It’s been ten days of keeping appointments, running errands, checking things off to-do lists. Of welcoming SIL Josh and the grandkidlets into the mix after three-and-a-half weeks apart from their wife and mom. Of continued love pouring in via meals, cards and gifts, and people stopping by.

In the process of planning Hubby’s Celebration of Life, a song by Laura Story gave pause for reflection:

But what if your blessings come through rain drops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights

are what it takes to know You’re near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.

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There is a tendency—speaking for myself here—to define blessings as only the positive. Good health. Nice home. People who love me.

And while those are certainly blessings, what if the hard things are blessings, as well. Designed to bring beauty, compassion, deeper trust. And so, thank you, Father God, for the blessings of these hard things.

I’m thinking Thanksgiving season isn’t contained within a certain week on the calendar but rather it’s a year-round sport. And maybe the conditioning is the giving of thanks when there’s much to be sorrowful over.