Today was our last full day here in Minnesota, and I would definitely say that we’re ending our trip on a high note.  Our bellies are full, the dishes are done, the games are put away, the kids have gone home to bed, and I’m taking a moment to reflect on just how wonderfully blessed I am.  I’m filled with this sense of such pure contentment. 

I am so thankful for my family (both blood relatives and in-laws).  I missed my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my niece today, but I could not imagine feeling any more at home than I do here at Shane’s parents house.  They continually amaze me with their generosity and graciousness.  Shane’s sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew are such a blessing to us in the way that they live out life as a loving family.  How lucky I am that “holidays with the in-laws” is something I look forward to and cherish.

I’m thankful for our health.  Shane and I are looking forward to getting up on Saturday morning and going for a nice, long run together (the freezing weather here in Minnesota has prohibited much outdoor activity for the past week).  We should not take for granted the fact that we have both the ability and the desire to get out and be active together.

I’m thankful for our home, which day by day, comes closer to “home” in the truest sense of the word.

I’m thankful for the time and the will that I have to pursue my interests and hobbies.  I am gradually becoming more well-read, I am sharpening my skills as a photographer, and I am developing my artistic gifts.  I find such satisfaction in these small, but quite meaningful, accomplishments.

I am thankful for our financial security.  May God lay peace on the hearts of those who are struggling to keep their heads above water during these times of economic uncertainty.

I am thankful for the very close-knit group of friends we’ve come to know through our church.  I am constantly amazed by the talent and blessed by the thoughtfulness of these people that have done so much to make us feel rooted in Seattle.  Community is a valuable, beautiful thing.  And we’re living it.

I am thankful for Shane.  To think that I ever wondered whether or not this was the man I was supposed to marry.  He continues to impress me with his generosity, his ambition, and his unfailing, 100%, all-out commitment to our relationship.  I could sit here and wonder what I did to deserve the love of this man, but my list would always come up short.  That’s the beauty of our marriage - I don’t “deserve” his love, but he lavishes it upon me anyway.

May God bless all of you.  And may we remember to say “thanks” daily (rather than annually).