Monday, November 21, 2011

To Be Thankful

PandaPop surprised us three girls with beautiful roses yesterday morning as we entered the rainbow hallway as we do every Sunday morning.  We go in with our freshly made coffees from the downstairs atrium coffee bar and head on down that colorful hall to find Daddy who's been at church since 7:00am. It's our weekly ritual and we love it.  Yesterday was a special celebration for us and the start of a new tradition.

We do adore a good tradition around here.  Makes me feel close-knit and special.  Something to always look forward to, I guess.

November 20 is the day I met my Beloved PandaPop TWENTY YEARS ago!! It is also the first time we saw PandaGirl's breath-taking face on our email that said she was ours and to come get her.  November 20 was also the very day that our precious PandaJOY came into the care of my dear friend who was her foster mother for 15 months.

Do you see that luscious, glowing skin I have on my cheek and nose?  Yeah, me too.  I think I remember that feeling.  Age takes that away. Stress eats it away one wince at a time.  PP has always been so deeply moved by the joy of us getting older together.  I see wrinkles and inevitable aging.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not so shallow as to overlook the fabulous gift of my precious husband and having lived life together.  I just hate that we have no choice, but to lose our physical youth and have nasty wrinkly skin to look forward to no matter how much fancy lotion we apply. Bleh.

By the grace of God alone, we have a great marriage.  We are best friends.  We laugh so much together, play, talk, cry, pray, grieve, long, plan, pursue, love, gripe, cook, read, eat, sit, make fun of, ponder, listen.  All of it.  We do life together.  What a gift.  A rare gift, indeed.

November 20th is a special day in the life of our PandaFamily.  We call it Team "Panda" Day (insert our last name in place of Panda).  These are the moments to hold closely to my heart.

Everyday battles still ensue, but there are moments every single day that are worth stopping for and boasting in the Lord that He alone is good and worthy of our praise.  He IS the giver of all good gifts.  James tells us that.

Late last night I spent some carefree moments in the company of three other women who "get" the whole Twilight* Saga.


That cracks me up.

So serious.

I've read the books and have seen the movies.  Fun escapism.

I don't drink blood and realize the Bible prohibits it. Whew.  I'm not a werewolf either, but I do love me some Jacob*Black.  He's so warm. (Wild & Precious....that was just for you.)  I like Edward*Cullen, too. So noble is he. Bella* gets on my nerves.  Fun times!!

This book.  This book is moving.  It is real and not escapism in any form.  It is facing head-on the realities of this dank, dark horrible life we have to live through to get to heaven, but doing it in a state of thankfulness.  That thankfulness is the turning point of our perspective.  Once truly thankful for everything....the good and the bad.....we are freed to live......freely, peacefully.

Once we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord....we are free.  Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." I have been a person who thanks God for most everything.  Even the tiniest of details doesn't escape me.  I give credit where it's due: God.  Check out my sidebar blurb that I've had up says that I like the small details in life.  I do.

I love cheering for God and the gifts He gives.  I also lose my perspective sometimes and this very poignant, extremely beautiful poetic book is blessing my heart deeply.  I am changed because of its words.  Ann Voskamp*s writing is a true breath of fresh air.  Go buy it today.

And what exactly is this, you ask? Why the pretty pictures and then end with a white dog speckled with pink spots?  

Well this is what happens with the girls are off from school and PG puts bright red lipstick on PJs mouth getting very much outside the lines and then PJ decides to KISS PandaDoggie.

It went in my thankful journal.

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