Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I have always loved it.  I spent most of my childhood an ocean away from relatives so holidays looked different than the classic american picture.  Our table was usually full of people but the guest did not share in our DNA.  I am thankful for that childhood.  Thankful for parents who demonstrated how to thrive wherever you are planted and how to make family everywhere you go.

I have said this before, but this past year has been hard.  Hard in a way that is difficult for me to put into words.  Hard in a way that just saying "this past year" makes a huge lump well up in my throat.  Waiting. Missing. Longing. Crying. Sacrificing. Feeling Crazy.  Feeling not crazy but knowing others think you are crazy.  Disappointment. Surviving. Growing. Getting glimpses of Thriving. Complete Joy.  Indescribable peace in the midst of complete chaos.  Failure. Again  Failure. Grace and Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Love.

There have been people in our life who I thought would come along on the journey who decided it was not for them.  I am thankful for the process of becoming more dependent upon God and less on people.  And then there have been people who have joined in our journey who I never expected.  I am thankful for my family who have become my friends and my friends who have become my family.  I am thankful for the times when God needed me to journey alone to teach  my heart and for the moments when He sent a friend because He knew I needed someone to help me stand up.  I am thankful for those who love me in all my ugliness and for supporting me and  my family when we couldn't make it on our own.

Before I opened my eyes or lifted my  head this morning, my first thoughts were on all the things I have to be thankful for... they are too many to count.  My blessings overflow in abundance.  And though this last year was the hardest of my life, I am so thankful that this Thanksgiving there are four little faces that will come down the stairs in excitement of the festivities instead of just three.

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