Thanksgiving Day. Today is the first morning I am waking up back in our house to a family of five, and the sweet, almost poetic gift of that timing is not at all lost on me. There are five of us now—it is more joy than my heart can hold. My three day old is swaddled in a cozy blanket sleeping next to me, and as I listen to his tiny squeals and watch his face move along to the rhythm of his dreams, I just keeping thinking that it was so lavishly good of God to start all of life out with babies, wasn’t it?
Growing up, Thanksgiving was mostly a “second place” holiday to me—more of a placeholder between the rest of the year and Christmas than anything else. But that changed the year I married Alex, when I finally learned to sit with gratitude for what the total of my life really was rather than simply acknowledging a list of things for one day and moving on. I wanted to be so intentional about thankfulness that I refused Christmas music and decorations until Friday morning (a tradition I still hold to because one holiday at a time works best for me).
And today, just four short years later, I’ve been given the gift of teaching three little hearts that the practice of being full of thanks truly was meant for each day. Grateful people are the best kind of people, aren’t they? They have a contagious wonder, a humble posture towards others, and a joy untouchable by circumstances. That’s what I hope for my people. Together, as much as anything else in the world, I want our little tribe of five to be a family who lives out the joy of being loved by a perfectly selfless Savior and an amazingly big God. I want us to say out loud how grateful we are for all that we have, knowing full well that our lives are rich in every way. And because I know as we navigate this life together that the first thing the world will try to strip from each one of us of is the belief that we have all we need in Jesus, I want the foundation of our home to be the truth that “Surely, God is good…” (Psalm 73:1).
I just can’t stop looking at the faces around me this morning. My eyes are heavy with fatigue, my breasts are swollen with oncoming milk, and my body is insecurely figuring out how to put the muscles of my core back together since our little resident made his exit Monday night. Still, I feel like I could run a marathon every time I kiss one of these six soft cheeks. And my man?! I just don’t know how to talk about him with the right words today. The humble rock of our family who physically held my body upright through every contraction three days ago and is currently getting cups of chocolate milk for the two little babes still wiping sleep from their eyes: his love for us alone is worth a hundred years of giving thanks.
Today we will do what so many of you are doing: we will eat turkey and gravy with homemade rolls, justify sweet potatoes with brown sugar as a vegetable, and talk with our littles about the meaning of this day and all the things we are thankful for. We will pray for our family near and far, and we ask God to hold tightly the people who are hurting and lonely. We will celebrate so many things that God has done and look forward with anticipation to all that lies ahead. Today, we will stop and remember with new eyes that indeed, everyday is for giving thanks.