I am the type of person that when I'm in the weeds, I don't want to talk about it until I get a handle on it. Honestly, I just simply disconnected from cheval glass this year. However, I am coming into a clearing and it's time to break the silence.
I'm grateful on this Thanksgiving Day 2016 for so many things, but mainly one thing...I have not given up. I never thought in my twenties when I was ready to conquer the world that I would be so grateful in my forties for simply surviving. There are public and private circumstances that push all of us to the brink of wanting to give up many times. I am not special. We all have our own wars we face and as I told a friend recently, don't downplay your circumstances by comparing them to others. Only God knows what each of us are TRULY going through in our lives. But, this blog post is called grateful and so these are the things what I want to share with you.
- I am grateful that my husband and I are still together. Why do I say that? We are both stubborn first-born. He is the Lead Pastor and I am his "right hand woman." What could go wrong? We are both selfish because we are in fact...human. We disagree, we argue, we apologize, we ask for forgiveness from each other (and our staff sometimes!) I am grateful we have not given up. I am grateful we are not just living under this roof together. We ARE together. He cooked Thanksgiving today because he is AMAZING at it. I am good at the centerpiece, not so good with the cooking. I love to plan, create menus, organize, clean out, clean up, and eat his fabulous cooking. I am grateful that we are at our best when we play to our strengths.
- I am grateful that I am watching my two kids right now drink hot chocolate (with more cool whip than hot chocolate) as they watch their favorite Christmas movie, ELF. They are better people than Todd and I. They love passionately, have sincere beliefs, and live much more balanced work versus play lives than their parents. They get God's unconditional love and their faces reflect everyday to me that they know who they are and WHO goes before them.
- I'm grateful that I talked with my Dad on the phone today...he's courageously fighting cancer.
- I am thankful for my home. Even with all the Hurricane Matthew debris still piled up in my yard...it's still here. We had no damage at all. I am thankful for my sister and brother-in-law who welcomed us into their home for 8 days unannounced when we had to evacuate.
- I am grateful for my Wednesday Lunch Women's Life Group. I may facilitate our discussion but they have taught me and loved me for who I am. You know who you are, ladies.
- I am grateful for friends from far away who text me encouraging words, call me and leave me messages, and who make time for me whenever our paths get to cross.
- I am grateful for my church family at HHICC. We have a great church and a great staff. We have real people with real life stuff happening all the time. I'm thankful they accept Todd and I as imperfect leaders who are on this journey with them. We don't get it right sometimes but we love our church and we love leading this church together as a couple.
I love how the Apostle Paul writes about his gratefulness in Romans 12:3. I love the Message version of this. "I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him."
As I reflect today on what I am grateful for, I am still learning how to be constantly aware of how much God has blessed me and not just blow by acknowledging His goodness. I want to be grateful for every breath...grateful for the people in my life...grateful for everything He has given me. Because honestly, I know I don't deserve it.