Friday, November 20, 2009

Giving thanks!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

What an awesome time of year... Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for quite awhile now. As a child, Christmas was probably my favorite, for obvious reasons. Christmas always brings so much stimulation for kids - new toys, flashing lights, lots of sugar... :) Of course, Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and for reasons that greatly trump toys, lights and sugar. Most importantly, it's an amazing reminder of God's love for all people and a celebration of Christ's birth!

So the American holiday of Thanksgiving probably shouldn't be my favorite, but it is. I think I made the personal transition to Thanksgiving being my favorite sometime after Mom was diagnosed with Hodgkins. I was young and impressionable... and mom could have died. Her battle with cancer was the ultimate reminder to count your blessings. Our family always joins hands at Thanksgiving and we each share what we're thankful for. There is never a dry eye in the house. I can't remember from year-to-year what anyone lists, but I will never forget the swelling in my heart, the feeling that God is right there with with us in the room.

Thanksgiving for me, is always a necessary reminder. We should count our blessings year-round! Something about the holiday brings with it peaceful reflection and an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Every November, without fail, I transform into a teary-eyed, sappy girl. My poor husband! God has blessed my life so tremendously, and I am really undeserving of all He provides.

This year, I feel like I have more to be thankful for than ever before. I'm married to a wonderful, Godly man. Don't get me wrong; Cole isn't perfect, our marriage isn't perfect and I'm not perfect, either! (I know - shocker.) But God had a perfect plan when he put us together and I am continually amazed by the ways that He works in our relationship, bringing us closer together in happy times and with every trial we face, too. On our wedding day, I never dreamed that I could grow to love Cole more than I did in that moment; of course, I was completely wrong about that. If you think I'm emotional and sappy now, just wait until we've been together for 10, 20, 30 years. It's only going to get worse, Cole. :) I love you.

I really believe that Cole and I wouldn't be together today if it weren't for faithful, praying parents! Several times when I was growing up, I remember Mom telling us that she and Dad's prayer for us girls is to marry kind, loving, respectful Christian men. So I'm thankful for my parents, for loving and supporting and praying for us. I'm thankful for my Dad. He has always been a great example of a loving husband and father and positive role model for us girls.

I'm thankful for my in-laws! So thankful that long before Cole and I ever met, they were raising him to be a good man. They've welcomed me into their family with open arms, and are so loving and accepting of me, even with all of my flaws. I'm thankful for my sister-in-law, Emily. She is beautiful inside and out, and has such a kind-hearted, happy-go-lucky personality. It has been really fun getting to know her better.

I'm thankful for my little sisters. Two beautiful, talented, intelligent young women who amaze me on a regular basis. I have so much love in my heart for you two girls. When I think of you, I know that you each have great things ahead of you, and I'm so proud and excited to see what the future holds!

I'm thankful for family, good health, our friends, our jobs, my Premier Designs business and our home. I'm even thankful for our faithful four-legged pups, Royce and Layla.

What are YOU thankful for?