For there is much good.
There is so much for which I give thanks,
which lifts my heart to God with praise.
Stories of Thanksgiving
Special note: I hope that you will leave your own stories of thanksgiving in the comments, so that I and others can rejoice with you!
THINGS MY PARENTS GAVE ME
~ trees to climb in, a forest to hide in, fields to get lost in, a creek to splash in, a garden to plant in, arms to hug in.
~ my first-ever sewing kit, and after I deemed my first-ever floppy dolly too ugly to survive, my mom fished her and her pink-crayoned cheeks out of the trash and tucked her away in that "special drawer" moms always have.
~ They gave me a family. They gave me each and every one of my ten sisters and brothers, who became new heads to kiss, new fingers to curl around my own, new little warm bodies to nestle in my arms . . . and who amaze me with sharp, creative minds, generous hearts, quick wits, forgiving spirits, welcoming, happy faces.
~ a real, live, adult Bible for my 7th birthday, with a leather cover, soft satin ribbon marker, and words of Christ in red. That Bible I've carefully packed away, for it is loose-leaf now, and almost every page is colored, underlined, noted, and fingermarked by an eager child. I think I almost cried when I realized I needed to get a new one, after years and years of love. There is something so friendly, so familiar, so comforting about the words which grew up with me, even as binding faded and the brilliant gold letters slowly flaked off.
~ rich knowledge of Scripture. After the near-mental-breakdown I experienced and the necessity to stop everything for a time, the word was waiting, living and powerful. What a blessing for which I am eternally, humbly grateful, for had I not this foundation, to start from "scratch" would have overwhelmed me completely.
firstborn drew firstbreath.
~ Ahh, now this, this I think is the best thing EVER, and from my dad when I was 12 . . . to him I owe a thousand-thousand thanks for my first journal. That wonderful black book with its pristine white pages begging to be filled ~ it might as well been handed to me from God Himself. If I could offer praise for only one thing, ever, it would be to my father for this journal. His sister gave it to him when he was 16, he told me. And he'd carried it, for years and years. And
~This one makes me smile. I don't think my parents ever knew, but when I was a teenager and Focus on the Family became heavily involved with True Love Waits, I wanted desperately to have the "key to my heart" ring and identify with the campaign. I tried to hint, I think . . . but to no avail. This thanks is two-fold: they did give me a ring I wanted. It made me think of Ireland; very celtic, this band, with a tourmaline stone and delicate knot work on the sides. And I am thankful I never became swept away in the True Love Waits crusade. My true love did wait, but without the flair, without the drama, and without the austerity of a "movement".
~ in similar vein, neither did we subscribe to the teachings of Gothard. I give praise for this, for my parents saw wisdom in refraining from the legalistic nature of his training.
~ my parents gave their lives. Wholeheartedly. They believe strongly and live unwaveringly. No sacrifice is too great for the convictions they hold close, and they demonstrate this everyday.
~ freshly-squeezed lemonade from my mom after hard work in the sun. Just for me. I'm sure you can imagine the implications of this.
~ home-education. I so appreciate learning at home in an environment tailored to the pace I needed. And what fun, to crack open those fresh new books from Rod and Staff! It didn't hurt, either, that we were "done with school" hours before "real school" was through for the day.
~ encouragement: a dress form upon completion of my home education. A capo, when I [unsuccessfully] attempted to learn to play guitar. And mom's words when I, overwhelmed from feeling I wasn't the kind daughter they wanted: "At least you love the Lord," she said. "That's what's important." And ohhhh . . . I do. So very, very much.
Thank you for introducing us.
*I write about and for women because I am a woman, not because these things aren't equally as devastating on men.