My heart is full this Thanksgiving Day. The six of us, my husband, his brother, his brother’s wife, myself, and two friends, we loaded ourselves onto a bus in the middle of the night last night. A bus bound for New York City. The city that hosts the Macy’s Day Parade. We aren’t around a table with our families as we have been in years past. No turkey, no cranberry sauce, no mashed potatoes. Today we give thanks in the midst of a packed city, maneuvering our way through the crowds and holding hands as to not get separated. It’s different, it doesn’t hold the same holiday traditions I’ve always experienced, but it is where I am today. And my heart is full. My heart is full with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for this day, this precious day spent with precious people. Thanksgiving for the adventures we take, the journeys we walk, the days we get to live. Thanksgiving for my husband, for the friendship and laughter and life we get to share so intimately together. Thanksgiving for our home, our jobs, our community. Thanksgiving for all the people that make up our family – that add the support and oddities and comic relief we need. Thanksgiving for our God – the God who wakes up with us each day and walks through every moment at our side, who loves us with passion, who pursues our hearts, who rules over the world in which we dwell. Thanksgiving for His light, even when all other lights are snuffed out. Thanksgiving for the Kingdom He is building – in us, around us, through us, for us.
I don’t know where we’ll be on Thanksgiving day next year. Probably not in New York City. We may be in our own home, or in the home of a dear friend or another family member. But no matter where we are I hope my heart is filled again with thanksgiving. More so, I hope that each day between – tomorrow, the next day, a week from now, six months from now – are also filled with thanksgiving. That I don’t forget, that I don’t grow complacent or entitled. That I don’t neglect to notice the holiness of each day – whether or not it is marked “holiday” on the calendar. That I rise with a song of thanks, that I live a lifestyle of gratitude.