A Life of Thanksgiving

I love everything about Fall. The weather. The colors. The apple cider. Everything. And I love how Fall naturally brings up certain feelings—remembering, wistfulness, thanksgiving.

As October rolls into November, Fall can also feel like a runaway train. The holidays are right around the corner, and our to-do lists continue to lengthen as we care for families, meet deadlines, and prepare for the parade of holiday events soon to come. It’s easy to get lost in the demands of our daily lives and wish that Fall, in all of its glory, would move along so we could have a chance to catch our breath.

And in this lovely, crazy season, there is also an anticipation, a looking forward. For we know that the end of Fall brings the end of the year. A close to whatever 2015 might have held and a hope for better things to come.

Remembering. Thanksgiving. Hoping.

These aren’t reflections limited to a few holiday dinners or a New Year’s resolution. They are integral, daily practices that renew our motivation, our relationships, and our faith.

In remembering the past, we see how far we’ve come. We remember the longing for family that led us to adoption, or those early days home when our child was still learning to trust. We remember the addiction that we thought would always control us, or the healing in a relationship that seemed broken beyond repair. We remember our naivety, our frustrations, all that we didn’t know. And we remember all the firsts, all the victories, all the joys that brought us to this place.

And in the midst of the day to day, we practice thanksgiving. We thank God for the privilege of raising His children, for new jobs, and old friends, and moments of quiet, and His calm during the chaos.  In the midst of great pain, we thank Him for seeing us.  In the midst of great joy, we thank Him for seeing us through.

Then we allow ourselves to hope knowing God hasn’t finished writing our stories. We look for the potential in our children and equip them to succeed.  We renew our passions for this work and pray for God’s vision. We strive to love and live more like Christ than we ever have in the past. Not seeking perfect families, perfect ministries, or perfect selves, yet hoping and trusting in God’s restoring power.

As we go about our lives in all their different seasons, may we not let them pass us by without remembering our past, giving thanks for our present, and having great hope for our future.

By Brooke Schreiner, International Post Adoption Intern