When I stopped by the library tonight I notice a flash of brown braids jumping into the elevator besides the entrance. While I was just thinking that those braids looked familiar, I caught a glimpse of my niece's smiling face and ran to catch some Monday night hugs. The rest of the night I kept thinking about how thankful I am to live near family right now - and to be ale to watch the sweet little people I love so much grow up way too fast!
My pastor spoke about thankfulness this past weekend (surprised?). What I appreciated about the sermon was that he emphasized the importance of making it a habit to reflect in thanksgiving on a daily basis. A simple concept, but I know that I tend to lump my thoughts and prayers of thanksgiving into more generalities rather than getting specific. Ann Voskamp suggests a similar philosophy in her book - One Thousand Gifts.
Truly this Thanksgiving I am most grateful for my family, and how it is growing!
I am thankful for the family I have grown up with. For parents who provide never-ending support, encouragement, and love, and who in the midst of gutting their house and totaling a car still make time to help me keep wedding plans and projects on track. I am thankful for brothers who continue to amaze me by the incredible fathers and husbands they have become. Brothers who aren't afraid to challenge me or call me out. Brothers who have welcomed Brandon into the family with open arms. I am thankful for sisters-in-law. Sisters who are there to give me advice about becoming a wife and calm down some of my nerves. Sisters who come to the table from different backgrounds and bring to the table new thoughts, opinions, and perspectives that challenge our nuclear family - for the better. And I am thankful for my nieces and nephew. Little ones full of love and energy. Little hands eager to help and happy to hug. Little minds that ask sweet questions and watch everything!
I am thankful for the family I am becoming a part of. For a mother-in-law who has an incredible servants heart and unceasingly puts others needs before her own. For a father-in-law who has a compassionate heart and is such a loving husband, father, and "papa." For a new sister and brother-in-law who aren't afraid to talk about the tough questions or decisions they've made. For a new niece and nephew who melt my heart with their smiles.
And I am so thankful for Brandon and the family we are about to become. Our own little family. We don't know where God is planning to take us or how he is going to use us, but we are ready to serve him together. I am so thankful for my man - the way he leads, loves, and serves. His perseverance and diligence, his wisdom and sensitivity.
Thank you God - for these people I love.