The day is here! If you’re American, like me, then today is all about three things: Pausing to give thanks for all of the things you are grateful for; spending time with the ones you love; and feasting on roasted turkey (or maybe deep fried or cooked in some other fashion), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, casseroles, and pumpkin or sweet potato pie!!!! I love this holiday for all of the aforementioned reasons, and in honor of today I am also going to list 10 things for which I am thankful like Katie did in our last post. These aren’t exactly in order of importance because it’s hard to say one is more important than another, but here goes….
1. My Husband
I married an amazing guy, folks! He is hilarious, sweet, sexy, and he is also my best friend. I was a ball of crazy when we first started dating (ok, still am sometimes!) and his patience in helping me through a lot of the emotional baggage I had at the time was unbelievable and incredibly selfless. And more than I think anyone could ask for, but exactly what one should hope for from a life-long mate. And today he is still the same way.
2. My Kids
Like most parents, I could gush on and on about how amazing I think they are. My son is 4 (and a half! That’s a big deal, ya know…) and is so much fun. He is silly, unbelievably smart, and a natural at almost any sport. I always figured I would have at least one athletic kid since I never was really into playing sports myself, and boy do I!!! We have a ton of fun playing soccer, flag football, and baseball in our backyard. My daughter will be 9 months in a few days and she is just the sweetest little thing ever. She brings us so much joy and has added so much more fun to our lives. She is babbling a ton (and will give you an earful when she feels it is needed, let me tell you!), cruising around on the furniture, says a few words already and is crawling everywhere. She started waving hello recently which is so cute to watch her do out and about with random people. I honestly can say that having two kids is way more fun than just having one!
They’re wonderful and fun and wise and they help us out in more ways than I can count. We live about a 5 minutes away from them now (we moved this year) and we really enjoy it! They help with childcare during the week and even on weekends sometimes, give us great advice but typically only if we ask for it, and are just generally fun people to be around. My mom is one of my best friends, and I am and have always been an unashamed daddy’s girl through and through. I adore my father! And I treasure the relationship my parents have with my kids. It is a blessing to watch them together and makes my heart so very glad.
4. My Mother In-Law
Yes, I’m dead serious about this. I think I have the best MIL ever. She also lives nearby (within walking distance) and helps is with childcare and just in general quite often. I truly value the relationship I have with her and the one she has with my children as well. She is always so sweet and helpful. I know this is a huge blessing – I’ve heard and seen horror stories about in-laws throughout my life and was always worried about this dynamic, but thankfully I do not have that situation to deal with. And for that I am eternally grateful! And I treasure her relationship with my kids and am blessed to watch them together.
5. My Siblings
(including my sisters-in-law)! I have 2 big brothers who are buckets of fun and both are married to women I love, am close to, and get along with well. And my husband’s sister and her husband are incredible, too! We all live around each other and are able to get together as often as life allows, which sometimes is a lot and other times not nearly enough. My brothers have always been there for me, made me feel loved, protected and safe, and have been there to make me laugh harder than almost anyone else. I treasure the friendships we have developed in our adult lives and also the times from when we were kids and they would actually let their kid sis be around and play. (I need to take more photos with these awesome guys…learned this lesson while searching for something to post!)
6. My Friends
I have the best, most amazing, most drama-free group of friends! Of course my sister-friends, Katie and Christine, are in that bunch. I love them both so much and am so grateful for our friendship. The memories we share are truly priceless! And Miranda, my BFF, mommy-friend, and the mom of my beautiful god-daughter. She and I became best friends shortly after Dan and I were married, at a time in my life where making new close friends was a scary thing (that’s a long story that goes way back to pre-Katie stuff which I won’t get into). Miranda is one of those friends who always checks in on you, calls you out on your BS but in the most loving of ways, and is a total blast to be with. I am so grateful for her and for our friendship!!! And for the amazing god-daughter she has given me – I love my Baby Girl sooo much! I am also thankful for her sister, Nicole, who is another close friend of mine. Nicole and I encourage each other during tough times and during great times, too. Her heart is made of the sweetest of things and she walks with an air of grace and love that makes I want to emulate. I have many more friends I want to mention but this post would go on forever and ever if I did! I love and appreciate you all so very much <3
7. My Job
I feel so blessed to have the job I do – one that I enjoy and one with amazing coworkers. I am a geek for data and for process improvement and I get to combine these things and find data-driven process improvements! I work for a large company where you’d thing the inter-personal part of things might be lacking, but my company and my co-workers are actually really amazing! To top it off, I am able to work from home and have for over 5 years now. While working from has its challenges, overall it has been a huge blessing for this full time working mama.
8. Our New House
I LOVE our new home, being so close to our families, and the neighborhood we moved to. It reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in and felt like home the moment we turned the corner to go and look at the house the first time. It was all by the grace if God that we got this house when and how we did. It was by accident that we even came to look at it with our realtor – I had seen it on the real estate apps and knew it was perfect but out of our price range. When we saw it for the first time I didn’t let myself say out loud “I love it!” because I didn’t want to be let down when we didn’t get it. Low and behold, 2 weeks later our realtor called to say they had received no offers (at a time when houses were selling left and right) and that the owners were willing to negotiate with us. It was miraculous and I am soooo grateful! Dan and I still look at each other at least once a week and say “I cannot believe this is OUR house!!!”
9. My Pastor and Church Family
Folks, I feel like I found, hands down, the most amazing church to be a part of in existence! Dan and I have been members since we first started dating when he got invited to go, having never been a church goer before (I on the other hand grew up in church all of my life, even went to Christian school until I graduated 12th grade). What God has done through the ministry at our church has dramatically changed our lives. I had all but sworn off going to church if I’m being honest – and this is a long story that I won’t get in to now – but after going here and really receiving a revelation of God’s love and grace, I’ve been completely changed. Which brings me to the next item, and it is the MOST important one in my life.
10. Receiving the Revelation of God's Grace and the Gift of Salvation
I remember what I was like, my view of life, before I learned about real and true grace, and I don’t miss that life at all! Am I perfectly “Christian” now, never struggling with sin? Far from it!!!! That’s not the point! I still struggle with sin, some great and sin small, on a daily basis (or minute my minute, really!). But now I walk in confidence that God’s grace covers my sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and sees me as faultless. And so I can confidently go to Him with my praises, pains, joy, sorry, frustrations, and struggles with sin, knowing that He hears my cries and turns His heart toward me. Not because of anything I’ve done or will do, but only because of what Jesus did! This is the greatest thing in my life for which I am thankful and I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!!
Ok, I’m off to finish up the mac and cheese that I’m bringing to dinner. I hope and pray you have a wonderful day celebrating all of the things for which you are thankful and that you don’t get too stuffed on turkey and all the good things that go along with it! May God bless you and your family, and keep you all in His protection this holiday season and always.
Let me know what you’re thankful for in the comments if you have a moment to spare and can do so!