I've been thinking about writing this post all day, trying to pull together the things I'm thankful for. And I started getting a little depressed. It seems like everyone has big exciting things to be thankful for this year. Bri and Ash will have two new babies any minute now. Barbara is moving to South Africa to have new adventures. Aimee and Andrew bought a great new condo. But there doesn't seem to be anything like that for us this year. Judah is following all the usual patterns for babies, growing up slowly and steadily. We're not planning any trips. We're in the same apartment we were last year, with no prospects of buying anywhere in the future. So my list of things to be thankful for was looking like the usual: family, friends, good food and fun. Our life is extremely routine and normal right now.
But then I started really thinking about it. And all of those things, the family, the baby, the apartment, our friends are all huge blessings, when I think of people who don't have all those things. And not even people in third world countries. People here, in Orange County. How many people do we know that are at odds with their families, or are struggling to have babies, or can't make ends meet, or feel like they don't fit in, or feel like life is caving in on them? Hundreds. THANK GOD we have our families, our wonderful, crazy, chaotic families that love us without end. And our sweet baby, who is so bright and cheerful and keeps us laughing with the things he's learning to say (like "coffee" and "punkin pie"). And we have a place to live, and food to eat, and shoes to wear, and relatively clean air to breathe, and furniture to sit on, and money to buy Diet Coke with Splenda and Starbucks caramel mochas so that we don't go through caffeine withdrawal, and books to read, and a great church family, and the luxury of enough clothes to spend a ridiculous amount of time each day figuring out what to wear.
Patrick Henry Reardon said, "Suppose for a moment that God began taking from us the many things for which we have failed to give thanks. Which of our limbs and faculties would be left? Would I still have my hands and my mind? And what about loved ones? If God were to take from me all those persons and things for which I have not given thanks, who or what would be left of me?" So this year, I'm thankful for the way things have stayed mostly the same in my life. Because things are good. I'm thankful that I'm still married to and in love with the most wonderful man in the world. I'm thankful that I still have my same old friends (and some new ones). I'm thankful that we still have our big families mostly nearby and that we still all love each other unbearably. I'm thankful that we still live in a comfortable, spacious apartment. I'm even thankful that we're still renting, because when something breaks we get to dial the magic number and the elves come and fix the problem while we're out. I'm thankful for all of God's continued blessings to me and my family.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!