Our daughter Alli came out of the womb barking orders. And in six years, not much has changed. Last night at the dinner table she decided she wanted to play school. Before we could swallow our next bite, she launched into some very loud and determined directions. We were all instructed to come up with five (and only five) things we were thankful for and then list them off for the family to hear. She went first to demonstrate and give an example in case we weren't bright enough to understand what she wanted. Her list went something like this: "One: my house. Two: my schisters. Three: My Mom and Dad. Four: My brother. Five: Jesus-oh-and-Dusty-the-dog-but-that-would-be-six-and-that's-too-many."
She pointed her bossy finger at Curt and he rattled off his list, followed by Paige and Katie. They all pretty much said the same thing: family, a house to live in, a dog, and Jesus. Then it was our nine-year-old Grant's turn. Never one to be outdone and with a fondness for waxing poetic, he launched into his list and this fairly close to what he said.
Grant: Jesus, because He chose to die on the cross for my sins.
Grant: My siblings because they're fun to play with except when they're bossy or mean.
Grant: The Bible because it's God's Word to us and it teaches us about God and how to live like Jesus.
Grant: A warm house and shelter from the storm outside because so many people don't have the luxury of a house to call home.
Grant: A Mom and Dad who love me and take care of me.
Alli: Mommy's turn.
Grant: No, I'm doing ten things.
(argument and verbal war ensues, but Grant came out on top.)
Grant: SIX (with smirk toward Alli): The Holy Spirit because He guides me in how to grow the fruit of the Spirit in my life. SEVEN: A dog to wrestle with and play with and she's such a good Dusty. EIGHT: My salvation. I'm so grateful that Jesus saved me from my sins and gave me new life. NINE: ummm... The fact that I live in a free country and can worship God without fear of arrest or persecution because people all over the globe suffer for serving Jesus. TEN: Food to eat cause I'm hungry a lot and we have food when others don't. Your turn Mom.
Well how on earth do I follow up on that? Pass the Kleenex please. Sheez. I started down my list of Jesus, Daddy, kids, a warm house and my friends, but as I launched into number six, Alli stopped me dead in my tracks. Apparently she only had the bandwidth for one family member to step outside the boundary of her rules and I didn't get to finish. But Alli doesn't have access to my blog, so here's what I would have said given the chance to wax poetic like my son.
- My Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Forgiver, Friend, and Giver of a Thousand Chances, Jesus Christ. I can't imagine what a mess my life would be if it weren't for You. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
- My Smokin' Hot Husband Who is a Stone-Cold Fox (courtesy of Will Ferrell and Talledega Nights). You are my best friend, soul mate, provider, lover, partner in crime, and laugh-generator. My life would be so dull and quiet my life without you in it.
- My Four Crazy Kiddos. Holy cow. Who knew such little people (or not so little now that Grant comes up to my shoulder) could evict such strong emotions? I never knew I could love so deeply, defend so fiercely, or frustrate so easily. I have learned boatloads from each one of you and I am so grateful God chose me to be your Mommy, for better or for worse. Thank you for your grace when I screw up, your hugs every morning, your messes to keep me busy, and your loudness and excitement for life that fills our home.
- My Extended Family. We are wacky and slightly crazy, but we are family and I love each one of you. You have all shaped my life in some way and I am grateful for the fingerprints you've left in my life.
- A Shelter From the Storm - what a blessing to have a roof over our heads, food on our table, running water and electricity, vehicles that start when we turn the key, and heat when it's cold outside.
- My Kingdom Family. There is beauty in the family of God. I am so grateful for my brothers and sisters, united through Jesus, who pour life-giving love, grace and mercy into my life. What a gift you all are.
- Okay Dusty. You make the list. You are the best dog EVER. (But don't tell anyone I said that. I have a reputation to keep you know, so now you can leave my feet by the computer and go lay down.)
- The Good 'Ol USA - I am proud to be an American and thankful for the freedom and opportunity I receive from living in this great nation.
- Health. So many people we know are fighting disease and pain. I feel so unworthy to have not just my health but the health of all my children and my husband. For those who are suffering, we are praying for healing and strength.
I'm sure I could get my list to ten, but I'm stepping out into new and uncharted waters by making a list that doesn't end in a five or a zero. So what are you thankful for? Picture Alli's finger in your face, and start counting! Happy Thanksgiving!