Well Being

A Thankful Heart in Difficulty

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Enough pumpkin pie for days, family laughter, and the one time in the year where everyone goes around in a circle and says what they are thankful for. The expectations are simple. Like making sure that Grandma makes her amazing stuffing and all of your cousins are there in one place.

Growing up it was expected that we would all be there under one roof, stuffing our tummies with warm food and enjoying conversations. Now that my cousins and I are adults, we have all gone our separate ways with our new families. I miss them all during this time of year and think about how thankful I am to have such fond memories.


Another thing that has developed in my adulthood, is an awareness of tragedy and hard times. It is hard to think about being thankful when sickness takes lives, families are torn apart, and the sin of this world just seems to be getting worse.

I know what it is like to feel loss, struggle with depression, and see all of the destruction that is around me. Yet, while overcoming the darkness that this world only seems to offer, I have found a greater goodness. The one thing that God showed me, that changed my thinking and made me happier, was making me aware of blessings and expressing gratitude.


Most of the time it is easy for me to focus on the complications, annoyances, and road blocks. Yet that same energy that is used to get upset, God can funnel it into making a mental thankful list.

I have had to consciously make an effort to be thankful for the brightness of the sky on a cold brisk New England morning. Notice the way the light breaks through the greyness  as I drive to work. Stop and listen to the birds outside the window singing their hearts out even though it’s raining. Enjoy the opportunity of getting to meet someone new. Making someone else’s life easier by knocking a to-do item off their list, for them. Being moved by a song about God’s power. All of it consciously approached.

I could go on, but only because I have made a conscious effort to focus on God’s promises, provision, and priorities. This Thanksgiving I won’t be with my immediate family, but it will still feel like a holiday because of what I do have with me now. Ya, nothing is the same, but I have an awesome husband, a church family that has shown me Christian love, and so many challenges behind us that have made us tougher, wiser, and more focused on God.

My heart is more than full, it is stuffed.

What are some simple ways that God has shown His goodness towards you?  What beautiful things have caught your eye? What are some ways that we can make someone’s day?

Happy early Thanksgiving everyone!

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  • Reply Korina Moran November 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    This is beautiful, Krystal! Thank you for sharing. Love you!

  • Reply Renee November 25, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Such a lovely post Krystal! Something beautiful that caught my eye recently was the gorgeous sunset Sunday night. It had been gloomy all day long and then this wonderful sunset appeared! My daughters and I bundled up to run out the door to capture the moment on camera and then played on the swings for a bit. I’m also thankful for God connecting me with the women’s bible study at my church. This is something fairly new to me and it has blessed me in so many ways!

    • Reply Krystal Irrgang November 25, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Thank you Renee! It sounds like the beautifulness of the sunset created another wonderful moment. God is good like that. He provides opportunities to connect with Him AND others. That is awesome that you have a bible study group at your church. It definitely is encouraging to talk with others about God. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Linda Tooley November 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Krystal, I truly believe that God places special friends (like you) directly in our pathway to remind us of His love. Depression always sets in during this time of year and I never can seem to pull myself out of it. Seems like the older I get the more I desperately miss my family around me. But they do grow up and have their own family. I need to remind myself every day that God has blessed me with infinitely more than I deserve and your blog made me realize how good He’s been to me. Blessings to you and Chris. Your blog was a God-thing today.

    • Reply Krystal Irrgang November 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Linda, your words have gone to my heart. I am so glad that I could be there for you, even if it is from afar! We just have to keep remembering those blessings. God is so good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It just made my Thanksgiving feel even more full. 🙂 Sending love your way!

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