"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1
My childhood memories of Thanksgiving include being with my mom's family--aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We'd all gather either at our house or at my aunt's house less than two miles away. There was always a lot of laughter, games, and a ton of mashed potatoes (mom made the best!!!), turkey, and stuffing (not "dressing," I grew up in Ohio). We'd always take a walk through the neighborhood after eating and then enjoyed watching football, playing football or other games, and simply being together as a FAMILY.
Last Thanksgiving I was heartbroken over the recent death of my precious mom. FAMILY meant so much to her and she always enjoyed Thanksgiving, a day full of cooking (which she was very good at!!!), fun, and FAMILY.
This year, though I still miss my mom terribly, my heart is overflowing with joy at the recent addition to our FAMILY. After nearly 17 months of waiting to bring Jenna home to her forever FAMILY, this Thanksgiving we have the blessing of showing her what FAMILY is all about...faith, joy, laughter, and love. I seriously doubt she understands all of this at 2 1/2 years of age, but I do know she now understands the joy of being with her older brothers and sister (and WOW, I am so thankful for how much they are loving their little sister!) I know she now understands the fun of playing games, dancing, coloring, doing stickers, and laughing until she can barely breathe. I know she now understands that when she falls down, I will be there to scoop her into my arms to nurture her. I know she now understands that when she wakes up in the middle of the night crying, I'll hop into her bed to comfort her until she falls back to sleep. And I know that, in time, she will understand that it was the grace and goodness of God that brought her to our FAMILY!
In fact, throughout this entire day...while cooking, enjoying a run (in the crisp, clean Georgia air versus the smoky air of China!), and playing with my precious four little turkeys...I was reminded once again that there is no true "thanksgiving" apart from the LORD. He adopted us into His FAMILY and "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights" (James 1:17).
Thank you, Father, for all my blessings...they are too many to count. Help me to cherish each one and be thankful EVERY day. AMEN.