“This is what thankfulness looks like.”  I saw it several times on twitter as I checked in on our car ride to in-laws for Thanksgiving.  Organizations like Noonday and Compassion International thanking those that make it possible for women to go to sewing school and for parents who can now care for their kids.  It got me thinking as I saw their versions of what they were thankful for.   I thought about all the stories of redemption in our own city and it overwhelmed me as I thought to remember all God’s done in those around us, in us, and through others close to us.

The immediate thoughts that come to mind when I close my eyes in prayer for thanksgiving are the people that I get to live life with each day. I’m thankful for the shift in our lives and the simplicity of it and the new friends it’s brought.

I’m thankful for the college leaders that show up with laundry, asking if we have food, or if they can watch the game.  I’m thankful for the way they love my kids, and the spontaneous late night talks about Kingdom things.  I’m thankful for how they share their dreams and plans of how they’ll change the world and that I get to watch them do it.  A few shots of Lea and Jordan with our children.  People like this are blessing our lives.

I’m thankful for new parents like our friends in our new school who just adopted three foster kids or families like this one below who went to Rwanda to get their son.  Consider how different Thanksgiving must be for these kids b/c of their parents’ choices. Praying prayers of thanksgiving today for people like this.

Watching my kids today playing with their cousins, playing Scrabble, and spending time at Aunt Cathy’s house has blessed us again this year.  It’s been a day full of bike riding, skating at the local public school, spending time with my nieces and nephews, playing electric cars, games of football, laughter, food and football.  As I write, the TV is still on, football still playing, people are still eating, and kids have been playing dress-up. As always Aunt Cathy has hosted a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Here’s a shot of our kids and their cousins attempting to dress up the youngest in the crowd.

Here’s a shot of my niece heading out again after a rest on the recycle bin for cans.

Thankful for Thanksgiving 2011 and the family God gave us to spend it with.