The deep, rich smells that linger in the crisp, cool air....
The leaves turning colors, and crunching beneath feet...
This is one of my very favorite times of the year. There is something absolutely magical about this time of year. Sunday we begin our advent reading: snippets of a story read every evening in anticipation of our Savior's birth. Cozy fires and long days of reading while drinking something warm. Baking and laughing and family and friends.
This year threatens to try and steal the joy....as I think about doctor's appointments and oral surgeries and trying to pay the mortgage, and....cancer. Sigh. No matter how much I want to set that little "c" word off to the side, it still wrecks havoc by interrupting "our" schedule and whisking mom away from our nightly reading....
I'm so thankful that the last couple of months, I have been studying Psalm 27. I love how David tells himself, demands of himself, really:
"Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord." Vs.6
Sometimes, even in this Psalm, joy is the natural outflow of our hearts as we rejoice in being delivered out of a trial. But sometimes....joy is a sacrifice. Sometimes it is costly. Sometimes we have to tell our own hearts "I WILL SING PRAISES."
I love that scene in the movie Big Hero 6...everyone is trapped and Hero reminds them all that they need a new perspective. They need to look at the situation differently.
So, while I will miss some of our reading as I head to NY next week, and traditions get ruffled by appointments and such...
I need a new perspective. I need to look at my situation differently. There are always things to be thankful for! And quite honestly....I think the trials of this year have made that list of things that I'm thankful for longer.
I'm thankful for each little face that looks to me as mom.
I'm thankful for adventure and the experiences we have had as a family.
I'm thankful for deep discussions and the chance to walk with my kids through hard things.
I'm thankful for friends!
I'm thankful for excellent medical care and access to facilities that treat my son's rare cancer.
I'm thankful that my husband had the chance and was willing to work Thanksgiving day because he knew we needed it.
I'm thankful for my boy, who is out on the couch reading The Lord of the Rings to his younger brothers....and that they were all so excited to get up this morning and resume reading.
I'm so thankful for my girls, and our trips to Starbucks, our experiments with hair and our laughing for days.
I'm thankful for our homeschool co-op, our church, and all the places where we get to see ordinary people living extraordinary lives.
I'm thankful for the people on both sides of this country that have staggered me with their kindness and care.
I'm thankful for the smiles on faces when we have a good dinner.
I'm thankful every time we light a candle, declaring that Jesus is the light of the world....and reminding me that the small things really do matter.
I'm thankful for prayers that come from tiny people with huge hearts-I'm always undone when I hear my children pray.
I'm thankful for the many who have joined our family through prayer, support, and concern for us.
(I am realizing that this list here could go on and on and on....because truly there is so much to be thankful for!!!)
So, while I tell my heart: I WILL SING PRAISES.... I find myself FULL of Things to be thankful for. But this year, I am both thankful and astounded by the God who sings over me:
"The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Today, I will sing praises to the God who is IN. MY. MIDST.
I can't always see Him or feel Him. But He is there, rejoicing over ME!
For my family....and for all that I love, my Thanksgiving day prayer is that I would remain so close to His heart, that His song, the one He is singing over me, would become my own. That my thankful heart would sing out and invite others into the presence of the God who is in our midst.