It's okay to feel sad

On this Thanksgiving day, I am filled with a sense of loss. Remembering my deceased mother, and more recently my deceased aunt, I just feel sad. Perhaps you too are suffering from the well known holiday blues, missing something that is no longer in your life, which puts a damper on your celebration. The book of Psalms tells us that weeping is a part of life, that it can often endure. (Psalms30:5) Ecclesiastes also tells us that to everything there is a season. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Often I am tempted to feel that something is wrong with me in the times when I may be especially sad, while those around me seem fine or happy. These words from the Bible reminds me that it is okay to feel sad. Trusting that God will heal my wounds and mend my broken or aching heart from the sources of my sadness, allows me not to pile a feeling of guilt or judgment onto my spirit. It also relieves me from the need to hide my true feelings from others.

It's okay to feel sad. It's okay even to let others know that you are feeling sad. Often hiding the truth of how we feel from ourselves and others build up walls that serve as barriers to our own healing and the creation of a vibrant whole and transformative community. So on this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for how I feel, I am thankful for how you feel - however that may be. Most of all I am thankful that we can feel, together.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Gift of Morning

At my Grandma's church, the one with the wood floors and "old time religion", they were fond of thanking God for waking up that morning. As a kid, I couldn't relate. Every day was a given, of course. I assumed they were thankful because they were old, as a kid, everyone is old, and how long they were going to go on living was an active concern. At times when I am sick, I can certainly relate to that. But, thankfully, I'm not often that sick, so I often don't have an active appreciation to God for "just" waking me up.

This morning, as I looked out my sunny window, I found myself thanking God for this new morning. I realized that I had claimed my own meaning of a new day on which to anchor my thanks to God; another chance. Each day I get up is a opportunity to do something new, to make different and better choices.

I've been stuck in an unhelpful loop lately, doing the same thing over and over. This morning I was filled with gratitude in knowing that today I had a chance to do something different and new, to right the ship. No matter how bad things get, whether from circumstance or our own making, each day is a truly miraculous opportunity to make a different choice. No matter how amazing the days behind me have been, in the morning I get to set my sights on new challenges.

I'm grateful to God for the gift of each and every morning. Christ's resurrection inspires us to know that no defeat need be final, we can always rise again. What do you want your morning to be?

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Luke 24:1-5