"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
- 2 Corinthians 9:11
This year, more than any other, I have so much to be thankful for:
1.) I am thankful first and foremost to my God, His strength, His love, and His continuing grace, mercy and compassion.
2.) I am thankful for every day that my husband stays safe. In the chaotic climate of our world, in his dangerous line of work, each day is such a precious gift.
3.) I am thankful for a rambunctious toddler, who may sometimes drive me a little nutty, but everyday shows me the importance of a joyful spirit. I am thankful that each day she is healthy and unlike the countless children around the world, is well fed, well cared for and has a fighting chance in this crazy mixed up place.
4.) I am thankful for a family, who in spite of some of our greatest trials this past year, remains standing.
5.) I am thankful for the most amazing friends. Seriously. Most people get 1 or 2 people in their lifetime that they can call on if they need something or need to talk. I have dozens of friends like that. The kind who will do anything you ask when you live hours from family and who ultimately, become your family. I would name them all, but it would be too exhaustive of a list.
6.) I am thankful for the challenges God has given me lately. Challenges through trials. Challenges in what He has been teaching me. Challenges in what I've been reading. All forcing me to decide if I am going to really live this Christian thing out to the end or not. I am thankful that I have learned to consider it pure joy...
7.) I am thankful for a country where I don't have to fear my personal safety, that my children will have enough to eat, that I will be persecuted for my religion, that I have clean drinking water, that I will be a statistic with a deadly disease, or anything else. Instead, my fears are so frivolous and stupid, which is a bit of a curse, but it is helping me to learn to keep perspective. I am thankful for the one percent of Americans who choose to step up and keep this country from facing those fears. I am thankful for the one percent of American families who live with an ache for six months or more as their loved one is gone.
8.) I am thankful for each day, a new start, a new beginning, a new morning of mercies. Each day I have a new opportunity to try again: try to be a better mother, try to be a better wife, try to be a better human.
Right now, I am sitting in a downtown condo in Charleston, SC in what has proven to be the most un-traditional Thanksgiving we have ever had, but I am so thankful. I have such a heart of gratitude in spite of not having my best friend next to me, in spite of not being with all of my family, in spite of the tremendous amount of change and pain I've gone through this year, in spite of it all. When you can sit with a heart filled gratefulness in spite of everything that isn't going right in your life, you realize the truth about God's grace and mercy. We don't deserve anything. We deserve a whole lot of punishment for all the ways we fail. Yet, we all have so much given to us, even when our lives seem in the pit, we have so much more than so many. We just have to take the time and be grateful. Most importantly, we need to do it more than once a year, we need to do it daily.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Here's to gratefulness....
Until next time,