Wednesday, November 26, 2014

{Thankful for You}

During this week of Thanksgiving as we've gathered around the dinner table, our family has shared with each other various things for which we are thankful. The older the kids get, the more they understand the limitless possibilities of gratitude. They don't feel bound by the conventional "my house, my family, my friends" answers, but venture beyond to acknowledge the broad expanse of God's goodness.

One night as Aidan shared, I sensed that he was getting ready to land on a glib answer: "my family." But he surprised me and changed things up a bit, making quite an impression. He looked first to his dad and said, "I'm thankful for you." Then he looked at me and said, "I'm thankful for you," and continued around the table until he had looked each one of us in the eye and said, "I'm thankful for you."

This year has been full of ups and downs. As I look back, my tendency, unfortunately, is to dwell on the downs and forget the ups. But Aidan helped me to remember that God's goodness is in it all. Because God doesn't simply look down on His creation and say, "I'm thankful!" But He looks at each one of us in the eye and whispers tenderly, "I'm thankful for you."

As I add entries to my gratitude journal, I record the moments when the Lord has shown me specific, custom-made gifts that remind me of His love. Each one is a reminder, "I'm thankful for you."

One such gift arrived at our home yesterday afternoon. Through the extremely generous and kind hands of multiple parties, we have been given a new-to-us piano, a baby grand. Some of the details surrounding this gift are meant to remain hushed . . . but let's just say I was in tears of joy and awe more than once over the course of the last few weeks. Our new "baby" looks like she was made for our living room, made to help Aidan and Avery pursue their musical dreams.

Jamie and I arranged to have it slipped quietly into the house yesterday while the kids were out. (It was fitting that they happened to have piano lessons. Their teacher -- who is also their Noni --- was thrilled to divert them for longer than usual so we could plan the surprise. Oh, the significant glances my mother and I exchanged! The nervous knots in our stomachs!)

Jamie and I delighted in the kids' awe -- and confusion -- when they returned. (Oh . . . what's that?! Where's the other piano?!) They didn't know quite what to think at first.

Of course it didn't take long for them to welcome the new addition with open arms . . . and fingers. Little Miss has been religiously hammering away at "Everything is Awesome" and "What Child is This," an unexpected but endearing combination. Even Bethie, who prefers the guitar these days, has been experimenting with the new instrument, and Aidan's Christmas carols have never been merrier.

As my tea was steeping this morning, I tip-toed out to the front room to see it again. Our new baby was still there, waiting for little fingers to make her sing.

Shortly after, Little Miss sat in the sunlight, pajama-clad, testing out "Pride and Prejudice." And I sensed it anew. My Savior whispering the truth to me . . . to her . . . to each one of us . . . "I'm thankful for you."

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