Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Thanksgiving

I am posting this a day early since tomorrow I want to stay focused on my family (and uh. . .food).

I have mentioned before that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  A day dedicated to being grateful for all of life's blessings, mixed in with some great food and a little football;  what is there not to love about that?  It saddens me, though, to see our society jump right over this great day and use it as a mere stepping stone to Christmas.  It seems to me that by mid October, Halloween and Christmas are practically "have beens" in the retail world among other places.  So as a family, we choose to live counter-culturally and take our time in celebrating first, Thanksgiving (which for us spans the course of 4 days), and then we humbly enter into the season of Advent.

I keep no secret in that my family and I are abundantly blessed.  If I get to the heart of it, I truly long for nothing.  Sure, there are things I sometimes think would make life a little easier or maybe even more enjoyable, but being a necessity?  Nope.  My life is full and any struggle I encounter just reinforces the faith I have and the love I share.

Reflecting on my own gratitude, there is much I could tell.  Today, however, I decided to reflect on one particular blessing in my life that drives me to my knees in thanksgiving every single day; my marriage to Monkey Toes.

My life would look and resemble something very different if it weren't for my marriage to Monkey.  And so as thankful as I am for my children and the life we lead, I have to recognize that it all began with the covenant I entered into with Monkey.  Little did we know 21 years ago when we went on our first date, that our journey would take us to this point in life (11 1/2 years of marriage, 6 kids, 3 job changes, 2 apartments and a house in my hometown).   Tie in each of us losing a parent and my mom moving in with us, and I can honestly say that I can't imagine walking this path with anyone else.

Here are a few reasons why I love this man (no particular order):
~He is a hard worker.
~He has passions.
~He never thought me crazy when I shared with him my dreams of wanting a large family.
~He leads our family in prayer each night.
~He was the one who invited my mom to move in with us.
~He keeps a sense of humor in almost all situations (I sometimes find this inappropriate at times, but all is well in the end).
~He allows me to hog the bed, and when I won't budge, he sleeps on the couch.
~Our home is far from the quiet retreat one may desire after a long, hard day at work, and yet each night he comes home to the kids and I with a smile on his face and a light heart.
~He holds my hand (literally and metaphorically).
~After 11 years of marriage and 6 kids, he still tells me I'm beautiful.
~Every night before bed, he tells me I am a great mom, even if I am extremely undeserving of that title.
~He says, "I love you" everyday.
~He treated his own mom with great respect, love and honor.

When I was single, I prayed that God would lead me to my future husband.  I was specific in my prayer when asking for certain qualities and characteristics. The list I just mentioned contain many of those "specifics".  Is he perfect?  Naw.  After all these years he still can't read my mind.  Life would be so much easier if he could!  Monkey wasn't a dream come true for me, but rather the one chosen for me.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Our Thanksgiving craft, using rafia, pine cones, wood chips, twigs, and pony beads.