Thursday, November 27, 2008

Muchas Gracias

In the past on Thanksgiving, I've done the cliché list of things that I'm thankful for. I could most certainly do the same thing this year, but I realized as I started to write out a list that it all boils down to basically the same thing.

I am thankful for the things that God has given me.

When I say that, I don't just mean "things". Sure, I'm thankful that we have the means to have a roof over our heads, good clothing, plenty of food for ourselves and to have people over to eat with us, etc. etc. etc. When I say I'm thankful for the things that God has given me, I'm also speaking about much more than that.

I thank God for my family who has been continuously loving and supportive, even when I may have fallen short of the daughter/sister/cousin/granddaughter that I could be. I am humbled by their unconditional grace and love each and every day.

I thank God each morning for a wonderful husband who sees my every - yes EVERY - one of my ups and downs. Yet still he is here with me day in and day out. I thank God for helping us to endure the bumps of the first years. In the last couple of months we've had so many "a-ha" moments about navigating marriage and we're starting to see the growth both together and individually come out of those moments. I'm thankful for the excitement that stirs in my heart each time I see him or hear his voice, because I know in that moment of heart palpitation that we love each other. I thank God for our most fun and silly and awesome moments together as husband and wife.

I thank God for Steve... period.

I thank God for the ability to love. I thank God for our marriage.

I thank God for the friendships I've had in my life and that I will have as I continue on. Those that have endured have helped me to learn what it takes to have patience and love together through the ups and downs of life, and those that have faded have helped me to see where I fall short as a friend to others. I have learned and tried to grow in those times... and I have also learned the grace of God in those moments, as well as the strength of forgiveness.

I thank God for the people He's brought in and out of my life.

I thank God for the small things of beauty that surround us. A child's smile, the giddy laughter of high school students, gerbera daisies, leaves falling around my car as I drive under a tree, apples, a couple holding hands, notes of music drifting through the air... the list is endless...

I thank God for the opportunities he has given me to serve him in any number of ways. Be that large growth opportunities in my career or life-changing opportunities at church, I've begun to develop a desire to go all "Dead Poet's Society" on these opportunities as they arise. Figure out what God is calling me to do, reflect on it in prayer and move down the path with an eagerness to grow.

Mostly... the biggest thing I have to give thanks for this year is the relationship I've grown to have with God over the last year, but especially the last 6 months or so. I've gotten such a different perspective on life since I began to follow Christ, and I am so grateful and humbled by the events of the last year or so. I have grown to see His hand in everything, and I look forward to what the next year (and years) will have in store.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Danielle, you brought me to tears. Thank you for your most inner thoughts - sometimes it can be hard to share your God moments and thoughts not knowing how they will be received. Trust me, I am one that grows by hearing others stories of how they have become closer to God. Congratulations on such a powerful and fulfilling relationship with the one who gives us everything!

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you have a merry Christmas holiday season.

~Liz