem to ease through the pain. I am thankful I “met” you years ago because you and your writing skills (in addition to your big heart) are such an inspiration!
Heather…you share such beauty through your pain. i am praying today that you will KNOW that you are being held by the angels…wrapped in the love of God.
How beautiful…I wish to someday be able to share my heart through writing. But for I am content to be able to hear God’s word through others. My beautiful and awesome neice was called home to glory earlier this month on November 8, I can’t tell you how many times I hear her voice or see her smile everyday. I miss her so much…but I’m thankful for all that she gave. She left us with her three wonderful sons and a lifetime of memories that will always bring a smile to my face. I’m learning to be thankful more and more everyday. Again thank you for sharing and you are truly a blessing.
Beautiful and so vulnerable.
It’s been 26 years for me – and sometimes a “first” still pops up and surprises me. What a beautiful girl she is.
Thanks for speaking straight to me and helping me to remember TODAY and what is important today.
Reminded me of an update from a CaringBridge friend that I received today where she said”: “this year I have had to step back and reevaluate my gratitude. Finding it in the present. And setting it in the promise of eternity.”
Thanks for all you say. Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable. It so helps the rest of us. God bless you and your family through all the “first” yet to come.
Mitzi Boone says
Your words……Be truly, honestly, painfully thankful for the many blessings in your life…..I get it.
What a beautiful post. Blessings to you!
I’ve followed you for many years, and I’ve wept with you and rejoiced with you. And now, my mama heart along with you, as this Christmas will be our 7th one with 16 year old son in heaven. And the firsts don’t end after the first year. We had our first child marry this past summer – his brother was missed again. We had a new baby almost 5 years ago – our first child that did not know him. But, with you, I look forward to when our tears will be forever wiped away. I am also so thankful for His grace and mercy, for joy in the morning, though the night was long, and the gift of each of our children’s lives we do not take for granted. Blessings as you celebrate our Savior’s birth, during this bittersweet time.
As we head towards our third year without our forever nine year old I am filled with thankfulness for the time we had together and for the memories I cherish. While its far from easy I choose joy.