In 19 minutes it will officially be Thanksgiving. I love the holidays, but as I think back to past Thanksgivings (and "Christmases"), my eyes begin to water as I recall all the great memories I have of family dinners/get togethers with loved ones who no longer walk on this earth. Growing up we always had both sets of grandparents and my Dad's grandmother over on the holidays and in the past few years that has extended into my Aunt's family too. That's what I remember most about the holidays, not what we ate that year or what we got as gifts, but the togetherness of family.
Thanksgiving last year, we were finishing loading up the trailer, changing the oil in the car, trying to fit as many boxes of books as possible into the trailer, and saying our goodbyes to our families as we would be heading out early the next morning for Scott's book tour. In a lot of ways we feel like we missed Thanksgiving (we had a lot of other things on our minds), and while we had a decent Christmas, it was very different not being with family. Praise God for Skype! So, needless to say, we are very much looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the holiday season.
On to my thankful list. I'm thankful:
- For all that God has done in the past year (I can't believe it's been a year since we started our trip)
- That we get to spend the holidays with our families this year as well as start our own family traditions now that we are a family.
- That God allowed me to miscarry last summer as He has brought me so far since then (although it still brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it)
- For the 9 garbage bags full of boy clothes that I just went through that were given to us. It took me 2 weeks to go through them (it was so daunting), but I am so thankful for all the clothes as they mean I won't have to buy that much, and there's such an abundance, I am passing some along.
- That he Lord has impressed on me the importance of seeing what ways I can decrease our spending. I use whatever coupons I can find, but I realized that making our bread (which I've known how to do since I was 8), making our cereal, and making other breakfast foods like baked oatmeal, cuts $15-$20 off of my weekly grocery bill. That's a lot considering how little it takes for the "substitutes". I can make enough bread, cereal, and baked oatmeal for a month for $15-$20 tops!!!! That's a savings of $45-$60 a month. Pretty good, if I do say so myself.
- For Andrew's smiles every time I talk to him (he just wins my heart every time I look at him).
- That I have such a caring husband with a listening ear. He likes to listen to me talk, whether it's serious things, or just ramblings, and that means a lot to me.
- For the friendship that I share with my Mom. She considers me one of her best friends (next to my Daddy, of course) and I greatly treasure that!!! She's definitely one of mine!
- That even though my kitchen is still a mess from cooking dinner today, I am not stressed about it, because God has been teaching me to make the most of every minute I have, and I did get lots done today.
This past week I was reading some of Laine's Letters and in one of them, she talked about how she likes to keep a list of all that she does throughout the day so as she starts thinking of all her "to do's" instead of becoming overwhelmed thinking "how will I ever get them done" she can see all that she has accomplished. I know that as I've done that this week (although it's been mental lists, not written ones), it has encouraged me to add to my list of "accomplishments." Laine's Letters are very encouraging, and I encourage you to check them out!
It is time for me to head to bed. We're getting up early tomorrow so we can help in the preparations for dinner.
May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!