Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks--Family

In what I hope will be my only 3-Part Mini-Series of Blogdom, I bring you a small glimpse through the windowpane of thankfulness that is my life.

The post was getting a little verbose, so I divided it up over three days. (Don't worry...there will be Black Friday Talk as promised this weekend.)

It all started when I tried to put a cutesy little sidebar on the blog with a list of things I'm thankful for. As it turns out, it was tougher than I thought.

This is how I started:

*chocolate, pumpkins, & TiVo

But as you can imagine, a simple, bullet-point list just doesn't do the overflow of my heart any justice.

To simply write "family" doesn't mention that I adore that Brad sacrificially makes time for us even though he is usually exhausted and weary when he comes home from a long trip. He hugs us, listens to us, and makes sure we're all tucked in...before heading to the office to plow through endless work responsibilities.

Brad is often too tired, but never too busy for a round of catch, one last story, or a listening ear for my endless words.

"Family" doesn't describe how Jackson grew this year, both physically and spiritually. His love for friends--both through his actions and prayers--stirs me beyond words. His tenderness is incomparable and radiates in each word he speaks. I wouldn't trade for the world the early mornings when he shuffles into my room and asks if we can read Bible stories together.

I'm not sure there are words in all the English language that express how thankful I am for Lilly and who she is. The closest I can come is, "They broke the mold after her...and you ain't never seen a mold like that before!" Her ability to entertain me one minute and look into my eyes with such vulnerability the next minute catches my breath and puts a lump in my throat.

And of course "family" doesn't begin to encompass our flesh and blood we dearly love who live so far away. The support Brad and I both feel simply for who we are, comes from those who know our strengths and weaknesses best and still manage to love us unconditionally.

If I took the time to share how each one of you made me think, showed me love, and prayed for me, I'd run out of room on the internet and simultaneously bore you to tears.

I'd be lying if I didn't mention there's a deep well of thankfulness in my heart knowing my dad is alive and just fine this Thanksgiving.

For a few weeks last March his very life appeared to teeter between earth and heaven when his brain suddenly and unexplainedly hemorrhaged. I can't say that I appreciate him more or stopped taking him for granted, because I really never did. He has always been my picture of strength, compassion, and love.

It just hadn't occurred to me that there would be a day when he wouldn't somehow be a part of decisions I make, in plans for the future, and a phone call away.

Forever etched in my heart will be the early morning I arrived in the hospital downtown Dallas. Unconscious and restrained to his hospital bed, I had never seen Dad so weak.

Upon entering the ICU, all my trembling voice could whisper was, "Hi, Daddy." Involuntarily, his arms yanked forcefully against the restraints and his head, so filled with tubes I could only see his eyes, turned toward me. Somehow, wherever his mind was beneath the medicine and pain, he knew the sound of his baby's voice.

In that very moment I realized in an entirely new way how God feels about me. How when he hung on the cross, despite pain beyond what I can ever describe, he was aware of us...his children. The Word made flesh knows me and loves me in a way so tangible that it sends chills up my spine.

I am still digesting His undeserved love.

So there you have it:


sue.g said...

I love this post,,,,through the tears.

I tried to comment on the Chicago post,,,,grrr! As I recall we had to run to the train b/c we stopped at Garrett's for popcorn - ha

Chris said...


I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

Dad (glad to be here)