Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

thanks, a poem prayerLast time, you remember

I asked you for help


I asked

For a lot of reasons

And spoke

A lot of things

In that one word


And you did it

You helped me

In ways I recognize

In ways I sense but don’t necessarily see


In ways I’ll never know

But can only believe


So today

I just want to say


A simple word, I know

That falls so short

Of all I want to say


It’s not enough

Never can be

And its tone

Can sometimes mean

The opposite of thanks


But here

And now

It comes from that place

So full of feeling

It wells up and over

With something akin to tears

And laughter

And a full heart

At all you’ve done

And answered


All this, in my heart

And mind

And hidden, even from me

In my soul

Is in this thanks


So here it is

For you




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In the Native American class I am taking, we were discussing an interview with Vine Deloria, a famous Native American author.

One of the students observed that we tend to be inconvenienced by our conveniences. I hadn’t heard it put that way before, but she made a good point.

I returned home and had quite a few things to do online. I wanted to post something on my blog, research for a couple of papers, and of course check Facebook. My internet worked for about five minutes and then it cut off. I couldn’t get it working for quite some time and felt very inconvenienced about the whole thing until I remembered what my classmate said.

The internet is a convenience I have grown very accustomed to having. I use it for my work, for my “hobby” of blogging, for research, and for staying in touch with friends and family. I use it frequently to find photos or music or information.

When it suddenly stops working, my efforts are inconvenienced, but it is so true that the very use of the worldwide web is a huge convenience in my life. Fifteen years ago I got online maybe every couple of weeks. These days, unless I am sleeping or attending classes, I get online every couple of hours … and sometimes stay online for a couple of hours as well.

I am thankful for the conveniences of life. There are too many to name and number right now. At this very moment I am making use of electricity for light, the computer, the internet, and the heater. And that is just one thing.

Thank God for conveniences. And for the times we feel inconvenienced by those conveniences so we do not grow too terribly attached to them.

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It was a rather late night and I was tired. You know those nights when you’re so tired that you can’t sleep? Yeah. First I was thirsty. Then I was hungry. Then I finally dozed off but woke with a start at two. After that, the moments trickled by.

I got thirsty again. Had to use the bathroom. It was hot so I pushed off the quilt. Then I got cold and pulled it back on. Two ticked on to three. Then four. I finally began to doze when a noise woke me up again.

It was a rough night. I’ve been tired all day. Looking forward, primarily, to one thing. Bedtime.

I might be rare and rather weird in stating that sleep is one of the greatest joys of life. Seems counter-intuitive in that you’re not interacting or learning or doing when you’re sleeping, but the fact that we spend roughly a quarter to a third of our lives sleeping gives credence to its importance. Maybe it’s not the sleeping itself that is a great joy, but the fact that when I sleep well, I function so much better the next day.

All that to say, I’m thankful for a good night’s sleep. (And naps. I’m very thankful for naps.) I think I shall go to bed early tonight.

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sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Thanksgiving Day is generally synonymous with two words: “food” and “family.”

I like both, but this post is about family. We all have one … of some sort. People these days seem to throw around the word “dysfunctional” rather freely in regards to their families, but let’s be honest, all of us have unique families.

Like the colorful array of a Thanksgiving dinner, each family has a variety of members. And each one offers something individual. Something unique. Something special.

A little nutty, yet surprisingly sweet … like the sweet potato dish mixed with nuts and garnished with marshmallows.

I am thankful for my family. My immediate family and my extended family, every member. No matter how rarely I see them, they’re still family. No matter how far they may be, they hold a special place in my memories and thoughts.

I’m thankful for the love and concern I have felt from my family members throughout the years. It’s no stretch to say I would not be where I am today without my family.

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After a sore throat that lasted a couple of days, my voice took a sabbatical over the weekend. It’s back now, with a somewhat frog-like quality to it. It brought with it a lingering cough and an aching head.

My eyes, always ready to join any adventure, have been stinging for days. They seem especially not-so-fond of me working at the computer.

Most of the day I was thinking how much I would like to do nothing but sleep. But another thought came into my head and that is the main idea I hope to get across here.

I am usually very healthy. I haven’t had a fever in close to five years. I haven’t had a “tummy bug” since moving back to California over three years ago. I rarely get colds, even when they fly through the household with a vengeance.

And no, this post isn’t about my immune system. It’s about God’s awesome gift of good health. Another one of those things, like the sun I mentioned yesterday, which I don’t take notice of nearly as often as I should.

Every day, I operate without a runny nose or pounding head. I don’t have to deal with chronic fatigue. I’ve never even had a broken bone (that I can remember).

So, with this little-bit-of-a-cold, all I can really say is, “Wow. Thank You, God, for the good health I enjoy so much of the time.”

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For the next 30 days, I plan to do a short “Thankfulness Post.” Over the past few years on Facebook, I have used November to post things for which I am thankful. This year, I thought to do things a little bit differently.

Instead of posting on the thankfulness theme for the month of November, I plan to use it throughout the month leading up to Christmas Day, the day we truly have the most to give thanks for.

So in case you wonder about the generally “short and sweet” posts this month, here’s the reason. It’s the Season.

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Family and friends = a blend of colors, frosted with love

I always wanted a real good Christmas story to tell; but I was thinking, maybe Thanksgiving is almost as good…

I think one blessed thing given to youth is a spirit of adventure, excitement and discovery. Thinking and planning years in advance just doesn’t come into the picture. There’s too much to experience and enjoy. When I was a teen, I took life as it came, one day at a time.

When I felt the call to travel to India as a volunteer, I went; I just knew somehow it was the right thing for me (and I ended up calling it home for nearly twelve years, so I’m not about to change my mind).

When I met the man who is now my husband, I just knew somehow he was the right one for me (and I ended up calling him hubby for over seven years, and no, not about to change my mind).

Then there are those things that crop up that I didn’t really see in advance, one main thing being the issues that invariably arise in being married to someone from not only a different country, but all the way across the world. Where do you call home? And how easy is it to reposition that place you call home?

We have proven—over the past six months of paperwork, planning, packing, preparing, traveling, and the last couple of months of being apart and waiting–it’s not that easy.

It probably was easier for me than my husband, who was alone halfway across the world, just waiting, hoping and praying that he would be able to join me and the kids soon.  

There was the morning we were chatting over skype and our four-year-old son had it in his mind that daddy was coming tomorrow. When I tried to explain to him that daddy had not yet gotten his visa, he fell to pieces, in tears, and it took most of the day for him to recover. It was probably nearly as difficult for my husband to take as it was for Allen.

At the same time, it wasn’t always a breeze for me.

There were the numerous times that the moment I was out of sight of our youngest, he would start to cry and shout “mama” because he was afraid I would disappear too. I had to strategically plan things like showers either when Aiden was napping or watching his favorite video. Even then, there were times I had to rush out, soapy and wet, to comfort a crying half-awake toddler…at times like that, I thanked God for bathrobes.

Then there was today, when I told Aiden we were going to pick up daddy at the train station and he ran to the door, saying “daddy, daddy”, and waited there until we were all ready to go. Allen drew a great picture of a colorful airplane and we took it to the station with us. It might have been colder weather than my husband and kids had ever experienced, but there was a certain warmth pervading when he hugged Allen tightly, when Aiden looked closely just to make sure it really was daddy there (and then broke into a huge smile and didn’t stop saying “daddy” again and again until we were in the car driving home together), when Jessica came home from school and was surprised to find her daddy already home, waiting for her.

Today is thanksgiving, and I am truly blessed.

I give thanks for my wonderful, close family—the family that I grew up with, and the family that I have gained.

I give thanks that we will all be together on Thanksgiving—a prayer that seemed almost out of reach, but which was granted by Someone Who cares for us all.

I give thanks for wonderful friends, those whom I have known for years, those whom I have just met, and those whom I have not even met but still have come to love and admire.

I give thanks for love—that amazing bond between family, between friends and most of all, the love of Christ which has carried me across the world and back again, carried me through difficulties and tears, carried me through times of questions or fears, and which has never failed me once.

Love…the greatest force in the universe and the greatest reason to give thanks!

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