A Tour of Thanks

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Happy Thanksgiving!  I wish you all a day of good health, happiness and fellowship. I feel so blessed for the people in my life.  My husband is the most loving, dedicated man I could ever dream of.  He is my best friend, team mate and life partner.  My children bring me unsurpassable joy.  It’s hard not to wonder what I lived for before them. My parents just celebrated their 33rd anniversary.  They are so in love and have made love and life together look so easy.  Through example, dedication and sacrifice, they provide (even still) all I need to succeed in God’s family. My brother, sister, and I are the best of friends. They are a continual joy and inspiration to me. My husband’s parents are the most amazing people, too. Whether it’s advising on a recipe or hopping in the car to drive 600 miles to help with the kids, they frequently drop everything to come to our rescue. They love me as one of their own. Sadly, for almost 6 years now, we’ve had hundreds of miles between us and the nearest family. It has been so hard. We have been blessed, though, to have friends and a church that have embraced us with both arms and have loved us through the lonely times.

I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3 NIV

Being our own little ‘island’ family has been a challenge.  We are both very family oriented, and it’s very important to us to that our kids know their family.  We’ve all worked hard to arrange visits in one state or the other, and occasional video chats.  Somehow, we’ve kept up a frequency of contact that our little guys are able to remember their grandparents, great-grandfather, aunts & uncles.  Some facet of the distance has been good for us, too.  It has helped us establish our identity as a family and has forced us to develop our own traditions and problem-solving skills.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7 NIV

We’ve had to get creative sometimes with our meals, and Brian has an uncanny ability to withdraw toothpaste from an ’empty’ tube.  It seems like just when we don’t know how the next bill will be covered, God provides. A gift. An unexpected refund. A raise. It never adds up with human math.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Mark 6:41 NIV

I woke up this morning, full of joy.  &;A rich aroma filled the air.  I knew my dear husband had slipped out of bed early to start the turkey.  I tried to sneak out of bed, but by the time I had my sweats on, I heard a little voice inquire, “Mommy…?” I saw little Isaac’s eyes peeping out of the sheet.  I crawled back under the covers and he whips a calculator out from somewhere and declares, “Button!” We share some giggles and he flashes me smiles that make my heart melt. I look over at Ian, my little sleeping prince, and it hits me that somewhere between two and three, my first baby became a little boy. He looks so grown. What beautiful, amazing little baby men.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

Isaac and I make our way to the kitchen. Brian not only has the turkey cooking, but our favorite loaf of yogurt bread is baking and he has breakfast ready. What a man, what a man! He never ceases to impress me. I can’t imagine feeling more loved and appreciated. He seems to never tire of service to his family and God. I feel like I have more to be thankful for than I can express or ever deserve.

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13 NIV

Most of all, I feel thankful for the unending mercy and grace I receive. I mess up every. single. day. I want to be eternally patient and calm with my boys, but I blow it. A lot. I want to be a shining Christian example to them of love and respect, but I blow it. I want to be a cheerful, pulled-together, always-have-dinner-ready wife, but I blow it. I want to spend time every day reading my Bible, praying for my family and living what I believe, but I blow that too. On all accounts I am forgiven. Graciously, perpetually forgiven.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. Mark 14:22-23 NIV

What a day to celebrate! It seems amid all the struggles and disappointments, there is always an abundance of blessings for which I express my deepest gratitude.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV

Happy Thanksgiving!

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