giving thanks.

We are well into the Christmas spirit in our household, we've had our {real} tree for a week, Christmas music playing since November 1, and we have already baked sugar cookies with snowflakes, trees, candy cane, and gingerbread cut-outs. But, that doesn't mean we passed up Thanksgiving and focused on a heart of gratitude. In fact, I would say this was probably one of the best Thanksgivings yet. And not for any particular reason, but we decided to be more intentional with our time and allow for open space--time to relax, time to not-do, time for quietness and to be still in our own home. And specifically, me, I'm learning to let go of seeing life, especially holidays, as a 'check-off-the-list' thing; learning to enjoy the process rather than the end result and letting go of "rules" I've given myself in the past that have hardened my mood. I want to be present and allow God to fill the empty spaces. And if I want to put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, I'll do that too. {grin}

 In the past, we've been quick to fill up each day with fun activities, feeling obligated to see all family members, Black Friday shopping, and the tradition of watching the lighting in our downtown.  This year we passed on most of that. And not that those things are bad or wrong, but for us, we are desiring a season, or seasons of just being.  And what I found this Thanksgiving, is that God used our time for Him. And I'm so thankful for that. We were able to open our home to unexpected little guests, give a blanket to a young boy who was walking around in a t-shirt in the freezing cold, and bless some new friends with their first trip to the big screen movies. These moments came in the in-between, in the unplanned.

Today I finished up our Advent calendar, with a reading for each day and an activity to do. There are some blank days with zero activities, and I'm already telling myself that it's okay to not do an activity if we don't feel like it when the day comes. But to be present, in whatever we do. And to keep the heart of gratitude flowing.

We took a pit stop at the Children's Museum on the way to visit family.

Caught these two sharing secrets at the table. Be still my heart. 

Our attempt at getting Lincoln to smile. Real life at it's finest. 

Andrew and I got to sneak away for an impromptu day-date, it was fabulous! We hit up a coffee shop and I read in between working on a little secret we are going to reveal soon! 

We decided last minute to hit up our Farmer's Market this morning, live reindeer were quite the hit. 

And just for the record, Thursday evening we came home from visiting family out of town and my family ate Ramen noodles and yogurt for dinner. On Thanksgiving. Ain't no shame here.

No comments: