This Thanksgiving I have much to be grateful for.  Ellis and I did our own little Turkey Trot this morning and I took that time to count my blessings, and it's been running through my mind all day today. 

There's the big stuff, like the fact that I have a little family now and that brings me so much joy.   I have a little baby boy who has already taught me more than I could ever teach him.  I have a husband who is such a great dad to him and partner to me.  We have, and have always had, good health.  We live in a beautiful, never boring place surrounded by friends who care for us, support us, and love us like family. 

Then there's the big-but-sometimes-little stuff because I so easily take them for granted.  We have a car to drive.  A pool that we can swim in for free anytime we want.  We have running water that comes out of our taps.  And hot water too!  We have an elevator (three, actually) to take us up to our 7th floor apartment so we don't have to walk the stairs.  We have a spare bed that just loves visitors to come sleep in it (hint, hint).  We have a laundry machine and the hot sun to line-dry our clothes.  We have a bookshelf full of books...including several Bibles.  We live in a perpetually-warm climate that sometimes (only sometimes) can get a little chilly (by chilly I mean 70 degrees).  We can eat a yummy bowl of Chinese noodles for breakfast.  Or lunch or dinner.  Basically anytime you want there is cheap, delicious food here.  I've never feared for my safety.  I'm grateful that by living outside the U.S. we don't have to hear about Black Friday or crazy holiday shopping.  We have a church that we get to go to every week where we can worship God freely.  We've never had any cycling accidents despite the crazy roads here.  I can call or Skype or write an email home to the U.S. and the person on the other end can receive it instantly (wow!).  And how despite that, I still get snail mail which I love (keep it coming!). There are so many things that make life so much easier.

I'm not just grateful to God for the things that he's given me, but for the things he hasn't.  For saying "No" or "Later, Erin" to some of my prayers in the past year.  I'm grateful that we don't feel the heavy burden of a mortgage or tons of stuff to manage and keep up.  I do have to admit that the word "discontent" has been on my mind a lot in the past year, but I am learning (slowly) that through all the little silly things that I don't have, I can (more like, should) be content in all circumstances.  I'm grateful that a real house isn't built by bricks and mortar, but by wisdom and understanding (see Prov 24:3-4).  That the "Lord does not look at the things man looks at" (1 Sam 15:7).   That my worth does not depend on appearance, wealth, or anything that can be seen, but I have a never-ending beyond-amazing inheritance waiting for me in heaven.  

This doesn't mean that everything is perfect.  God has been and is in the process of refining me, and sometimes it really hurts.  But it's worth it, and I'm thankful for it.  I'm also grateful that I'm not the same girl I was when I got married four years ago (I know Reuben is thankful for that), when we moved here three years ago, and even when I had a baby which was only seven months ago.  Change is good. Life is good. God is good.  


Happy Thanksgiving from us! 

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.  Psalm 136:1

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