Tag Archives: Family

The Gift of Thankfulness

This time of year, people start to reflect on what they are thankful for: houses, food, family, etc. I decided to challenge myself and come up with something I am thankful for every day in November. I did not want to just put something down. Instead, I really wanted to think about it, and search deep inside my heart: am I really thankful for this?

It occurred to me a couple days into November: the best definition of thankfulness is seeing everything as a gift, not as something I deserve or am entitled to.

When I began to see everything with this definition in mind, I realized how much I subtly think I deserve. I deserve a house, because my husband has a job and we have earned it.

Um. No.

I deserve a dishwasher for washing dishes because no one washes dishes by hand anymore, especially someone with a family of six.

Nope. Wrong again.

I deserve a car, or how else would I go places?

I deserve my turn to choose out the movie I want.

I deserve a clean house. After all, I don’t make any of the messes ;).

But when I began to see everything as a gift, it turned everything upside down.

I am thankful for a house. There was a time when Dan and I didn’t know where we were going to live. We don’t deserve a house, but God has given us one anyway. Thank you, God.

I currently do not have a dishwasher, and at first I wasn’t sure how I was going to get all those dishes done everyday. Instead, it has become a blessing. Every morning I wash the dishes as the kids eat breakfast and we talk. Wow, who would have thought?

We have a working car. We don’t deserve one and frankly, many people in this world don’t have one and still get by. But God has graciously given us a car. Thank you, God.

I’m thankful I have a family I can snuggle with on a couch and watch movies. We take turns choosing the movie and savor our time together. Love movie nights!

And as for a clean house, eh, it might happen someday. For me, a dirty house means I have life living here in my home: kids, dogs, husband. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world!

So how about you? What did you once think you deserved that God made you realize is simply a gift to be thankful for?

Thanksgiving

2011 has been a hard year for my family. So when Thanksgiving rolled around, it was difficult at first to get past all the bad things to see the good. But as soon as I started, it was like a thousands lights filling my soul. I realized that despite circumstances, God has given me so much to be thankful for.

Picture of my family

First, I am thankful for my family. Three years ago, on the morning after Thanksgiving, my youngest son almost died. During that frantic car ride to the hospital, I believe he did. But God had compassion on my family and gave us Caleb back. We were shipped from hospital to hospital until Caleb and I were life-flighted up to Portland. None of the doctors could explain why our son went from healthy to dying in 12 hours. I don’t think we will ever know. But every time I looked at my son’s face, I am so thankful God let that little boy live. And not just Caleb, I am thankful for all my family. We are healthy and we are together.

Secondly, I am thankful for a home, food, and clothes. For the last couple months, Dan has been without a job. It has not been easy. But God has taken care of our every need. We still have a roof over our head. We have food to eat. We have clothes. We had a family give us a dryer when ours went out and we could not afford to get it fixed. We had someone else give us money to help get tires for our van (they were getting threadbare). I am thankful to God for meeting our needs.

On that note, I am thankful for my job. It came just when we needed it most. Through my job I have been able to help my family. Its also nice to have a job that I like going to every day. I hope someday to be back home, but working outside the home has given me a greater appreciation for what I had before and for those women who don’t have a choice but to work. Its hard to have a foot in both worlds, trust me, I know!

Most people never live to see a dream fulfilled, but this year I saw mine. At the end of July I signed my very first book contract. And not only that, but I signed with the publishing company I wanted, Marcher Lord Press. My first book, Daughter of Light, will release Spring 2012. That is definitely something to be thankful for :).

Early this year, Dan and I met a couple who became very dear friends to us. They have prayed for us, cried with us, and helped us during this dark time in our lives. That and they are as geeky as we are (and play a mean hand of cards :P). I am thankful for friends who when the storm clouds come, they stand right beside you.

I am also thankful for my husband Dan. He is a man of integrity, respect, and love; a man I am not ashamed to lift up before my children as an example to follow. No, he’s not perfect (trust me, I live with the guy), but I couldn’t have asked for a better companion in life. God blessed me when He brought Dan into my life.

Lastly, I am thankful for God. I do not list him last because he is least important on my thankful list, but rather because God is the one that holds everything I am and am thankful for. Without him, the rest of my list would not exist. He is the Light in my Darkness, my Defender, my Hope when all hope is gone, and the only One who could save my soul. Why God loves me with all the ick that dwells inside of me I will never know. But He does. And I am so thankful for that.