Tommorow, Darren's family will arrive just in time to sit down and feast on Greenberg's smoked turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, stuffing, my famous salad with its homemade dressing, fruit salad, Pumpkin Crunch, Darren's pecan pie, cherry pie and apple pie. We'll wash it all down with the Kocur Traditional Thanksgiving drink: cranberry juice and ginger ale. We'll go around the table and say what we're thankful for.
Tomorrow, I'll keep it brief and say, "Darren, my kids, my church, and my friends."
But tonight, when I should be finishing up preparations for tomorrow, I'll elaborate.
I'm thankful for...
Darren's laugh. He laughs at most everything I say. He thinks I'm funny, even when I know I'm not. He also thinks I'm beautiful, even when I know I'm not. He also makes me believe both things, even when I find it hard to.
Darren's morning kiss. He faithfully kisses my lazy butt goodbye while I snooze away in the bed every morning. Oh, wait. He doesn't kiss my BUTT... he kisses my lips. But you knew what I meant. Didn't you?
Dani's maturity. Sure, she's 14. She has her 14-ish moments. But by and large, she's mature, responsible and caring. She makes being a Mom to a teenager truly enjoyable. She's engaging, fun, funNY, passionate, determined, true and trustworthy. She has a faith that astounds me.
Aidan's sensitivity. He loves with gusto. He's extremely protective of those he loves. He's a loyal friend and a keeper of fairness. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and cries easily. And as much as that part of him annoys me, I also love it and am thankful that I have a son who is so capable of real affection and emotion.
Ian's sense of humor. That boy is HILARIOUS! And so smart it scares me. WHen I catch him doing math or spelling words, he gets all embarrassed and then he gets mad. He's definitely full of fire. Sometimes it's crazy to deal with, but I'm thankful he's that way. He'll do just fine in this world.
Fortress Church. It's an amazing thing to be where God wants you to be, even when you don't fully understand why you're there. I think I finally understand now, but it's still a thrill ride to see it unfold every day.
My friends. Fortress provided me with the friendships I was lacking - friends who share my faith, my love of God, my need to serve. They all know that they're an answered prayer. It just so happens (funny how God works, ain't it?) that they're also just as zany as I am, and they love to have fun. And now, they love to scrapbook. Life's pretty darn good.
My Bobs are also dear to my heart. When I have a worry, or a question, or a joke, or a random thought that must be shared at that moment, I know the Bobs are just a click away. And if I'm not at the computer, they're simply a text message or cell call away. I'm always "this close" to the Bobs, even though we're all scattered from here to Timbuktu.
My scrappin' friends are generous beyond reason. It's because of them (and ONLY because of them) that I'm able to continue the scrapbook ministry at Fortress. I'm thankful that they're as passionate about leaving a legacy as I am, and that they trust me to pass their gifts along to the ladies at Fortress. Most of these friends would be strangers to me if I passed them on the street. Most of them have never met face to face. But we're friends, without a doubt. And we all understand that, even if the non-scrapbooking-on-the-web world doesn't.
I am richly blessed. VERY richly blessed. I think I'll go upstairs, fall on my knees, and really express to my Father how much I appreciate and cherish these gifts he's bestowed upon me. I oughta do that all year long. But I rarely do. It seems I need this yearly reminder to really take inventory and slow down enough to be thankful for my riches.
And so I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.
May yours be full of happy memories, yummy food and cherished loved ones!