Thanksgiving will be here the next time we blink, or at least that’s what it feels like.
I know it might seem like I’ve fast forwarded to Christmas because for the past two weeks, I’ve posted Christmas crafts but I haven’t. My kids have tried to do that by putting up a Christmas tree while we were gone one night but I’m still in the midst of trying to figure out the Thanksgiving logistics.
Thanksgiving will be here next week and this year it will look a little different for us. I know where we’re going for Thanksgiving but the texts are still flying back and forth about a menu. One of my sisters got married this summer so she won’t be with our family as her new family figures out what their new traditions will look like (and I’m very excited for them to experience their first Thanksgiving). Another sister is having to pull out of our family celebration for very understandable reasons that I support 100%. And then our inlaws moved this year so the Thanksgiving Eve jaunt across part of Texas that we’ve made for the past 13 years will now just be us coming home to our own house.
It’s going to look a little different but in the few years I’ve learned more than anything that the details don’t matter. What does matter is the thankfulness that we latch onto every single day, understanding how valuable that it is because tomorrow it could be gone.
I’m thankful for..
The gift that I got this week in listening to my middle child interview my dad about his time in the service as part of her Veteran’s Day school project. Hearing him talk about how thankful he was for being drafted because it gave him the chance to serve our country was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Pictures of my grandfather at Thanksgiving many years ago that I’ve forever saved on this blog. I miss him so much and those pictures remind me of the last few years I had with him, when he was able to delight in getting to know my children. He got to see them dance and twirl in childish joy and wonder and I got to hear them all laugh together.
Our home, which some days I don’t feel as thankful for when it’s dirty and needs to be cleaned, but seeing friends lose their homes in Harvey and now seeing the destruction in California reminds me that I have so much to be thankful for. There’s people here who are just now moving back into their homes following the flooding in Harvey and it breaks my heart for the fire victims in California because I know the long road and process they’re starting.
A crazy husband who I am blessed to have just celebrated our 15th year anniversary with. When I truly take stock in myself – a dog lover with an affinity for spilling paint and spreading glitter haphazardly, who has the messiest closet known to man and a knack for burning dinner – it’s hard to believe that there would be someone who would love me as I am, and yet God gave me the perfect man to put up with my shenanigans.
The fights between my kids. It’s crazy to be thankful for kids that fight, yell and scream at each other but I am. Because I was raised with a lot of sisters, I know it’s part of a process that will help them deal better with others in the future. Plus I truly know that if they didn’t love each other so much, they wouldn’t care so much about what the other does (or doesn’t do). I am blessed to have the ability to hear those fights and most importantly for the healthy kids with healthy lungs that can participate in those fights.
Things look different now. Kids are growing up. I know we only have a few more years before our oldest child goes away to college. While the infant and toddler days seemed to drag on forever, now life is going in fast forward.
It’s easy to get weighed down by the problems and circumstances of the day but those things are just things that will eventually pass away. This year I’m thankful for a lesson that I learned the past few years to appreciate time with people and not to depend on material things.
Giving to California
I wanted to share with you a way to give to the victims of the California fires. During Harvey we lived in one of the areas worst hit by flooding and for days, we never saw the Red Cross. Over a week later they showed up to serve hot dogs at one of the local stores but the on-the-ground help that people needed
If you would like to donate to help the people in California, consider giving to Samaritan’s Purse.
The other suggestion that I have is to contact local churches in the affected areas and give to their disaster funds. One thing that we learned in Harvey is that people go to a church for help when they’re turned away by FEMA or Red Cross, and yes.. a lot of people are turned away from those organizations that badly need the help. Simply call churches and ask if they have a designated fund to help with this disaster. If they do, give freely into it. That’s probably the best way to get money directly into the hands of people that need it.
I’m thankful for the spirit of people that reached out to South Texas following Harvey and I’m thankful for everyone that’s going to be there to support California as the rebuild.