A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Giving Thanks When It's Not Easy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giving Thanks When It's Not Easy

Had you told me one year ago today that in one year, my husband would be out of the military and living the civilian life, I would never believed it. That was never the plan. The plan had always been for my husband to stay in 20 years then retire. At 11 years, he was already over half there. Being so close to that goal, I never imagined that he wouldn't be given the chance to see that through. And yet, here we are today...one of many families who found themselves changing plans thanks to downsizing in the military.

To say that these past few months have been a little rough have been an understatement. Military life was by no means ever easy, but it was a life that we had grown accustomed to and enjoyed. It may not have made us millionaires, but it provided everything our family needed- a paycheck, a roof over our heads and health insurance too. The idea of losing that? Very scary. Being a person who has always struggled with severe anxiety anyway, this time has truly tested my strength.

And now we've reached November, the time of year when everyone stops to remember what they are thankful for. To be honest, it would be very easy to feel less than thankful this year, wouldn't it? I mean we literally had our entire life plan turned upside down. And honestly, even now as I've had time to deal with it, it still stinks.

But its not the end of the world. As stressful and uncertain as things have been lately, we are still beyond blessed. So rather than focus on what could have been, this year (and always) I try to focus more on those good things. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

  • I am thankful that my husband was given a substantial separations bonus that helped us pay off our vehicles and help keep us on our feet for awhile.
  • I am thankful to be living in a place we love, just a short distance from our friends and family.
  • I am thankful that my husband has been given the opportunity to follow another dream of his- and is currently studying to be an automotive technician.
  • I am thankful that his schooling is not only completely payed for, but that it also gives him a housing allowance to help with our bills.
  • I am thankful for the new job he found-in the automotive field- that he begins on Monday- a job that he is excited about and that will work around his school schedule!
  • I am thankful for this blog and all of the opportunities it has brought me in the past year.
  • I am thankful that it's almost Christmas- my most favorite time of the year. I cannot help but be filled with joy at Christmas!
  • I am thankful for the chance to stop renting and buy a home- something we could not do while in the military!
  • I am thankful that my daughter will never know the difficulty of deployments.
  • I am thankful that we will no longer have to worry about frequent moves, something that is hard on everyone- but especially hard for a child like my son with autism.
  • I am thankful to have a family I love, who can make it through anything.

I know, it's much easier to be thankful when things are going our way, but isn't it more important to take the time to be thankful when they're NOT? Wherever you are this Thanksgiving season...whether life is peachy or you're barely getting by, remember there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. It may be small, and it may be hard to see, but it's always there.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


  1. My husband is struggling to stay in. He's been in for 13 years. With a back injury that we are hoping will be made better soon. Everything is very up in the air and stressful! We are just struggling though this year. And try to be thankful we all have our health.

  2. Such an important principle! I could whine and complain about being separated from my husband and not having a home but I'm trying to stay focused on what I have to be thankful for. Between two friends in CO and my family in CA we all have roofs over our heads.

  3. Wow, I know that must have been so very hard for you. You had your future planned out, but God had other plans. That has happened to my husband and I too, many times. God's blessings to you as you begin this new phase of your lives!


"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24