Today is Thanksgiving. Here in our neck of the woods it is cold, damp from 24 straight hours of rainfall the day/night before, and now dark (thank you daylight savings time for that reality at such an early hour ~ ok, fair is fair, mother nature has a thing or two to do with that as well...I digress!). I need to be honest here - I didn't wake up today ready to feel thankful. In fact, I woke up today not ready for today to happen - at all. Oh, it isn't because I don't love Thanksgiving, I do. In fact, of all the holidays we celebrate this one is my absolute favorite. (Yes, Chrismas and Easter are wonderful, but I love those for completely different reasons.) Why? You might ask. Well, for these reasons here. Today my Littles are off with their dad meeting their new step-family (yes, he's getting married! To a woman that I actually admire and think is a great person and will be a wonderful influence and help in the girls' life), my family had their Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago while my little sister was in town (she lives in Denver), and my Mr. had to go to work.
However, as I was sitting here alone this afternoon, several things have come to mind for which I am truly thankful for.
For these, I have so much thanks to give:
1. I am wholly and deeply loved by a God who saves, forgives and leads. I am a broken person, but I am not beyond the grace of our Savior. I am a child of the one true King and He is totally NOT FINISHED with me yet and I cannot WAIT to see where He takes me next.
2. I have been blessed with a husband that not only loves, cares, provides for, and protects me, but does so daily - by choice. There is so much I could say here, but I will leave it at that. He. Chose. Me. He still chooses me. And I, without a doubt, believe God brought us together for a reason.
3. I have three of the most beautiful little girls, in the entirety of the world, who call me mom. Seriously, I don't know what I would do without that honor. Yes, they can make me cry, get frustrated and angry, but oh how they make me smile and laugh. I am so in awe of who they are and the women they are becoming. Truly, to have the blessing of raising them and watching them grow...renders me speechless.
4. I have the privalege of being a step-mom to two rambunctious little boys. They are not mine by blood, but I do love and care for them just the same. In fact, I believe step parents have a greater honor than biological parents, because in these relationships you not only have a choice, you get a choice. If only everyone would look at it through those lens', I think there'd be a greater amount of joy in blended families today.
5. I was able to talk with my mom today and wish her a Happy Thanksgiving. Since we had our family get-together on the 12th she was home watching football and decorating for Christmas. Go team...whoever you are that is playing...LOL!
6. I called my brother and got his VM, which I appropriately left a brilliant message displaying my awesomeness as his big sister. A while later he did send me a text. So, in the grand scheme of things, I scored a cool sister point - somewhere! HA!
7. I texted my little sister and got a reply back - way later (I'm chalking it up to the 2 hour time difference and the fact she had surgery yesterday.) Then she surprised me with a phone call just a bit ago. We talked for over an hour! An hour! And it was wonderful (we didn't discuss politics so I'm mostly certain that is the main reason why. LOL) I cannot tell you when the last time was we actually talked - like got past the obligatory conversational pleasantries and talked - and here we got to...uninterrupted...for a long time. In the end we came to the standing conclusion that I am the logical/practical one and she is the people-y one....either way, the several minutes of talking in between forming that conclusion, was priceless.
8. I got to spend the morning/early afternoon with my Mr.'s family. Yes, he was there too, for a bit, until work beckoned. In that time we got to visit with others, eat some yummy food, and go through a lot of old family photos. I have to tell you, my Mr. was an absolutely adorable kid! I've come to the conclusion that boys don't really change their looks as they are growing as much as girls do. Any way, we got to bring many pictures home and I can't wait to scrapbook them for him.
9. I have time to spend with myself. If you aren't one who likes this, or even needs this, I don't expect you to understand. But I am a person who needs time to decompress. I can't be "on" all of the time. When I am it makes me cranky and I start to have panic/anxiety attacks and I get really out of shape. This quiet time is exactly what my soul needed. There is no shame in needing this, and I have none for admitting it.
10. I have been blessed with a wonderful job. I cannot begin to put into words how much I enjoy my new job. Is it challenging and hard? Yes. Are the people good, kind, considerate and helpful? Absolutely. Am I learning new things? Without a doubt. In all, it was the best decision I made - following God's prompting on this move. There are many things I had to give up (benefits/pay wise), but in the grand scheme of things, I know I'm in a place where God can and will use me.
11. I cannot even put into words how thankful I am for the material blessings God has provided for us. We have a home, vehicles that run, clothes to wear, food to eat, and activities to enjoy. I am, without a doubt, humbled by his graciousness.
12. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve others at church; for their confidence in me to be their Hospitality Team Coordinator. I am so extremely excitied to see where God leads me, but more so in how He can use me to further His kingdom. I only pray that I don't let Him or His church down.
13. This one I saved for last. Probably because it will become a post of its own one day, but mostly because it is something that I am hesitant to share. First, I am thankful for answers to prayer. Second, I am doubly thankful for a God that doesn't give up and gave me the courage to have a heart of obedience. You guys, I am proud to admit that I have not had a drop of alcohol in 25 days. While some may not recognize this for what it is, there are many who will. I could not have done this without the support of my Mr. and the daily grace of my Savior. There is still much road to travel, but I've got amazing people on my side.
So, while you are all out there having family time together, roasting turkeys, eating mountains of mashed potatoes with gravy flowing down into a pile of stuffing, remember the things you are thankful for. While I could have ended the day focusing on all the things today didn't hold, I found looking on the things it did hold was such a greater joy.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you have a blessed start to this Holiday season and find the truest gifts life has to offer.