Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
~ Philippians 4:6
Every night as I put Annalyn to bed, we pray the same basic words. I say to God, “Thank you for a house to live in, food to eat and family and friends who love us.”
That doesn’t mean I am in love with my house or the fact that it hasn’t sold after four months on the market. I still don’t love the one tiny bathroom situation or the slightly sketchy neighbors or the way something is broken in every single room.
But we have a home, a house to live in, a house that – thanks to circumstances and choices – we’ve come close to losing more than once. We have a place to sleep, a place to eat, a place to live together.
So yeah, I’m thankful for my house.
And whether our dinner was homemade, delicious and filling or another drive through the fast food joint down the street, I’m thankful we don’t go to bed hungry. Even on days when I know we’ve exceeded our grocery budget by more than I want to admit or on days when I realize nobody in my family has eaten a single vegetable, I’m thankful we have the opportunity to eat when we’re hungry.
When I remind myself that no matter how tight our checking account feels at the moment, we are so very wealthy compared to the rest of the world, I can’t see it any other way.
I’m thankful for food to eat.
Some days I’m more thankful for family and friends than others. Some days I’m hurt or frustrated or offended or smothered or wishing I could pack up my house and my people and move across the country. Some days I don’t feel loved at all. I feel left out or taken for granted – by the people I live with and those I see less often. Some days – some holidays, even – leave me wondering if I could put myself up for adoption or rush a grown-up sorority just to find new people.
But even on those days, my heart knows the truth. Even when I don’t feel loved, I am. And even if we have a rough day (or year), my family and my friends are more precious than convenience and comfort and being invited to every single party that takes place.
Even when it’s hard, I’m thankful for family and friends who love me.
May our Thanksgiving be one in which we can truly give thanks – for the amazing and exciting and happy-making parts and the challenging and confusing and heart-breaking ones, too.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!