Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks before Give.

So many years ago these two people go married. On Thanksgiving, I have to stop and reflect on their marriage, because it so aptly illustrates what this day is about.

What is Thanksgiving about?
Life shared.

Through the last two years or more, my parents have been walking through a severe trial. My father is struggling against depression; and my mom is right there fighting alongside him. This year we are thankful that the worst of the depression has passed. But it doesn't mean it is over or easy sledding.

Their marriage is still strong. It has been difficult to walk together through the worst years. I have watched them closely. As I approach my own anniversary, I have learned a little of what this looks like in my own marriage over six years. I see that in my parents and my own marriage, you cannot give to another unless you start with thanks. Without a grateful heart, it is very easy to focus on all the "little foxes"--the hurt, the disappointment, the anger, the loneliness. If you see first the gift, the bounty, the kindnesses, the family, the life shared, you can easily forgive and give thanks.

As I sit around my table tonight, I am going to give thanks for how God uses marriage to teach us about thankfulness and giving to others. I have just started this journey of marriage compared to my parents. I have learned so much from watching. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad. Thank you for living the truth-- to give thanks, and to continue to give to each other.

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