I'm thankful for so many things.
My God. My life. My wife. My daughters.
My home. My yard. My firepit. My landscaping.
My job. My church. My leaders. My sheep.
My Lowell community. The rivers. The farmland. The good people here.
My health. My quality of life. The providence of God.
I'm thankful for the joy of being able to serve the King. To be able to do his bidding. To herald his word to the peoples of the earth. To plead with people to harken to his heart. Sometimes I fear I'm not doing his heart justice, for it is a great heart filled with so much desire and delight. I long to take people into the inner courts of his joy. Being a bond-servant of Jesus is such a privilege and pleasure! I get to spend my life for His glory. I get to listen to people with his ears. I get to hug people with his arms. I get to talk to people with his tongue. I get to. Then I get to watch people experience his touch, voice and spirit for the maybe the first time in their lives and connect with their Creator. This is an unspeakable gift...to luxuriate in this holy moment where divinity and humanity bleed into one another. Introducing people to God is, well, it's unparalleled. I want to die introducing people to their God. Seriously, if I could breathe my last breath, my final exhale, and utter the words, "In the beginning God..." and just leave people to carry on their own conversation with Him after that, well, that would be my dream.
I'm thankful for the treasure of marriage. A soul bearing witness to your every whimsical movement. How lost I'd be without my mate, my intimate. She is my lighthouse when I'm losing my way. My thermometer when I'm checking my temperature. My fireplace for warmth. My warm shower for cleansing. My fresh air for renewal. She asks me questions inquiring of my heart's whereabouts. She senses shifts no one else would see. She notices changes and notes those changes for further conversation. To be noticed by someone regularly has got to be the chief delight of matrimony. She loves me even when nothing noteworthy has taken place. This is a good woman. A woman of selflessness that takes care of me well. She thinks for me when I've forgotten something. She can anticipate things about me and get in my head. She does things for me and never tells me about it, I know this because I've caught her doing that without her knowing it before. That is goodness in its truest form. I'm in love with her. Her beauty deepens with age. It's gone from skin deep to soul deep. You have to stay married long enough to move to the deeper beauty...I feel like I've just skimmed the surface. Like I've just grazed the glory of this woman. It's true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't take enough time to behold her...to really see her, to know her. I want to spend more time beholding her. Holding her. She is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. I would not be me without her.
I'm thankful for my daughters. They are 12, 10, and 8...if you could stop time with three children, these are the ages you would want to freeze-frame. The oldest is not too old, the youngest is not to young. They all can go to places and share in the joy together. They all still play and pretend together. They enjoy watching the same silly shows like "I love Lucy" and "Loony Tunes", sitting on the couches eating cereal in the morning with their blankeys in their jammies. I love climbing into bed with them and tickling them, snuggling with them, making up games with them, and asking them about their thoughts and ideas and remembrances. I love cradling them in my arms and wrapping myself around them like a cocoon. I love whispering into their ears and seeing if I can get goosebumps on their arms and legs. I love running my fingers through their hair as they recount the story of the day. I love rubbing the soft skin of their foreheads with my fingertips and playing with their flimsy earlobes while we talk about things that hurt them that day or things that made them feel sad. I love reading the Action Bible with them at night delighting in the crazy stories of the Bible. I will give the characters in the stories different voices making sound effects to animate them and get them to pop off the page. I will look over at Heidi and she will smile and almost be embarrassed of my antics. I like that. I love that my girls are feminine because their mother has taught them to be so. They aren't afraid to be female. And you know what, I'm not afraid to lose myself and be as female as I can be with them. I try ever so hard to be available to their souls, and make my own soul accessible to their young hearts. I love them so much, they have no idea to what degree.
I could go on...but I think I'll stop there for now. Like the old hymn says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one..." I want to try and do that in the days and blogs to come. I'll warn you, it could get a little sappy. But here's the thing, you can't enjoy the syrup until you extract the sap.