Tag Archives: thankful

Giving Thanks

In my family Thanksgiving and Christmas are a really big deal.

We’re a family who likes to be together (most of the time) and invite, well, pretty much everyone else to be with us, too. It strikes me just now that we must think we’re pretty great to think the best thing we can do for the people around us is to invite them to pull up a chair and squeeze in wherever they can.

We are kind of great.

I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, I just love how we love, as a family. The “Come be with us” attitude is something that has been passed down to my siblings and I from our parents who learned it from other people who took them in and taught them how it felt to be welcomed and to belong. My parents experienced God’s love through these people in their lives and then became God’s love for others in the way that they invited them into the family, not just to the gathering. It’s a beautiful inheritance and I treasure it.

Today I thank God for loving us in a way that makes our imperfections perfect for a broken world. Every hurt, every cut, every scrape, every flaw becomes an opening for us to feel God’s love more deeply and an opportunity for us to know how to love each other better.

There have been mountains of mistakes that have brought us to this moment and I am thankful for a God who loves to redeem.

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This morning I’m sitting in my Dad’s dining room while my sisters, Kristin and Kaylan, are cooking, Kari is in the shower, Kevin and his family are in Houston spending Thanksgiving at home. My nieces are sitting on stools watching what’s going on in the kitchen and eating cinnamon rolls. My brother in-law, Kari’s boyfriend, Alan (family friend)  and my nephew are still sleeping. Kaylan’s boyfriend is “helping” in the kitchen by being the official food taster, my great-uncle is watching TV and my Dad is sitting beside me drinking coffee.

It’s 8:30am and this is only the beginning.

As the day goes on this house will fill with more family and friends. There will be lots of food, lots of laughing, probably a little fighting.

The only missing element this Thanksgiving morning is the sound of my Mom’s voice and laughter in the mix, but I’m sure that Heaven rings with both today– my Mom has a laugh that sings with joy.

This morning I am thankful.

I’m thankful for a family that isn’t perfect, but knows how to love.  A family who creates a place for people to belong.

I’m thankful for possibility.

I’m thankful for the sound of my neighbor singing to and giggling with her three-year old daughter, after the terrifying sound of her screams for help last Thursday morning.

I’m especially thankful for God’s grace– grace that allows us to see what is beautiful in the midst of pain and struggle, that inspires us to love when it is most needed, to act when it requires the most bravery, and that makes it possible for us to carry inside us God’s spirit.

I hope that this Thanksgiving morning you will be filled with the awareness of God’s great love for you, whatever your day looks like, whatever you face tomorrow.

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