Yes, I know it's the week we share what we are grateful for.... yada, yada.
No grumbling this week, or at least through dinner... maybe.
But I must share what I am grateful for...
because my heart may burst if I don't.
The weekends away my husband plans, for us to reconnect, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Well, mainly his.
Sometimes I complain, telling him I can't do these things and host Thanksgiving two days later for our crew of crazies. He just smiles because he knows I'll pull it off.
I dearly love this man... with all my heart.
The new friends in my life... how they encourage me, mainly because they will hang out with me.
The level of depth and devotion to one another and their faith, kind of blows me away.
The tables were we come together, one on one, sharing our concerns and encouragement and the times we sit long tabled, laughing, holding tightly to these sacred moments.
The moments I reconnect with someone through email, learn what God is doing in their life, receive an encouragement from a new friend... just when I was doubting everything about myself.
When a friend asks me to help them.... I know we are connected now because you trust me enough to get deep in your life. I promise I will honor this and not forget your trust.
Surely, this is from God.
My church... yes, my church full of thousands of beard bearing, hipster wearing lovers of Jesus.... or those just wondering what this is all about. The idea that I get to be a part of this... this crazy thing called faith, in a way that allows questions, concerns, disagreements, where we can still love one another.
I am one of the older attenders... yes, this stops me sometimes, but then I remember I am called here. No idea why, but I remind myself (again), It's not about understanding why, it's about being faithful.... not perfect, but showing up.
that this year God has reinforced the idea of showing up.
I've had to reach far this year.
So many new things and many of them
When I show up... I find God there.
Friends who don't forget me, from my youth in New York to the years in Champaign, to the moments in Wichita... the relationships that grow deep roots and catch my breath sometimes.
The memories and moments when we reconnect.
My heart loves these people...
even as I type this, the page blurs and I stop and breath deep.
The two people I call my mine. A girl and a boy, who I hold close to my heart. The paths they have traveled, the way they have honored their parents and their God. I opened my arms to God when they were young, recognizing whom they belonged to and God has honored me as their mother.
I am surely blessed all my days because of them.
My neighbors I call friends...
my community, so diverse and so ready to lend a helping hand
or steal your lawn mower.
My family who will arrive today.
We will welcome them for a Tennessee Thanksgiving and my heart will overflow in gratitude.
Not because everything will be perfect,
but because we can share laughter, love and gratitude for the gifts we each possess.
I am grateful for God and all His mercy, grace, love and care in the details of my life.
There is nothing I have done to deserve it... but I raise my hands to Him and bow in His presence.
Grateful, grateful, grateful... am I.
I wish you a grateful Thanksgiving... one where we count our gifts, raising them up to Him, no matter the details of our difficulties.
His grace covers it all.
Make sure you show up this Thanksgiving friends.
Leave the details to Him.
Happy Thanksgiving... gobble, gobble.