I've always loved Thanksgiving.
It is a season of reflection for me...a time to stop for a moment and simply dwell on those blessings that I am undeserving of but nonetheless thankful for. The older I get, the more I am able to just stop sometimes and breathe in the warmth of those blessings.
I am so thankful...
...for parents and siblings and in-laws who love and support me. Through thick and thin, no matter what, and despite shortcomings (theirs and mine), my parents have been rocks for me for a lot of years.
...my nephews and niece who, though I don't see them as much as I would like (even the ones who are local), are always held warmly in my heart and prayers.
...for a roof over our heads and a lovely one at that!
...for provision. Ever since Seth and Lizzie joined our family, I am more conscious of how much we have...from the basics of food on the table to the extravagances of travel opportunity, more clothes than we need, two vehicles in the garage, and so, so much more.
...for the richness that Seth and Lizzie have brought to our lives. Though they had so little in terms of material things or adequate nutrition, they yet brought with them such a richness of character and culture and beauty. I will forever be grateful to the land of their birth, to their birth community, for enveloping my children as long as they were able.
...for my children. These three amazing little people are truly gifts of God in my life and I look at them sometimes and just think how did I get so lucky? They are the best thing to happen in my life and I don't want ever to take them for granted.
...that we are schooling at home. This year more than any other so far in our h/schooling journey, I feel thankful for this. It's one of the hardest, and most rewarding, things I've ever done. I have learned far more than my children have.
...for health. We take so much for granted that we shouldn't. So much of the quality of our lives comes from the benefit of good health. Although I have despaired most of my life over my body, for its size and slowness and lack of strength, I am nonetheless grateful that for forty-seven years, it has carried me to the places I needed to go, provided the vehicle for my thoughts and emotions and growth, been the tool that I have needed it to be for the many roles I hold.
...for my life partner. I've said here before that Geoff and I have gone through some freaking hard times in our almost nineteen years of married life. But what I've come to learn is that the peaks of this roller coaster ride simply can't be deeply appreciated unless one also careens uncontrollably through its lowest points. The high points help me keep my perspective; the low ones help me to understand why so many marriages don't/can't last and also solidify my desire to continue to work at ours. I'm very thankful that Geoff feels the same way because over the years he's gotten under my skin to the point where it would be difficult to imagine life without him.
...for a God who doesn't give up on me or let me go. I'm such a wanderer at times, and too often live out my priorities differently than how I've put them on paper. But He's always there anyway. Always ready to meet me where I'm at. Always ready to hear me and to know me. Always ready to hold on tight when I don't feel like it anymore. Always more ready to hear my voice than I am His. Matthew asked me just the other day if it was weird to thank God for being God. I smiled, in part because I thought that was a great question, and in part because that was the very sentiment I, too, had been trying to express. I'm so thankful that His faithfulness far exceeds my own.
...I have wonderful friends: Old friends and new friends; friends who live minutes away and friends who live provinces, countries and continents away; friends I have much in common with and friends I share few perspectives with but love anyway; friends I talk to almost daily and friends I speak to only occasionally; friends I've never met but hope to one day. What would life be like without these people who share no blood with us but who are nonetheless part of our earthly family?
...for so many everyday kinds of things...that the worst of Geoff's busy fall travel schedule is behind us...for stuffing with gravy and pumpkin pie...for wonderful fall weather...for trampolines and swing sets...for my children's friends...for evenings out...for books and music...for a spontaneous "I love you" from a child...for cleaned-up kitchens and made-up beds...for cozy blankets and hot showers...for quiet moments alone and their breath of renewal...
We never know what life will bring our way, but nonetheless there is so much to be thankful for, and my desire is to experience and practise gratitude not just today but on every day from now until next year's Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!