I imagine one of the turkeys is already in the oven at my grandma's, and she's probably getting sweet potatoes peeled by now. People will be waking up in her guest rooms, and more people will be arriving in a few hours. Meanwhile, I sit here on the west coast before my corner of the earth decides to reach toward the sun, and I ponder the day.
We won't be having our Thanksgiving celebration today, because my husband has to go straight from work to help some good friends of ours move into their new house. Obviously, folks here don't think about what day it is. To them, it's just another Thursday. They had Thanksgiving last month, and Christmas is at the forefront of their minds already. So we'll have our dinner tomorrow. This time it will be just the two of us, since we're still moving in and getting settled. Maybe next year I'll get back to inviting Canadian friends to participate in an American memory making event.
But just because I haven't even begun to make the dressing or figured out how I'm going to roast the cornish hens (the $5.55 turkey is being saved for Christmas so we can share the leftovers on Boxing Day with some special folks), I can still make a list of all the things for which I'm grateful. I think that's a good thing to do, especially considering that I'll be heading to the doctor in about three hours to find out if they know anything yet. Being thankful no matter what is always a good thing. So here goes in stream of consciousness order...
* I'm thankful for my husband who loves Jesus and me with all of his being. He sacrifices his own needs consistently just to take care of mine, and his gentleness and strength are a beautiful and steadying combination.
* I'm thankful for the women I get to meet with on Wednesdays. We pray together and through that work we have become friends that feel like family. I'm the youngest by a long shot, and it's nice to have all these mom and grandma types to look to.
* I'm thankful for the mountains I get to see on sunny days when the clouds part long enough. Yesterday, in one drive, I saw over six different mountains, and thanks to my husband, I know them all by name. I like how it's possible to tell the seasons based upon how much snow is on top or how packed the glaciers on a couple of them look.
* I'm thankful for Eugene. He's the ancient Jetta I drive, and though he's not nearly as attractive or perfectly reliable as the new Rav4 I owned in pre-marriage days, he faithfully partners with my mechanically inclined husband to give me mobility.
* I'm thankful for the chance to tell a part of my story just about every time I cross the border. The American border guards love asking me why in the world I'd leave home to come to Canada, and I delight in telling them.
* I'm thankful for a post office box in Washington that keeps me connected to friends and family in the States. They send me good mail with some really fun treats and surprises.
* I'm thankful for The Shack and Paul Young. God used that combination in a big way in my life this past year. My prayer life is totally different now.
* I'm thankful for my two doctors here. They both love Jesus, look to Him as the Great Physician, and feel called to be His hands and feet in their respective offices. They combine the best of faith and science.
* I'm thankful for internet connections and phone plans that let me call my best friend and other folks I only get to see once a year. Because we get to talk so often, it doesn't seem quite like I'm missing them so much.
* I'm thankful for my grandparents who have always been prayer warriors, and I know that I can always call them and ask them to talk to Jesus about something in particular.
* I'm thankful for the adopted grandmas God put in my life here, women who can teach me to can, make bread, sew clothing, answer my cooking questions, and instruct me on rainforest gardening techniques. And they do this patiently just about every week.
* I'm thankful for all the times God provided. Sometimes He did it up big with anonymous gifts of money, and sometimes He worked in small ways with a free canner or free venison or free moving boxes.
* I'm thankful for the musicians in our church home here who have taught me to connect with Jesus through worship for the first time in my life. I used to be a theological tome reading girl, who couldn't connect unless it was on a brainiac level. Things have now changed, and I like it that way. My heart has grown bigger.
* I'm thankful for Grasshopper. No matter what his story may become in these future weeks, he is one precious creation. It is such a privilege and a treasure to feel him dance and move within me. He is teaching me how to love on a deeper level, and I know he will continue that as time goes on.
* I'm thankful that Canadians allow you to bring in meat and cheese (among other groceries from the States). That sounds crazy until you realize that even with the crazy exchange rate, we saved over $35 on our turkey and routinely save over $12 on cheese. Besides, the States knows how to make good sharp cheddar.
* I'm thankful for good BBQ, even though it's been eons since I've had it.
* I'm thankful for black beans and brown rice. What can I say? Even 34 year olds can learn to love new foods.
* I'm thankful for the new relatives we recently found on my husband's side. They are such blessings.
* I'm thankful to live in berry country where blackberries grow like weeds for free everywhere, and fields of blueberries paint the landscape fiery red in the autumn.
* I'm thankful to live amongst Mennonites and East Indians. Not only do I learn to cook some really amazing foods, but I get to live in a diverse culture that is always opening my eyes to something profound.
* I'm thankful that God gave me a husband who would teach me to love adventure, to love climbing, to love ocean kayaking, and to camp primitively and actually enjoy the entire experience. Who knew a redhead could forget the last time she used her curling iron or hairspray?
* Well, I could go on and on. But I'll close by saying that I'm thankful that God doesn't leave us to our own devices, that He rescues us sometimes from making terrible mistakes (even if that means breaking our hearts), and that He sometimes lets our fairytale dreams come true. That's true in my case, and I'm so very glad and grateful. The life I live now is more than I could have dreamed, and something my own impatience and willingness to settle could never have created. How glad I am that God told me no all those times before. He knew what an amazing yes was in store for me, even if I didn't.