Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting at my parents' computer, so full from a wonderful day of eating! I LOVE Thanksgiving and I LOVE a good, traditional meal. There isn't anything I love more than stuffing however...maybe mashed potatoes and stuffing...I try so hard not to eat anything all day so that I can fully enjoy my meal in all its glory and this year I'm happy to say that I succeeded! I hope your day was a great as mine and your meal as wonderful as ours.

We came to Iowa on Tuesday night and we've been relaxing and enjoying ourselves ever since. What is it about going home to your parents that just makes you feel like a kid again? For some reason when I'm home, I don't worry about anything and I forget about our "real lives" back home and any stress we left behind. It's the greatest thing. I just savor my time at home and I find myself laughing alot and feeling pretty carefree...what a blessing I guess, huh? I don't want to take that for granted because I know I won't always have this feeling as the years go by, but for tonight, I'm really loving it!

Since we've been here, it's snowed for the first time this year! Yesterday we got about an inch of snow on the ground and we were so excited! It was one of those snowfalls that came just in time for the holiday and produced the biggest, most beautiful snowflakes. We sent Ryley outside to play in it and he proceeded to run around like a crazy dog trying to eat all the flakes as they was pretty funny. My sister Stacie came home from North Carolina today which was great. It's so weird not to be the one flying in and out and especially from North Carolina, but I'm happy to pass that torch to her and be the one who only has to drive 3 hours. I'd much rather deal with a drive home than a flight home. Tomorrow we're planning to tackle some shopping and I think maybe some Christmas decorating! Fun. I am such a holiday girl...I love this time of the year!

Because it is Thanksgiving and because I've been reflecting on all that I have to be thankful for, I will leave you with a reminder of a parable that Jesus gave and one that Travis shared with some students, at a Chapel service he spoke at on Monday. It's the story of the 10 lepers, from Luke 17. If you remember correctly, there were 10 men, of all different races and cultures, living together and suffering from the same disease. They were outcasts from their own communities, seperated from family, unable to enter the temples to worship, and alone. Their lives were nothing short of tragic I would imagine and I'm sure it seemed as if healing would never come, hope would certainly disappoint. Until one day, when a Man passed by them and they mustered up some courage to beg for mercy...something about this Man was different and they knew it. The Bible says they called him "Jesus and Master" believing He had the power to do something about their situation. To their utter amazement and probably to their shock, He did have the power to do something. In fact, He saw them and He told them to do something they couldn't do. He told them to go show themselves to the Priest. I can only imagine their initial irritation when he said that...they must have wondered, "What is he talking about? We can't go to the Priest?"

And then it happened. They looked down. They looked down and caught a glimpse of a different body. They saw the disease that had robbed them of life was suddenly gone. Lifted. Taken away. Can you imagine their surprise? Can you imagine the well of emotion that must have suddenly come alive? Can you picture the smile that must have been on Jesus face? I have no doubt that they must have run as fast and as freely as they could, to show everyone what had happened and to reclaim the rights they had lost as lepers. I'm sure they were thankful, probably incredibly grateful. But they got caught up in the moment and they left. They returned to their lives and they left the One who had changed it all and given them life again, in the dust. Except one. One man turned back and in a total act of worship, he fell at his Savior's feet, praising him and giving thanks. How sweet that must have sounded to sad that he only heard it from one voice instead of ten.

I've been thinking today about all that I continually take for granted. How often the Lord moves in my life, usually to bless me, and I "feel" thankful, but I often get caught up in my busy world and I neglect my Savior of the praise and thanks he's due. I know He doesn't hold that over my head and I know He loves me regardless of my selfishness, but I can't stop thinking of all the praise that I hold back. All the delight that I could have brought Him but chose not to. I'm challenged tonight to lay some praise before the Lord. To turn back and give thanks for the blessings that are too numerous to count. It's all "gravy" as they say...blessing upon blessing.

I hope that you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving today like I have, but more importantly, I hope that your Savior gets to hear some praise from His people tonight and tomorrow and every day after. Don't you just want to cry sometimes when you consider all that you've been given? I do. In fact, I think our tears are as sweet to Him as the notes we sing and the words we speak. The form matters not, but the heart matters greatly. Happy Thanks-giving and Happy Praising! I am so grateful for all of you and the encouragement you bring me...we truly love each of you!


Sarah said...

What did you feed Ryley? He looks he couldn't bear to eat another bite!

Unknown said...

I am glad you all had such a great Thanksgiving...except for the car. I hope you found a great "deal"! We love your luck with cars....have a great week!

Matt and Jen said...

what great words, steph! thanks for the reminder. we do get caught up in our own stuff, don't we?? noah sure wishes he was with you to see that snow!! he can't wait for it to snow so we can build a snowman. he asks me everyday!!! love you, jen