“How Did I Get Here?”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve collapsed into the sofa after a crazy day, and thought with a tired sigh, “How did I get here?”

That question is certainly a great lead-in to some introspection isn’t it? It creates a perfect opportunity to silently count the days blessings, but…that’s not usually what I do. Instead, I stare at the ceiling and think back on that crazy, unexpected curveball that started my day, mentally watching it whack into the first domino of my carefully stacked, neatly planned next 12 hours. One after the other, my efforts fell into mindless oblivion as I worked to put out fires and juggle appointments.

Looking back, I know I was working hard, but I just can’t remember specifics.

Memory fog was especially strong when I was raising my two children. I quit work when they were about four and two years old, so I had the great fun of being present to them and for them for many years. But the same syndrome I experienced while working would happen at home too.

The kids loved to wake up early, and seemed to have limitless supplies of energy. (What four and two-year-olds don’t?) PreSchool, gymnastics, swim lessons, trips to the park, laundry, cooking, art projects, books – it was a busy time. My husband would come home from work and ask “How was your day?.Β  I’d turn to answer and freeze. Um, I don’t know. What did I do all day? It seemed like all I did was keep up. I struggled many days to answer that question, often just settling with “Fine. How was yours?”

Honestly, I’d love to tell him everything we did and how wonderful it all was. But that would mean taking a little break to quietly look back at the passing hours, so I could see, really see, all the joy, sorrow, love and challenge that swirled around us. But who has time for that?

This week, we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, a day that gently draws us all into self-reflection. No matter how busy or brain-fogged we are by daily responsibilities, we gather together with family and friends to celebrate all the ways we have been blessed. And make a conscious effort to answer the question, “How did I get here?”

The gifts and blessings of each hour, in each day of this past year have shaped and directed us to where we are right now. What a great thing it is to take time this week to look back at all the miracles, seen and unseen, that have allowed us to be…here. Right here. Here in this blessed space with our families, friends and those we serve.

What if “How did I get here?” became the focus of every evening prayer?Β  I mean, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of the week. Instead of sitting on the sofa feeling confused, we’d silently review the day instead, giving thanks for each grace that carried us through.

That way, every day would be Thanksgiving Day.


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42 thoughts on ““How Did I Get Here?”

    • Hi Terry! How nice to see you here today! Thank you for reading and commenting too. I appreciate your words.

      I know you’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. It’s such a good time to review everything we are thankful for during the year…although I know you do that daily.

      God bless you and yours,

  1. Beautifully said Ceil and so true. We get in going in so many directions we don’t stop, reflect and be grateful. I hope you have a very blessed Thanksgiving. God bless

    • Hi Leslie! Thank you for reading and commenting today, I really appreciate your support.

      I agree with you on the speed of life, and how hard it is to just keep up, much less be grateful. That’s one of the reasons Thanksgiving is so great, don’t you think?

      Have a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving, with the Lord present in and around your table,

  2. Ceil, this is a lovely, reflective word to direct our hearts into an attitude of gratitude. Brain fog often leaves me struggling to remember what has happened each day. And they tend to blend into a degree of routine sameness with chronic illness, especially when my memory lets me down!
    I particularly love your thoughts here: “The gifts and blessings of each hour, in each day of this past year have shaped and directed us to where we are right now. What a great thing it is to take time this week to look back at all the miracles, seen and unseen, that have allowed us to be…here. Right here.”
    Yes, great suggestion! There’s a lot to be said for keeping a daily gratitude list and jotting down the ways in which God has helped and blessed us. Our lives may not alter much but we will become changed in how we think. Thank you!

    • Hi Joy! How nice to see you here! Nice to know that I’m not the only one who experiences memory fog. I suspect there are many more of us out there.
      Thank you so much for your kind words about the post. I agree, a thank-you journal would be a wonderful way to remember and appreciate all that God has done. I’m learning now about the Examen Prayer of St. Ignatius, and most of it is a daily review. I really like that, it helps me to point out the places where I was blessed and led.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  3. What a unique and positive spin you’ve put on the question, “How did I get here?’, Ceil. I love it! Yes, this is a perfect season for reflection and remembrance, and counting our many blessings.
    May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and memories made!

    • Hi Martha! Thank you for your supportive words for the post.

      I pray that you and your granddaughter will have a lovely visit with family and truly enjoy each other. And of course, have some great food too πŸ™‚

      Blessings right back to you,

  4. I know exactly what you mean by being so tired, I too, collapse on the sofa and look up to the ceiling – only to remember I have been told several times that it needs re-painting!!!

    Life seems to be an ever lasting continuous busyness of doing this and that all the time. One of the Internet prayers I use daily reminds us to think back over the day and thank God for every moment we went through – be it good or bad – because He was there caring for us.

    Wishing you and your family a splendid Thanksgiving Day.

    God bless you all.

    • Hi Victor! That sounds like such a great prayer…it sounds a lot like the Examen of St. Ignatius. I am to review my day and see where God was calling to me.

      Next time you flop on the couch, don’t look up!!

      Thank you for your good wishes Victor. You are one of the people I am thankful for this year.
      God’s blessings and peace,

  5. I have been studying Priscilla Shirer ‘s small group study called Breathe about Sabbath and what the Lord meant for it to be. this post reminds me some of what i wrote earlier today as well as some of our small group discussions.

    happy thanksgiving!!!!

    • Hi Faith! Thank you for visiting the blog today!

      I’m glad this post could be confirmation to you about leaning into the Sabbath. I love small groups! I’m sure yours is a wonderful way to learn and share your faith.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too πŸ™‚

  6. Yes, how true your words are! I made the comment the other day that it is truly a life of thanksgiving that we need to pursue. Not just one day of the year to give thanks, but to live out our thanks each day of our lives. I will be posting about this soon, if I can find the time. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your faithfulness, my friend. You are such a blessing to me and so many others!

    • Hi Cheryl! I love that we were on the same wavelength Cheryl. A life of thanksgiving is a life that Christ truly wants us to live. Every good thing comes to us from the Father of lights (I love that image too.).

      I noticed that it’s been a while since you’ve written on your blog. I hope everything is okay? Of course with the recent death in your family, and the illness too, along with holidays approaching? Phew. You have a lot on your plate. May God bless you with his peace and strength,

  7. The book I am reading addresses the need to be thankful for everything in our lives. This causes us to pause and reflect upon our moment to moment existence and the source of all our blessings. Great one, Ceil!

    • Hi Lulu! I think your reading and my writing are really synching up these days. That encourages me! Thank you for sharing that.

      Moment to moment existence…that’s a thought I could meditate on for a long time. It also fits in well with my year theme of ‘now’. No more important time than now, right?

      Have a wonderful week and Thanksgiving holiday,

  8. Hey Ceil, The last paragraph is a good reason for me to journal in the evening, I do believe. It might remedy the introspection when the lights go out and allow sleep to claim to me sooner. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Anne! You make a good point here. Reviewing the day, and then giving it over to the Lord, who really wants to take burdens from us, does free up our minds. I read somewhere that sleep is one gift that we don’t earn and can’t ‘make happen’. We lie down and wait for it to overtake us, just as you said. I love that thought.

      Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

    • Hi Bill! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with family and your congregation. I know you will inspire all with your spirit of thanks and wonder in the Lord.

      God bless you and yours,

  9. I love your question, Ceil. How did I get here? I would have to say – Only by the grace of God. And this is so beautifully true – “The gifts and blessings of each hour, in each day of this past year have shaped and directed us to where we are right now.” There are even greater blessings to be grateful for when we see through God’s perspective how He has brought us through heartaches and shaped us to His glory. His blessings overflow, don’t they? Thanksgiving blessings and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! Thank you for your kind words about the post today. “How did I get here?” is a question we all seem to ask when we’re overwhelmed. But if we could only plumb the depths of love and grace that got us here, we’d be overwhelmed in a different way. You are so right, his blessings overflow every day.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I hope you’ll have a blessed and peaceful holiday, seeing all the ways you got here!

    • Hi Lynn! May grace carry you into your days my friend. I think Thanksgiving was last month in Canada? A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours πŸ™‚


  10. That’s a really good question. πŸ™‚ Been thinking along those lines lately, praying too. I’ve gotten more reflective as the years go by. A good thing, I think, when it turns us to Him. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! Grateful for your support and friendship.

    • Hi Karen! Isn’t it wonderful to have the grace to become more thoughtful about your life? That’s really a great thing, and you’re right, it is the BEST when we end up turning to him.

      Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes! I am grateful for you too, and all the wonderful tips and resources you have for your readers. God bless!

  11. I love your suggestion, Ceil! If we can just slow down enough to notice them, we will find so many instances of God’s blessings on our lives. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you Pam, and Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I hope you will celebrate well with your family and your congregation. We have a lot to be thankful for.

      God’s blessings,

  12. Since the start of this year I’ve been taking a moment each night to write down two or three things I’m grateful for that day. It’s been a helpful habit to get into, and surprisingly easy to stick with! I hope you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Lesley! I am so proud of you, sticking in there and remembering to write down what you are grateful for. I started that one year, but gave up after a week or so. I should do it again though. I bet its really impressive to see how many things you have written.

      Thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes!

  13. What a beautiful reminder to be still and know that He is God. I was out before daylight this morning walking my dogs down the driveway and it was so still and beautiful. I had the sudden urge to go put the dogs back in the house and instead of getting ready to go to work, go find a place to be alone with the Father instead. We all have those moments of “how did I get here?” I savor those times when I am able to just go out by myself in nature and spend the day…just Him and me. Great post. I hope you have a most blessed Thanksgiving, Ceil!

    • Hi Debby! I’m with you, I’d love to be in the still of the morning…but I am not a much of a morning person honestly. But you described such a peaceful scene. I hope that peace stayed with you through the day.

      Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours my friend,

    • Hi Jean! Happy Thanksgiving to you! It’s a great question, I agree, and it’s so fun to know that you really liked it too.

      God’s blessings and peace to you and yours,

  14. Hi Ceil! Sorry to be so late getting here. There are no excuses because I’m not busy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Yes, the question: “How did I get here?” seems to be one that many ask of themselves. Honestly, I wonder how I got to where I am too.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Hi Kim! Happy Thanksgiving to you too my friend. I’m just happy to see you here…anytime!

      I think we all wonder how we got where we did. It’s a great way to comb back through the days and weeks and realize how much love has brought us here.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful day,

  15. I’m smiling because at the end of so many days (and weeks), I say those very words: “How did I get here?” Things end up becoming blurry, and the only thing I can do is thank God for getting me through it all. I know I’m a week late, but I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving, Ceil!

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