Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving.  The art of giving thanks, of living from a heart overflowing with gratitude, is the most powerful act of the human will.  Gratitude broadens the spirit, magnifies beauty, and glorifies its Creator.
"Gratitude to God becomes the Way in which He is remembered, for Love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and a thankful mind."
 We spent this Thanksgiving with family, hosted by Aunt Tenley and Uncle Art.  Cousin Chelsey flew out from California and joined us.  The food was delicious, and Gryffy couldn't wait to dig his fingers in.
A prayer of thanks before we feasted.
After the blessing, I read the story of our ancestors, William and Mary Brewster, and their journey on the Mayflower. I want to make sure that this story is never lost for generations to come, so this year I wrote it down as an ancestor story to read to the kids, and Lorelei is illustrating it.  We shared it with her class on Long Ago Day.  She was beaming when her teacher read it.  I love how she captures the first Thanksgiving.

We also made our favorite Thanksgiving craft, a chain-link anchor of our ancestors attached to a Mayflower.  Sixteen generations, from William and Mary Brewster down to Lorelei and Gryffy.
Kai grabbed Lorelei's hand.  She insisted on sitting next to her lil' cuzzie at the feast.  So sweet.
 I've got a really good man.  And I'm thankful for him!
I was in charge of the craft, which got me out of cooking (no complaints, here)!  All the kids wrote down what they were grateful for on leaves, and we made a Thankful Tree.  Here Renee is helping Emmy.
 I love how it turned out.  Down to Gryffy being grateful for the "Fs" in his name :)
 Those boys are buds.
 These cousins are so lucky to have each other--the girls and boys are very close in age.
 My family, the greatest joy in my life.
Earlier that morning, we watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade and baubled the tree.  The kids were delighted by the floats this year, especially Clumsy Smurf and Spiderman.
 Our small group is reading the Advent Conspiracy book and trying to focus more on Christ this Christmas.  I wanted to incorporate this into our tree, so I printed photos of Jesus and placed them in clear ornaments.  24 in all, to carry us through Christmas Eve and take us through the life of Jesus, with scripture references on the back.  Lorelei was fascinated by them, and recognized many of the stories she had studied in church.
This one may be my favorite:
 We put our Christmas music on shuffle and got to work!
 Gryffy didn't want to cooperate.  Notice he's not really hanging an ornament here?  (Yep, I stuck Papa Smurf in the tree so he would have to fetch it, making it look like he's hanging an ornament.)
 Lorelei, however, was delighted to do the job.
 Mr. Tubbins took a snuggle with Gryffy.  Look at the love there.
 My attempts at capturing our family photo:

 And before we let the Christmas season begin, a few words of thanks...
I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit's presence and witness in my life.  I've been untethered from Him for a while, blocked by unforgiveness.  And just this week, within minutes of extending mercy, I had another significant encounter with Him (in the form of a stranger who had Rhema words for me--she and I both recognized the gift of our meeting that morning, and neither of us had a dry eye. It was beautiful).  

I'm thankful for my husband, the steady force in my life.  For all the ways he helps out around the house, listens to my thoughts in the middle of the night, wrestles and plays with our kids and always, always gives them attention abundant.

I'm thankful for my Lorelei, the beautiful girl who cares so much about others.  She brings so much creativity to our home, working with her hands, coloring the world in rainbows, making things more lovely with her touch, her look, her toothless grin.

I'm thankful for my Gryffin John, the handsome boy who lives fully in joy, and sprinkles it abundant on everyone around him.  His imagination takes me everywhere, and stretches mine.  And he loves to laugh--it's his magic.  And I love those smiles.

I'm thankful for Mr. Tubbins, the snuggly little bunny who asks for nothing and yet gives so much.

I'm thankful for family, that God has placed us together to learn and grow together in the ups and downs and the all-arounds of life.

I'm thankful for our brave ancestors who birthed this country in freedom, fought in a Revolution and World War, faced accusers in a crucible and pioneered this land.

I'm thankful for America, and for all the amazing opportunities I've had to go beyond its shores.  My wings.


Walls for the wind and a roof for the rain.

Music; for senses that receive beauty and allow me to encounter God's brilliance.

For friends.  For our church family.  For the community here that I love.

For books and an insatiable hunger to learn.  For education.

And for many, many other (countless) blessings.  I breathe a prayer of thanks throughout my days, the constant prayer on my lips.  Thank you, God.  Because in gratitude, I find Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment