I love the anticipation of great food and fun times with family. I can't wait for turkey, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, warm coffee, and all-day football. I love being in a warm house, listening to the kids laugh with their cousins. I love watching my beautiful wife sit on the couch and talk with my sister-in-law and laugh and plan all their Christmas shopping. I love taking a day in the middle of the week to not work, and instead to just be happy and thankful and relaxed.
I have so many blessings to be thankful for. Today I want to recognize my family. The Lord has been good to me in giving me a wife who loves me and supports me, three awesome kids I adore, and God-fearing parents and siblings who I know would do anything for me.
Stephanie and I have been through a lot in seventeen years together. She has supported me and been in my corner through it all. I have no doubt many other women would have thrown in the towel on my long ago, but she has always remained, walking with me through every up and down. She has taught me about grace and forgiveness and trust and hope. She is an amazing woman, mother, teacher, leader, friend and servant. I swear she knows me better than myself and she encourages me to keep moving forward into the man God has made me to be. Babe, I am thankful for you!
Besides my wife, one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever given me is my kids. I never could have known love like I have learned by being a Father. Sure they wear me down down some days until I feel like a ringed-out wet out towel, but I wouldn't even think of trading fatherhood for anything. Their laughs, smiles, hugs, cuddles, questions, tears...I don't want to miss a single one. My heart swells when they succeed and it breaks when they struggle. Like my wife, they too have been used by the Lord as sanctification chisels for my soul, and I'm grateful. As a Dad I want nothing more than to lead my kids to know, love and follow Jesus, and what is so remarkable is that they lead me to those very same ends. Kids, I am thankful for each of you!
Finally, I would not be who I am without the foundation and support I have received from my own parents and siblings. A boy doesn't get to pick his parents, but I couldn't have picked better ones than the ones the Lord Jesus gave me. My parents weren't perfect (who's are?) but they loved Jesus and they taught me how to do the same. They modeled for me love and grace and forgiveness and faithfulness. They taught me how to trust God to meet our needs, and they taught me to be content with all He has provided. They are hard-working, humble, hopeful people. It is such a blessing to grow up this way, surrounded by siblings who love Jesus and are walking in faithfulness. I am confident that no matter what storm may arise in this world I will never be alone. Dad and Mom, Aaron, Jeff and Carrie, I am thankful for each of you.