Bitter And Sweet

Happy Thanksgiving Girlfriends!

Even though today is a busy day for many of us, I wanted to jump on and wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings!

I am so thankful for each one of you. As I have spoken at events and retreats over the past few months, I’ve been deeply reminded of how much we need each other. We have a lot going on – and so much of it is painful and hard.

One of my favorite memories as a little girl was to visit my grandparent’s farm in the Fall. My grandmother, my mom and I would walk into the woods on Sunday afternoon and go searching for a beautiful vine that hung from the trees called, Bittersweet.

An invasive plant, Bittersweet climbs and winds its way around the branches of trees. After the first frost, it’s little yellow berries burst open and inside, a smaller orange berry pops out.

In November, when the leaves fall off of the trees, the vine is exposed. It hangs like a garland from the bare branches. Its vibrant orange and yellow berries remind me of Thanksgiving ornaments dangling down to welcome the holidays.

Both my mom and grandmother used Bittersweet to decorate their homes at Thanksgiving, and for as long as I have had my own home, I have too.

bittersweet3

I’ve been thinking — what a perfect name for a vine that appears just before the holidays.

The word ‘bittersweet’ means, ‘to have two conflicting emotions all at the same time’.

Anybody? This is exactly the place where I find myself today, and I imagine it is the same for many of you too. As I have prayed with, listened to and learned from many of you this Fall, I know all too well the kinds of situations you are dealing with.

A loved one whose chair will be empty at the table

Missing your kids because of shared custody with an ex-husband

The angst of interacting with a family member who struggles with addiction

Estranged relationships with parents or siblings

A marriage that is distant and disconnected

Loneliness

Financial stress

And so on. It seems the holidays just amplify it all – and if we are not careful, the bitter will overtake the sweet.

Yes, you have a lot going on and I do too. But here’s the thing — there may be some bitter in our circumstances, but the sweet comes from our relationship with Jesus, and that is what we need to amplify.

We can be thankful at Thanksgiving and have true joy at Christmas because we know He’s got it. He is in control and working everything – not just some things — but every single thing out for our good.

We may not know exactly how our circumstances will turn out, but we can trust in the ONE who does.

My prayer for you is that you will feel the love of your Father tomorrow and as you navigate your way through the busy weeks leading up to Christmas.

Get some rest

Take a walk outside and get some fresh air

Carve out time out to sit at His feet with your Bible open and listen

Let His truth pour over you and bring you thankfulness and joy. Wait for it – it will come.

And above all else – fight for it. Don’t let anyone steal it from you. Wield the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith any time you feel the bitter coming on. The enemy is no match for a sister with her shield and sword!

I love you all. Thank you for supporting me, interacting here on the blog and for sharing your stories when we meet. You are precious and dear to me.

I thank my God on every remembrance of you – Philippians 1:3

Happy, happy Thanksgiving,

laura

 

20 Comments

  1. Cyndi on November 23, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    thank you, Laura! I will be sharing this message for sure.

    • LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you my friend. I know your Thanksgiving is bittersweet. Praying –love you. xo

  2. Debbie Jenkins on November 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you

    • LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      You are welcome, Debbie. Happy Thanksgiving. xo

  3. Becky on November 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I totally LOVE this message, and oh there is so much truth to it! Thank you Laura for continuing to bless us with your beautiful spirit! Wishing you His peace and joy (and comfort for the loved ones you will be missing). Love you sister! Becky

    • LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Peace and joy right back to you, Becky. xo

  4. Patti on November 23, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I want to go looking for this vine. What a sweet reminder. God is in control and working everything – not just some things — but every single thing out for our good. I need to repeat this to myself every morning to get it through my head. You are more than on target for what I needed to hear. Thank you.

    • LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      So glad to hear this resonated with you, Patti. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. xo

  5. Rose Sheives on November 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Timely, inspired Truth. Well written and impactful, Laura!

    • LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Love you, Rose. I know you understand. xo

  6. Denise Higgins on November 23, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you, Laura! A profound word for getting through the holidays.

  7. LauraAdmin on November 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you so much Denise. Have a happy Thanksgiving. xo

  8. Amy Ruth Petersen on November 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Laura, thank you for this. I love that you said fight for it. That implies that it may not come natural, that it may not be easy. I lost my dad this summer. And we cried and laughed our way through Thanksgiving. God is so sweet and strong in the middle of the hurt. Blessings!

    • LauraAdmin on December 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      oh Amy — I completely understand. Blessings to you as you experience your first Christmas without your dad. God sees you. xoxo

  9. Kathleen Austin on November 23, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Love this vine and all the memories it carries. Thanks for the reminder. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • LauraAdmin on November 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Sending love, Kathleen. Thanks for the kind comment – I hope your Thanksgiving, even though bittersweet, was wonderful.

  10. Jen Roland on November 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Great post, Laura, and a wonderful reminder that while the storms of life are inevitable, we will not sink if we stay focused on Him. Thank you for this and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    • LauraAdmin on November 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Jen. I hope your Thanksgiving was blessed as well. xo

  11. Carol Colgrove on November 25, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Laura, Thank you for your beautiful timely sharing. We truly need to hang onto His sweetness and work at letting the other go. With support we are all strengthened. I am so thankful He brought me to you, Donna, and the Sisters in Faith. Love to you all xxx

    • LauraAdmin on November 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks you, Carol. I am glad Donna passed this on to you and that it was encouraging. Sending love. xo

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