Turkey day has come. It is my favorite American holiday. I love that there's no pressure for presents. And that the whole day is about something we should always be doing and celebrating - giving thanks.
It seems to me that at work and in my Etsy shop, planning for Christmas events once again took over right after Halloween. Thanksgiving gets overshadowed by shopping, football and gearing up for Black Friday. I didn't want to jump right to Christmas without taking a moment to be quiet and give thanks. So here's my little list of thanks.
- I'm thankful for family - the people God gave me that drive me batty but always have my back. The ones who see me at my worst and still accept me. As I learn more and more about children in foster care and the events that have put them there I realize how importance the foundation of a loving family shapes your life. Thank God that he blessed me with a wonderful family to grow up in.
- I'm thankful for food - every year as I plan some veggie dishes to go with my mom's amazing turkey, potatoes and stuffing - it hits me how much this holiday is about food. Lots of food. Family sitting around the table and eating. And I know, deep in my heart that many, many families do not have enough food to feed their children or themselves. And so I thank God for the privilege of abundant food.
- I'm thankful for health - I went to church on Thanksgiving Eve and what will forever be etched in my memory is a beautiful family I know sitting in the front row. This couple got married later in life and have young boys who are a delight. This fall, the husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Watching a man worship God in the face of death is convicting and humbling. This man is thankful for every day he has left on earth and he's determined to use it wisely. I am thankful that God has given me today. I thank Him for the blessing of life and good health.
- I am thankful for cheesy movies! Yeah, that's right. Every year when I watch "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" I'm reminded of how important it is to take the time for other people. No matter how many times I watch the classic "White Christmas," Irving Berlin's song about counting your blessings speaks to my heart. Every time I watch George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life" realize how his humble life made such an impact on the people around him I'm reminded again of the chance we have to make a difference. How much our little lives are unique and profoundly felt on this earth.
- I'm thankful for waiting. Sigh. I didn't really want to write that. I might have to go back and read it a couple of times to convince myself it's true. But in recent years, I've thought a lot about times of waiting. As my husband and I continue to wait with patience and perseverance for children to be placed in our family (through pregnancy or adoption) we have to trust God for our future. This is hard for me. But for that reason, I am thankful. Because when something is hard won - you appreciate it for a lifetime. When plans don't work out how you expected or in your timeframe - be thankful they WILL work out in God's. It is good for me to continually surrender control and trust God in the waiting.
- And last but not least - I'm thankful for my husband. When you're single you wonder and you wait to find the person that will be your companion, confidant and friend for life. When you're married, the search is over. But the journey is not. I thank God for Joel. I'm thankful he doesn't get mad when I eat the last of the brownies, brings me flowers at work just because and loves me unconditionally.