Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

I’ve been working on my Thanksgiving Day post for over a week now. There are so many things I wanted to say, and I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I decided to go ahead and post this today, even though Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Jamie and I will be busy in the kitchen preparing our half of the meal tomorrow, and it will be nice to just focus on family for the day.

I think it is easiest to begin with the most obvious things for which I am thankful:

It seems like an understatement to say that I am thankful for Jamie. It would probably be more fitting to say that I am eternally grateful that he entered not only my life, but Elise’s as well. I am thankful for the peace and serenity that has enveloped our home ever since the day that we met. I am humbled by the way he loves us and sets an enduring example of what a husband and father should be. It sounds cliché, but there is truly nothing that we cannot accomplish together.

The past 2 years have been a whirlwind of change, and I am thankful that the change has all been positive. I’ve married the true love of my life. I’ve seen Elise blossom into a beautiful, smart little girl with the world at her fingertips. I’ve been presented with a career opportunity to expand my horizons and earn more money while having more time at home with loved ones. Jamie and I have made a very cozy home in the first house that we purchased together. We’ve grown closer to friends, even across many miles that separate us, and we’ve developed stronger relationships with people that we see each day as well. It seems that life has fallen nicely into place for us. That is not to say that we haven’t been faced with any struggles, but even our struggles have been blessings in disguise. In confronting those things together, our bond has strengthened and our love has grown.

I am thankful for the continued health and prosperity of my close friends and family. My mom was given the opportunity to transfer to a new department within her organization to reduce stress and work hours, and that has truly been a blessing for her. She’s also had the privilege of traveling to several major conferences and representing her organization in a worldwide arena of professionals. This is something she should truly be proud of, and I am thankful that it has been a possibility for her. My parents are designing and building their dream home. After many, many years of hard work and sacrifice, they deserve it! I am so thankful that they will retire and spend their golden years in style and comfort. I am incredibly grateful for my father. Yet another year has come where it has been a blessing to have him retired and available to help out. He has been there for me through so much, and continues to do so even now. With hectic schedules it is always a comfort to know that Dad is there if we need him. This is something that so many young couples are lacking, so Jamie and I know how fortunate we are. I am also thankful that Elise has such a strong bond with her grandparents. Due to physical distance, this is not something I ever had growing up. It is truly a precious gift, and we are thankful to witness it on a daily basis in our home.

We gained 2 new furry family members this year. I am very thankful that Elise will grow up alongside Bailey and Dexter. I have fond memories of my childhood dog, Daisy. It makes me smile to know that Elise is forming childhood memories with “our boys”. Some days I need to remind myself that I’m thankful for them – especially when they eat my car! I’m also thankful that my dad was able to fix that.

I am thankful for modern day medicine and all that it is able to accomplish. I am also very grateful for people like my mom and her amazing colleagues that make this possible.

I’m thankful for the growing relationship with my in-laws. It is wonderful to know that there are 2 more people that I can call if I need to talk. They give some of the best advice, and I've taken comfort in their encouragement lately.

I just learned a few days ago that my grandmother is moving here to be with us!!! My mom and I have been trying to convince her to do this for at least a year now. I've never had a grandparent nearby, and I am so thrilled that she will be here with us. I worry about her being alone so much, and now we will never have to worry again. She will be right here with us, and we can check on her all the time and include her in all of our family get togethers. I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am about this. Families are designed to come together in times of need. Now that my grandmother is older and needs us, we will be there for her. I'm so grateful that she will give us that opportunity.

Now that the more obvious things are out of the way, I’d like to express thanks for some things that are more subtle. I’m very thankful this year for the concepts of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I’ve truly seen all three of those things at work in my life, especially recently. It humbles me to know that I am forgiven…maybe even at times when I do not deserve to be. I’m also thankful that I’ve received the ability (no doubt from a higher power) to show grace in dealing with an issue that has been difficult for me in recent months. I’ve had a few moments definitely lacking in grace, but for the most part, I have been able to smile through it all and still find something positive in the whole situation.

I’m thankful for hope and optimism. It is always there, even if you have to really look hard to find it. I’m thankful that my search for hope has proved to be very fruitful.

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and we were discussing why we love Thanksgiving. I think it might be my favorite holiday. I love it because it is centered around family and does not involve the stress and complications surrounding gifts. It's a time to reflect, be thankful, and spend time with loved ones...and of course EAT! I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. I hope you are all as blessed as we are.


Ashley said...

So much to be thankful for!! :) Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. See you tomorrow morning.