a thankful heartDeuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”

For some, this time of year can affect people in different ways: a divorced mom or dad raising their kids, unemployed individuals, those with sickness. Sometimes, this time of year can bring hopelessness and loneliness.

I was there once. I know it is hard to believe, but please allow me to share.

When I was a young single mother of four, life was tough. For the first couple of years, I lived in doom and gloom. I really didn’t have family outside of my four kids. I was struggling to provide a shelter to live in and food to eat. The thought of the holidays being here caused my stress level to sky rocket. I reeled with anxiety, hopelessness, loneliness and anger.

I kept asking God, “What did I do to deserve this? Why don’t we have family like everyone else does?”  God was so gracious to answer me, and this is what he said: “You have family.”
I answered him and said, “No I don’t!”
He said, “Yes you do! You have Rowena, Stephanie, Tigo and Sara.”
Wow! I then realized the greatest gift I could ever give was to be selfless and invest in the people God put in my life: my children.

Here are some questions, statements and answers that have gone on with my kids and I:

“Mom, I wish we had a dad.”
My response: “I know sweetie, remember one day, your kids will have a Christ-centered dad. You will be a great dad to your kids and a great husband to your wife, or a great wife to your husband.”

“Mom, I wish we had aunts and uncles.”
“I know it’s hard, but one day you will be a great aunt or uncle. You see, kids, maybe right now we don’t have the family we want, but as we allow God to change us and as we surrender to who He is calling us to be, we will see his blessings for generations to come.”

We have a choice to wallow in what we don’t have, or to change so that one day, those who follow us can have what we didn’t: a home full of God’s blessings.

We look forward to carrying out traditions we created years ago. Prayer, reading The Word, Worship, Thanksgiving dinner, putting up the tree, inviting friends to join us, and blessing others during the holidays.

Today, I have to say I am glad I listened to Dad. I am blessed with selfless kids and grandkids and in-laws who have become sons to me.  The blessings of obedience have come to three generations. Hallelujah!  I AM BLESSED!

This post was written by Becca Cruz.