This time last year I was typing up a blog about all of the things I was thankful for. Smiling and filled with excitement at the previous year and the upcoming one as well. This year I can find many things to add to my list but there is still one event that bogs it all down.
Losing my dad was and is the hardest thing I've ever had to experience in my life. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about and miss him. Some days are better than others, and most days I'm finding genuine happiness, but there are those select days that just seem to weigh my spirit down. I was in bed last night thinking about the Thanksgiving feasts we have planned for today. My mind went back to last year, the whole family wrapped around the dining room table. Dad perched comfortably in his seat at the head of the table with the rest of the family surrounding him. We ate and ate, talked about our lives and all of the things we were thankful for. He had this way about him. He'd just sit there quietly, knowingly and listen. With a glass of tea or a cup of coffee in his hand he'd sit back and watch each person as they discussed those things in their lives they were so abundantly thankful for. I think it was always one of his proudest moments. One of the few times we were all at a dining room table together. He mentioned being thankful for his new grandson, for his growing family and all of the comforts the Lord had blessed us with. He was never selfish in his thanks, it was always directed to his Heavenly Father and he was so eloquent with his words. I got to sit to my dad's right, and during the prayer I cherished holding his strong, warm hand in mine. I've always prided myself on being so much like my dad. Followed in his traditions as I became an adult, adopted his mottos and good habits. Today, as I think about all of the things in my life that I am thankful for it reminds me of him. His constant urging for us to remember why we celebrated the holidays, why it is that we took time off work/school to spend time with family. With Dad, there was always a reason for everything.
So today, I sit here, wanting to uphold the tradition. What am I thankful for? It's a question that has been gnawing at my heart. Typically I'd make a list and elaborate on each item, but this year I think it is enough just to get them down.
First and foremost, I thank my Lord for watching over my family over this past year. For providing us with comfort, friends, and family in a time of desperate need. He is a faithful God and it is my absolute honor to be called his child.
This year held so much... Here are a few of the things I am thankful for:
- The freedom to love my Lord so freely, to worship in public and not be persecuted for it.
- My husband who is the most selfless man I've ever known, constantly encouraging me through my crazy adventures, pushing me to be the best I can be and loving me even in my darkest of moments.
- This life that grows inside of me. This baby is a miracle. God has chosen Josh and I to be parents to a child and the feeling of being pregnant is one I never imagined. It is overwhelmingly wonderful to know that in a few short months our family will go from two to three. What a wonderful and incredible blessing.
- My family - having them close, healthy and growing.
- Friends. Without them I'd be lost.
- A job... If you've followed my blog at all you'll know how thankful we are for a full time teaching job in this economy.
- Food, shelter, clothing and modern comforts that I typically take for granted.
- Life. I see now how fragile life is. How easily it can be taken away, because of that I have learned to appreciate every moment, every breath and every hug.
To all of our family, friends and loved ones, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family and love... And if you remember, tell someone you care about that you are thankful for them. Hold your families tightly today, hug them all a little tighter.
To my daddy, I am thankful most today to be your daughter. Though you aren't here physically for me to hug or hold your hand during prayer, I know you are watching. Those big brown eyes filling with tears of pride as you watch your family from Heaven. We miss you, we love you... And I am so very thankful for the almost 49 years you blessed this world with your life.