Saturday, November 28, 2015

Every good and perfect gift

As I sat in my rocker, cradling my giant belly and enjoying my nightly quiet time with Livvy, who was invariably making her presence known from the inside, I used to whisper to her verses, song lyrics, sweet affirmations and stories that came to my mind.

The nursery was peaceful in the quiet of night, with the day's tasks done - or done enough - and the other two sleeping soundly in their beds.  It was a moment of peace, a moment for me to pray, reflect and speak blessings over my tiny one.  And every night, always, the verse that came to mind to end our time together was this one from the book of James: 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 

Now, this verse hangs in her nursery, above the changing table.  

There are so many good and perfect gifts that He gives us to celebrate.  So many moments in the lives of our children that we can delight in.  So many opportunities to plant wonderful memories deep within their souls to store up and treasure for the rest of their life's journey.  

Halloween and Christmas always stand out for me among holidays for the fun and joy they bring, but really, Thanksgiving is a magical time of cherished traditions and marvelous reflection.  I absolutely love the model of joyful service.  The sights and smells of a meal truly prepared with love.  The bustling of family members.  The rhythm of the year played out in familiar traditions which remind us that we are simultaneously unique and that we belong to one another.

This Thanksgiving was such a wonderful time of fellowship and togetherness. 

We enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast (Casey's favorite - "Awesome Breakfast") and the kids watched the parade and played while I prepared the meal. 

I love to prepare food for my family.  I know that in some ways, it seems like a silly little thing, but the truth is that it brings me such genuine joy.  

And, a first for us - and not just at Thanksgiving, but for pretty much any event we put on - we were actually ready ahead of schedule this year!  That's a huge victory!  We're usually rushing and running around frantically at the last second to have it all done.  Instead, this year I actually had time to get dressed and put on makeup - what a concept!

We were blessed this year to be joined by our friends, the Bratchers, whom we've known for about a year and a half.  Leah and Grant were in class together last year where they became fast friends.  Grant's mom Lindsey and I became good friends, too, and I'm so grateful to have such a fantastic friend on this homeschooling journey!

They were supposed to travel to see family this year, but as it turns out, she is expecting twins and wasn't up to the trip.  Which sure worked out wonderfully for us!

We were joined by my sister, brother in law and their two boys, my mom, and Casey's parents as well, and it was just such a fun time of togetherness.  It was a snowy Thanksgiving, but for me that always adds to the cozy atmosphere.

The kids were so cute, and exhausted themselves running around and around and around the house. It was adorable to hear their sweet, exuberant laughter as they played and chased each other.  

I hung the chalkboard with this garland, made up of photos of all of our family as babies or kids, but Casey had the great idea to have everyone write something that they are thankful for. 

There was A LOT to be thankful for this year in our family!  We hope that you had a blessed Thanksgiving, and that we all remember throughout the year just where those blessings come from.  

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