Happy Thanksgiving!

What a great time we’ve had here with our new ohana (family in Hawaiian in case anyone missed the movie Johnny Tsunami). This day will be spent hanging out with them, eating and watching Elf in the Hawaiian mountains on a massive projector screen.

It will also be spent missing family! I have to say it will be nice to not do the three-Thanksgiving dash, but we do love and miss the fam a ton. We miss you all and are so incredibly thankful for who you are and how much you love us (even when we move to Hawaii and then say we’re going to Haiti). Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

I don’t know about you, but a tradition I have always had is going around the table and naming something we’re grateful for before we dig into our amazing feast. One of the reasons I love this holiday is because we buck human nature and it becomes “cool” to be content. We are able to look at our lives and say how happy and at peace we are with the world around us. For one day, we allow ourselves to recline at the table with family and friends and discuss how amazing our lives really are. We suddenly remember trials with triumph and growth. We begin to anticipate our futures with astounding excitement. We begin to look around the room and realize that our lives are not really about our present circumstances at all. In an instant, we begin to realize that the most important things are not things at all. We begin to recall how our comfort or safety is not found in the things our circumstances present…and its not in the things furnishing our house. Thanksgiving allows us to say, even if just for a day (or even the 30 seconds spent saying what we’re thankful for) that we’re not absolutely entitled to everything in our lives. We don’t have the right to know what we know and have what we have on Thanksgiving.

In an instant, our perception of reality changes. The reality goes from our jobs, driving, working hard, thinking about and worrying about upcoming events, budgeting and taking moments for granted to a deep, sound and peaceful appreciation for the world we live in. For me, I become so introspective, yet overflowing with joy. How can this be? The life that I live?! How can it be? How could I have met the people I know? How can I be so blessed to have such amazing friends at home? How could I have been born into such a real and excited family? How could I have been so blessed to walk into a church that actually loves people instead of demanding perfection and judgement? How could I have such an incredible and loving husband?

How could I have such a perfect God who couldn’t stand to send me to hell…who couldn’t stand for me to live without hope…who wanted a relationship with me above all else? How could He not care if I mess up as long as I get back up? How could He rescue me time and time again? How could He not require sacrifice but obedience and intimacy with Him? How could He want me to follow Him and spread His love to the whole world?

I think I am ready to turn extraordinary Thanksgiving into ordinary discipline. What if we all simply began to look through the lens of gratitude instead of survival and circumstance? Call me an idealist, but I hope you’ll join me. I am ready for my reality to be the one of excitement and hope and a heart of overwhelming gratefulness, replacing a reality of social standards, circumstance and angst.

Happy Thanksgiving, brothers and sisters. We love and miss you all and are deeply grateful for your presence in our lives.

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