A Grateful Heart



What’s your plans for Thanksgiving? Have you given any thought how you are going to handle all that food around? We need to think about it and set boundaries, or we will fall into a free for all. It’s just not worth it to feel so bad and sick the next day. Thanksgiving is really not about the food.

I won’t be doing anything special. As some of you know I do not have any family. Before you start, DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR ME! That’s not why I am bring this up. Yes, I am sure part of the day I will reflect back on being with my loved ones, eating off my Mom’s fancy china, and my Dad’s afternoon nap on his green lazy boy with the newspaper over his face. The smell of that turkey roasting, and the anticipation of the arrival of our loved ones.  I do miss days gone by, but they are never coming back. Wallowing in your past can be a miserable place to get stuck in. Trust me, I know.

A couple of years ago when I was at my highest weight and bing eating, I wallowed in self pity over this. Before I go further, I did get an invite to go to a friends home and even spend the night, but declined. I have a little dog to think about, and as wonderful and sweet and thoughtful the invite was, it does not help the longing I have in my heart to be loved and have family. I have come to terms with the fact that I do not have a family that loves me.  I mean the kind of love that you know you are in the front burner of that person’s life. Not necessarily romantic love, but family love.

I use to seek desperately to be loved. I’d latch onto anyone who was nice to me, and have way to high expctations  about what that friendship should be. And let’s be honest here, we all fail each other at some time or another, But When a friend let me down, I became the victim, and became devastated, and after that, the bitterness sets in. Bitterness is the worst place to get stuck in. To be totally honest here, I use to suck the life out of my friendships and scared a lot of people off. I didn’t see that at all until recently. The 12 steps of recovery has you take a deep look at your character flaws, and make peace with your transgressions. If you can be brave enough to dig deep, this can bring a peace to your life that you never experienced.

I’ll be OK, I am confident in the love my God has for me, (I am pretty sure I’m His favorite) and who knows, maybe someday I will have family. Maybe not the traditional kind, but family comes in many different packages. Either way, God’s has me in the palm of His hand. Meanwhile, I have some amazing friends who stuck by me in my ugliest moments, and have my back as well. I have several people who would drop, and run to me if I ever had a crisis.

My church has a program called “Manna”. Once a month they give a box of food to people who are struggling financially. It is humbling to admit it, but I am one of the people they feed. I have been terribly hard on my church and the leadership. I complain about how I dislike the concert style worship. I feel left out a lot and wonder if the paster even knows my name. But I have to own my part, I rarely attend. People can’t get to know you if you are not there. But today, when I went to get my box of food, they asked me if I wanted a ham or turkey. I choose the ham. I can live an entire month off one ham. On the way there, I started to cry uncontrollably. I have no idea why exactly. Maybe because in-spite of my whining, and mishap attendance, they give. That is such a perfect example of God’s love for us. We complain when He does not run to our aid when we think He should. But ALWAYS, he gives, just in time. I don’t want to leave my church because it is the only link I have left to family. There are a handful of folks I have known since I was a child. And that is the church I got married in, and the funerals for my parents and husband was there. It has been my anchor. I weep when I write about this kind of love. I get so much more than I deserve. We all do.

My favorite quote is by Brennan Manning;

God loves us as we are; not as we should be, because we are never as we should be. 



Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I am a Baby Boomer from Nebraska blogging my way to good health. I am single, with no children, I have a little white maltese dog named Lily. Follow my journey to lose 1 pound 300 times.

9 thoughts on “A Grateful Heart

  1. Kat

    This is a beautiful post. I’m so grateful to have met you through the support group. Thank you for sharing your journey. Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving. Grateful for you!

  2. What you wrote touched my heart in so many way.

    I have family. I have no friends.
    You have friends. You have no family.
    We both long for what we don’t have.
    Yet we are both learning to be thankful for what we DO have (but still have that longing for true family/friends).

    I feel the same about my church, also. Over the years, I have not been able to go much. Now hardly anyone knows me except the Pastors. Just yesterday, I was telling Jim that it’s not their fault. *I* was the one that disappeared. I was the one stuck at home, unable to go hardly anywhere. Life went on without me. I have now have no connections there, yet it’s been our church “home” for almost 20 years. They all know Jim; not me. I feel as you, though. The description of “anchor” fits perfectly.

    In spite of feeling like a useless member, though, they give to us with kindness. Out of love. That shows me God’s kindness, through people. I understand what you wrote about that, too.

    Such a deeply personal post, with insights and lessons hard learned. Thank you for sharing, it’s helped me lot.

    • Kathleen

      Rhetta, you bring so much comfort and joy to our friendship. And you are on my gratitude list. Altho I hate that you have lived a life with too much solitude I am glad we have this understanding of each other. Stay strong Sister! God brought us this far, he’s not going to stop now!

  3. Lori Ann Olson

    Oh Kathy, another post from the heart. I can relate to the self pity part. Losing my job this year, onset of back pain and some foot numbness, difficult situation with a niece who was living with me on top of the constant knee pain that makes moving, just getting up and down from a chair painful. I’ve gained back 20# and am on that slippery slope back up – where I don’t want to go. I DO have family and friends. I have a church where the pastor greets me with a hug every Sunday morning. His wife put on a suprise 60th birthday party for me in September and then gave me a gift of money to help with expenses. So easy withdraw and have my pity party. Well, enough! I’m going to meet with a counselor from the Lifestyle program tomorrow night after work. I know if I don’t confront my behaviors and address them, I will put that 150# back on. It’s sooooo much a head and heart thing than it is a food issue. I have to learn to reach out rather than withdraw. Whenever I do, I find people willing to help and support – if I’m willing to humble myself and ask. Keep on posting, you are such an ecouragement!

    • Kathleen

      Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that you have been through all that. No matter what we have in life we all have some real struggles. I’d like to suport you through this. I understand that panic of feeling out of control. Don’t lose faith Sister, God is working within your life in ways and places you never dreamed! Blessings to you my Sister!

  4. Connie Britton

    Kathy, I appreciated your honesty in this blog. As always I think about you and another friend of mine who has absolutely no family either, and so wish you did. I really look forward to you going to MAG and really going with an open mind and heart to what is happening there. God is moving in so many ways. Pastor Johnny is really open to the moving of the Spirit which not all churches do. As you said in your blog, we have wonderful memories of the past with our parents, but of course can’t go back, well same as the way church services are now. Not the same, but I think eventually you will be able to see the awesomeness of what is taking place in this generation. I continue to pray for you in every direction of your life. Love you, Connie

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