I’m sitting here under a blanket, cozy, on the loveseat in my mom’s living room. The rest of my family is either in bed or getting ready to head in that direction (except for one brother, who is out spending time with some friends), which means that it’s quite likely that in the morning when I want to be sleeping, they will not be so inclined – more specifically, the daughter whose wakefulness generally necessitates my own will probably not be as interested in pulling the covers back up to our chins and closing our eyes again as I will be.

As I sit here tonight, I’m pondering thankfulness. To be honest, in a lot of ways, this last week has been strange and challenging and confusing and frustrating and hard. I can’t really go into the details of all of that here, but it is the context for my reflections on thankfulness this year. I wonder – to what degree should my celebration of Thanksgiving depend on my circumstances? For what should I be thankful? Where do those frustrations and hard times come into play? And really, at the heart of it all, why can’t everything just go my way?

God has brought several verses to mind for me this evening as I’ve been thinking about all this, but one that sticks with me is this one – “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13). I hope that someday I will be able to claim those words honestly. They’re so much more rarely true of me than I’d like, but I want to grow in contentment and thankfulness.

Tonight I am rehearsing a list of many things for which I am thankful, including –

– the God who saves
– my husband with whom I am privileged to adventure in life
– my beautiful daughter who brings so much joy into our lives
– getting to see my dad for a visit a few weeks ago and my mom and brothers this week for Thanksgiving
– the fact that this week in WI is really pretty low-key and relaxing
– our church community and friends in Missouri
– good, long friendships with people dear to us in Chicagoland
– support of family and friends as we embark upon this journey of adoption, even as we explore our openness to some potentially scary-sounding special needs
– the fact that though I am seeing the blue screen of death more and more frequently, my computer has (thus far) never failed to re-start properly (as a sidenote, is it alright to include a prayer request in a thankfulness post? any prayers that both Matt’s and my computers would survive until we make it through to the end of our adoption process would be much appreciated – both are approaching the old and decrepit category, but we’d rather not spend the money to replace them right now)
– so, so, so many resources all around us for anything and everything – books, family, friends, medical care, internet, etc. – we’re living in such a cool era

There’s really so much more – but I am actually feeling tired now, so I think I’ll go get ready for bed. Goodnight, all. Happy Thanksgiving!

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