Giving Thanks

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with Praise..

I love this time of year.. It’s always a time for me to stop.. Time for serious retrospection.. A time to look at my life and realize all the blessings around me.. This week usually includes two days of that for me.. Of realizing how much the people in my life mean to me.. For those of you who were born sometime other than Thanksgiving week- you wouldn’t understand.. I had a wonderful birthday. People are so kind.. Makes me feel really small-I don’t deserve all this kindness.. God has blessed me so.. And I am thankful..

Mother gave me a really inspiring book for my birthday.. Ok, so actually, I was shopping in PA and came across CAM’s new release and called home for permission to purchase it for Mother.. 🙂 (There are certain perks to continuous shopping trips..) I have been enjoying it immensely- Some kind of Love by Gloria Miller. Gloria was in Liberia for 2.5 yrs. And her stories.. Obviously the children captured her heart. And that shows in her writing.. She makes me think. She shares story after story of children in her ministry- an 8 months old  the size of a newborn.. Black eyed, innocent beautiful children.. Malnourished, neglected, abandoned, orphaned.. Or with a loving guardian that doesn’t not have the means to provide food.. I can’t imagine the feeling of being able to give out food that you know instantly makes the difference in whether a child lives-or not..

Dear innocent children..Who thru no decision of their own- do not know the joys of a happy childhood like I remember.. My first trip to Guatemala- we spent a day in a girl’s shelter.. I couldn’t sleep that night. The reality-of these innocent girls,and the horror that they had experienced..finally at a safe place.. And looking at my life and how I much I’d taken for granted..to have a loving,godly Dad..

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A tradition around here at Thanksgiving is to go around the table stating one thing we are thankful for.. As small children we could name- “Family, a house, Dusty (our faithful dog), food..” You know the list.. But this year I am pondering.. How can we be truly thankful when we don’t grasp the enormity of what we’ve been given? Do I really understand what it would be like to be totally alone without parents that love the Lord, each other, and would do anything for me.. How about sisters that patiently put up with me.. We are thankful for food- and yet we have so much-we need to plan how to cut back-or excersise more extensively or something drastic to stay ahead of it.. 🙂 Freedom to worship- Recently I’ve been challenged by the work of Corrie Ten Boom.. Who was willing to sacrifice everything to follow Jesus’s command to love..Even tho it meant losing her family and enduring horrid a contentration camp because of hiding the Jews during World War II.. Do I realize what a gift it is to be able to worship whenever, and wherever and however without fear of being reported? Health- Nothing makes you reevalute like losing what you’ve taken forgranted.. After a round of back pain- to be pain free means so much more..Or extensive shoulder issues.. Or not being able to eat properly.. Or mono.. Most of all- do I understand what it cost for my Saviour to go to the cross so that I can experience eternal Life?

This month is Adoption Awareness Month and that really ties in with my Thanksgiving.. We don’t have to go oversees to some mud hut to find children who are hurting, who are missing the blessings I’ve taken forgranted.. There’s too much of pain out our backdoor. Those who are called to the Foster/Adoption ministry have such an incredible calling.. To give because of what we’ve been given..

Mother has had a favorite quote for a long time.. “Cherish the bread before there is none. Discover each other before we leave. Enjoy each other for what we are-while we have time..” -Richard Wong

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So I pause today.. And Praise the Lord for what He’s done for me.. I don’t grasp it fully- I’ll be the first to admit.. But He knows that I’m trying.. Happy Thanksgiving, Kendra

Bonus pics:

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Back in July, when the boyfriend proposed to Julia, he was impressively creative.. The proposal included a railroad bridge, spray paint(yes, it was John Deere green) and a red rose. Somehow this was never captured on camera, so Julia decided this week was the time to make sure and capture his handiwork.. So she took the dried rose in its original plastic sleeve and blue ribbon, and placed it where he had- way above the muddy waters of North River and was happily photographing away.. Until the wind caught it and.. Julia was totally beside herself and horrified.. Sherman just laughed and said “Well there it goes, a $20 rose..” So we watched as it floated downstream.. We decided to stop by the water on our way out- and miracle of miracles- the rose had floated to the shore and was waiting-at the only spot that was accessible without requiring a swim.. Only a small matter- but I think it was from the One who sees the sparrow-and dried rose- fall..

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For my birthday- my sisters (and some generous friends) went together and purchased a camera to aid in my photography obsession.. Trial run was a pair of Mallards bagged by a friend.. and the resident game warden..

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