A wee bit of thanks

I am thankful.

There are people who get grumpy about how thankfulness get so jam packed into this particular season and who inquire why folks don’t express gratitude more during the rest of the year, come on, right, ugh.

These are probably the same people who get annoyed by “I love you” mid-February.

But I say go for it. I am thankful all year round and I love my fambly and my Savior all year round, but what’s wrong with dedicating a holiday to it, drawing a little more emphasis than normal, surrounding love and gratitude with celebration? Calm down, cranky Facebook demagogues.

(but don’t start me on New Year’s resolutions. jk.)

Our wee little, baby little, fledgling Thanksgiving went off without significant hitches. We slept in (8.30!) and while Nate ran I made a triple batch of these beauties for the office T-day party before whipping up a salad and boiling the water for STOVE TOP STUFFING. A wedding gift that we’ve never yet used meant we could fit the entire meal (excluding salad) on one dish. Which we then ate off of communally. Hashtag life hack.

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the chicken looks terrifying. which is what you get when you buy it from the back of a pickup truck.

 

After Nate prayed a Thank You prayer, we feasted whilst watching a Friends Thanksgiving episode marathon. The football episode…so good.

we are all Chandler Bing.

Then a quick jaunt to work for a few hours for me, biscuits in tow, and now I’m home and Boy is working, and I am resisting mightily the leftovers in the fridge til he comes back to share them. #WifeOfTheYear

I’m thankful for so much this year. Not least of which that this year will soon end.

(Is that too sour? It’s true, though it’s also a topic for another post.)

But before it does, and before we move on from this amazing, carb-laden holiday:

I’m thankful for Nate. For our sprout of a marriage. For all the laughs and plans and dreams and lazy times and busy times and serving times and for making me better, and making me believe in better. I love you.

I’m thankful that I have what I have. I could live with less and I believe I will in the very near future. For now, we have jobs and money and benefits. I’m grateful.

I’m thankful for family far away. I miss them so much. I’m missing the crop of McNieces and McNephews grow up, and I hate that, but I’m grateful that they are there and well and provided for.

I’m thankful for family close by: friends who are family who will make leaving this country so, so hard.

I’m thankful that I’m loved and forgiven and valued by the Creator Himself. I’m thankful that there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain. I’m thankful that no matter how dark reality is, we have hope in Him.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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Thanksgiving and Life Pioneers

Thanksgiving!

I still get excited about it even though a dull boring grownup bit in my brain keeps iterating that ne’er again shall I have the utterly relaxed Thanksgiving of my youth which, the dull boring grownup bit of my brain drones to me, was so exciting because SOMEONE ELSE WAS PAYING FOR IT. All I had to do was insist on baking things I thought looked fun and partially grate my thumb into a cucumber salad and scrape half the skin off my face in a hammock ‘incident.’

Ah, carefree youth.

It’s hard to make Thanksgiving (and Christmas) feel significant so far from home and family. My family does well for holidays. Full and abounding and joyful to the max, and Nate’s family is those things anyway so I imagine they get that Thanksgiving spirit nailed down too. On the other hand, it’s a pretty grand opportunity for Boy and I to be our own family for our first year at it.  Choices: lament the missing-out of home traditions, or pioneer our own? (I always wanted to be a pioneer. oh man. it’s becoming real. I AM LAURA INGALLS [FROM THE BOOK {illustrations by Garth Williams} NOT THE TV SERIES WHICH WAS GARBAGE  I TELL YOU, GARBAGE].)

Take me there (via)

But that is just what marriage has turned out to be, constant movement forward into unknown territory. Sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes it’s hard and confusing, but mostly it’s Life, and I love it.

As it’s a distinctly American holiday neither I nor the Boy have off work on Thursday, but our schedules permit us to have lunch together, and oh, I have plans. Plans that involve the possibly-expired box of Stove Top we found in a foreign foods market on Geoje Island months ago, a whole chicken to be purchased out of a truck that parks in our neighborhood every Wednesday night, and the little pies they’ve just started selling this season at Paris Baguette. And we will make a salad, and mash a potato or two. It will be me and Boy. Me cross-legged on the bed, him in our lone chair pulled up, our wee tray table precariously loaded with a one-off-from-the-Pilgrims feast. We’ll be a day ahead of the football and parades, but we’ll be thankful.

I’m thinking about ways to show thankfulness (like with my amazing job that at this point in the semester I lack allllll the motivation to do), and maybe on Thursday I’ll do a list. and some pictures! maybe! even! hooray!

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Chewing the Daily Bread

Ug. Oof. Ow, even.

First, read this.

Oswald, sir, this is unfair.

Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ…[a]ll the rest is pious fraud.

Because it’s the sort of stop-you-in-your-tracks line that makes you reevaluate, or just plain ‘valuate, all the things you’ve been casually ushering into your heart. (my heart. that’s the one I’m talking about here.)

Oh Lord, where is my pious fraud?

Where am I resisting dependence on Him? Where am I, whether absentmindedly or out of sheer unredeemed cussedness, disloyal  to Jesus?

Rebellious is a sin word. Disobedient, too, and resistant. Those ones are easy to nod thoughtfully and soberly at, easy to analyze and think deeply on.

Disloyal is more. It’s personal. It’s betraying someone who trusts, someone who is owed loyalty. It stings worse.  It rips my perspective from mental assent to thrust it in view of the Cross of Christ. Where my Savior was crucified, and where I am bound to follow by my choice.

Right now, the Boy and I are facing some Stuff. Like a multiple choice question where all of the above and none of the above  seem like equally valid, textbook answers. I could make arguments for both sides, each seeming more Right than the last. Today as the Boy and I walked to the subway station on his way to work, we talked about the Stuff in the light of this devotional.

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How about this way?

What if my response to hard things isn’t that Christ-loyal instinct? That unmistakable witness? What does that mean?

Some things are easy to surrender, but when I think about others, the only answer is an honest-as-I-can I don’t know.

It’s a learned submission, a deliberate choice, that I assume I’ve got down and thus fail to practice.  But He keeps bringing me back to the brink of it. This is the loyalty of God when I don’t act like I know the meaning of the word.  Have I chosen it today? in all things? Or do I yet hunker inside that brittle enclosure of human independence?

Lord, today (again) I resign my rights. Hide my life in Yours.