So Much to be Thankful for

SOMETIMES SPYING THE GOODNESS in life requires our slowing down, turning our heads and gazing into the life just behind us. Such is the year and the stretch of life behind me. Just a few days ago, my wife and I just celebrated our first anniversary of marriage over a quiet dinner where we shared a collective exhale of both joy and relief. There have been days more difficult than we could've imagined when we first said, "I do". If given the choice in the moment, we would have wished those days away. But what those difficult days have taught us in this year of marriage is to learn how to say I do all over again, and again and again. We have grown stronger and less recognizable as two distinct people, undoubtedly because of our choosing of us rather than ourselves in the moment. I'm thankful for this year.

I have watched my Marissa grow from singleness to both wife and mother instantly and it is one of the holiest movements of life I have ever observed. With a fortitude fed by God's continual sufficient grace, she has served our family uncannily well. She's human. She breaks down. But oh, how beautiful a sight to watch her stand back up. My lady's a fighter that won't stay in her corner. Every time the bell rings, she comes back out whether she's weary and empty or running on the high of victory. I'm thankful for this year.

Our daughters are learning to grapple well with grief. They are braver, more honest and ready for life ahead. I have loved to watch them grow and take on brand new challenges this year. My prayer is simple: may hope always dwell in their hearts, ever preserved by a grace immeasurable. I'm thankful for this year.

My goal for year one of our family was just to make it. And that we did. Now that we are on to year two, we are ready to build. Today, we leave for a week of vacation, to celebrate our first year of marriage and then to be with family for Thanksgiving. Sitting here with these thoughts, I am reminded again I have so much to be thankful for. Before Thanksgiving Day arrives, I pray you escape into some quiet time and reflect on the goodness behind. Sometimes, the best of goodness lies right amongst the thorns and rocks. Those are the best of times.

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