What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to make a list of the many things we are thankful for. Here are each of our top 5.
1. My Knoxville Community. I'm thankful for my neighborhood, the kids down the street that stop by to say hello, the older gentleman that always waves when I walk by, and the neighbors that we have shared meals and stories with. I'm thankful for a downtown that is creative and encourages new businesses, the farmers market, and local festivals. I'm thankful for my church which is made up of a mess of humans that hurt each other but strive to confess and repent and live life together. I'm thankful for a city that feels like home to me.
2. This sermon. Daryl Arnold from OBC in East Knoxville preached at our church on November 17th and I basically cried through the whole thing. Thank God (literally) that I don't have to work my way into a relationship with Him.
3. A home and a family. After working in the social work field for several years I often think of the many neighbors we have in our city who spend their nights on park benches and in tents. Many of these people are estranged from their families and holidays just become another day of the year to them. I'm thankful for a husband and family that love me in spite of myself.
4. Good Health. I have a few friends and family members that have chronic health problems and illnesses and it has made me much more mindful of how thankful I am to be in good health. I've watched as people I love have struggled with the most humbling grace and rawness and have watched in amazement at the beauty that seems to accompany brokenness.
5. The ability to make money doing something I love. It is uncommon in our world to have the opportunity to do what you love for a living. I still kind of can't believe that Taryn and I get to work together to organize, stage, decorate and meet amazing people along the way. What a privilege!
1. My family's health. Matt, my kids, myself & both sets of our parents are alive & very healthy. I am so grateful my kids get to know their grandparents & that Matt & I get to be active & involved in our kids lives.
2. My people. The close circle of women, men & children that I get to love & be loved by brings me to tears weekly, if not daily. I am thankful that I am known & cared for by so many.
3. Hope. No matter the circumstances, this one word has carried me beyond what I could've imagined. I'm thankful for a husband who never gives up, friends who remind me of my purpose & a God who calls me His.
4. East Tennessee. This place I get to live just continues to fill me with wonder, awe & curiosity. The people, the artisans, the hills, the food, the rivers, the music, the art, the history - I am thankful to be a Volunteer.
5. Help You Dwell. I have been blown away by my experience with HYD. Any creativity that has been buried in me now has an outlet as part-owner of this little business & I just love it. We have so much room to grow & the ground is fertile. I am thankful.