Our god-daughter turned 10 years-old a few weeks ago. She is the oldest of four children ages six to 10. We pray all the time for the health and safety of their parents! It’s hard to imagine that our god-daughter is 10 already. Danielle was in the delivery room for her birth what seemed like just a couple of years ago.
Danielle put together a birthday present for her consisting of different crafty items. It was a simple present. When we arrived at their house, the kids were outside running and playing. They always greet us with enthusiasm then go on with whatever game they have going on.
Danielle handed her the present and gave her a big hug. She gave a polite thank you and a smile then ran off. A few minutes later she returned to say, “Thank you for the crafts Aunt Danielle. I will enjoy them!” Then she took off to play some more.
Danielle and I looked at each other smiling; then at her parents. Her genuine expression of thanks melted our hearts. We knew that the gift probably wasn’t something that she had been hoping for, but she still felt grateful. And she expressed it.
Thinking about our god-daughter’s expression of thanks reminds me to give thanks this week of Thanksgiving.
By the time you read this blog, we will have spent a few days at the beach with my side of the family and Thanksgiving lunch with Danielle’s side of the family. We are truly blessed to have family, and lots of it!
I am more aware and sensitive to this blessing after adopting our son and getting more involved with the foster and adoption community. There were many children and adults this week that didn’t have a family to spend Thanksgiving with that they could call their own. I give thanks for my beautiful wife and son.
Health and Life
The last couple of years we have seen close friends lose loved ones long before anyone expected them to pass. Remembering these friends and their loss beckons me to give thanks for my health and life.
I tried to come up with another way of saying this. It’s more than just income, a nice place to live and the opportunity to do things I enjoy. It’s giving thanks for living free. So many around the world don’t have freedom. No freedom to choose—to choose how they live, where they live, how they work, how they worship, where they can go.
As I age, I appreciate and crave this more and more. It’s not just giving thanks for friends, but for friends who really know me. Who care enough to embrace me, both my qualities and my flaws. I give thanks for friends who are willing to live life together with me and my family. That is community.
The simple things…
I end with giving thanks for simple, often taken for granted things in life.
Food. I thank God each day for the food that I have to eat even though I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will have any today.
Shelter. In our consumer driven, comparison culture it’s easy to not be thankful for the house we have. Danielle and I have lived in our house for over 15 years. In fact, it’s the first house we have bought. Yes, from time to time we talk about moving. But we always give thanks for the home we have.
Clothing. Neither Danielle nor I enjoy shopping, especially for clothing. I still wear clothes that I have had for close to 10 years! I know kind of sad. Needless to say we are not fashionatas by any stretch of the word. But having worked and served in different parts of the world where people only have one or two maybe three pairs of clothes to wear, I am thankful that I have more than enough clothing.
Thank you my sweet now 10 year-old god-daughter for the gentle reminder to give thanks for even the simple things in life!