Monday, December 1, 2008

Ordinary Gratitude!

It's official, Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday!!

You know that sadness that sometimes comes when Christmas is over? I am feeling that right now about Thanksgiving. What is not to love about this holiday?

---Everyone is focused on what it is they are thankful for....
---The leaves are still somewhat colorful and the air has finally begun to turn cold/crisp...
---Football is being played everywhere from backyards to the TV.....
---It is a 4 day weekend (at least for most)......
---There are HUGE amounts of food.....
---It is finally appropriate to play Christmas music and put up the decorations...
---It is a kickoff to shopping season & party season.

This Thanksgiving was especially good in our home. Nothing out of the ordinary happened but maybe that is the point; just being grateful for the ordinariness of our lives. From Dad's handwritten "Happy Turkey Day" on the message board in the kitchen, to the unexpected attendance of my 91 yr. old Grandmother, it was a day of special moments being lived out and memories being made.

One tradition we have at our house is a "Thanksgiving Gratitude Journal". Anyone who shows up is welcome to write in the journal and we have had lots of friends and family share with us over the years. My heart is especially humbled at the words of my children as they have written over and over again how thankful they are for their family. What a gift that is to a Mom!!

I think the best part of Thanksgiving for me is that it is a barometer of our hearts. The one time we intentionally think about how blessed we are and we aren't afraid to share that with those around us.

It's also a time we slow down to focus on Jesus and what lies ahead in the celebration of His birth. The challenge is to keep that same spirit over the next few weeks as the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season attempts to take over and distract us from the true meaning of the season.




36 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Love your picture of your family at the header. All the pics were great. I so understand about the emotions...Hugs to you!

Jenny said...

I love the idea about the journal, I'm borrowing that one.

In fact I may do one for New Years to keep a record of.

Glad you had fun and a great day!
Jen

Lelia Chealey said...

Love the pics and LOVE the gratitude journal idea.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a great post friend.

I LOVE the journal idea.

I'm so THANKFUL that you had a wonderful weekend with your precious family.

Blessings to you as we now enter the Christmas Season.

Rhonda said...

The pics are great! I love your new banner and your blog is looking all Christmasy! :)

Laurie Ann said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was full of gratitude and blessings. Wonderful! I loved the pics and I love your new blog look. I'm sad Thanksgiving is over but am pumped up that Christmas is just around the corner!

Nicole said...

Awesome pictures Kelley! So glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

Love,
Nicole

Debbie said...

It certainly looks like you had a fun Thanksgiving with your family. I loved the pictures and the whole effect. Your dog is too cute! And I loved the gratitude journal; great idea to write down.

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Kelley-your family is beautiful!! You have such a talen to post these pictures on your webpage. Thanks for sharing! I hope we can get together overe the Christmas break. My teaching schedule will be os mch lighter this next semester.
See you soon!

In His Graces~Pamela

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Kelley,
I hadn't been by for a visit in awhile and just wanted to say hi!
I'm so glad you had such a special Thanksgiving with your family ... and the Gram coming at I think you said: 91? GOD BLESS HER!!

I always love seeing pics of you and your family. Your little dog TOTO too! LOL Okay; so you have a BIG BIG dog... and looks nothing like toto. STILL CUTE! ;)
HOLYKISSES KELLEY!!
GOD BLESS YOU!!
Lea

LynnSC said...

What a wonderful post... and your family is beautiful.

I love your idea about the journal... I would love for us to do something like that. I will have to try to remember that next year.

Thank so much for sharing your family with us.
Lynn

LynnSC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

ooh I love the new look and the picture is just simply adorable! ya'll are so beautiful and I love your hair style--too cute!

the journal is an awesome idea---thanks for sharing.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Hey stranger. I guess I haven't been here in awhile...I love your Christmas look...maybe you just updated it.

I love the idea of a Gratitude Journal that everyone can contribute.

Lovely family pic on the header. Just lovely!!

Susan said...

Wow, what an awesome post Kelly!

Your blog looks so beautiful, and your family picture could not be MORE P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!

Thanks for sharing the pictures too. What a legacy of love you have in your family.

I'm so grateful to know you.

Blessings my sweet friend♥

Cindy said...

What a beautiful family you have.

We have been writing family thankful letters for many many years. I get to keep the notebook filled with them and bring it out every year.

It is amazing to see how the little ones have grown and the bigger ones become more reflective.

Have a great week.

Christina said...

Awesome slide show and I must say what a beautiful family you have. I did see the gratitude journal and that is a great idea. I think I might have to borrow that one too.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

That header picture nearly sends me over the edge! Priceless. I'm with you on missing Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday...perhaps because it signals the start of something bigger--the march to Bethlehem.

I'm trying to enjoy things more this year than ever before...slowing the pace and spending more time doing the things I enjoy, especially with the kids.

And the photo show? What a beautiful life you have. Enjoy them each one.

peace~elaine

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you!!

Kristen said...

You've been tagged... can't wait to hear your answers!

Yolanda said...

Kelley,

Your family picture, all on the stairs, is absolutely priceless!

Love,
Yolanda

Cindy said...

It's official ~~~ I LOVE your new photo and your family is absolutely BeautiFUL!!!

Edge of Design said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. Concerning those potatoe peelers, we used to call that KP duty at the ranch I worked at.

Ang baylis said...

How did I miss this? You have a BEAUTIFUL family! JUST BEAUTIFUL!
Love you,
Angie xoxo

B His Girl said...

A Thanksgiving Journal...That is such a good idea. I met you Kelli at the end of She Speaks in the main hallway. I ran across your business card in my wallet along with tons of receipts. I stopped by to say hi. Dinner looked great..and what a family!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Kelly,
I LOVED seeing the slideshow of your beautiful family!!
I've missed you SOOOO MUCH!
My love to Maggie!
Lea

Susan said...

Hey Kelly,

What's up? I've been missing you BIG time.

I'm sure you're very busy. Praying for you.

I'll look forward to your next update♥

Rachael said...

Lovely new design for your blog! Any updates on Lilly?

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Chickadee,
Just want you to know...
I MISS YOU VERY MUCH!
YOUR PRESENCE,... IS SORELY MISSED.
I HOPE AND PRAY YOU'RE ALL WELL.
HOLYKISSES,
Lea

Joyful said...

Kelley...how did I miss this? And I subscribe to you on bloglines!

Loved this post and so enjoyed seeing your slide show. Beautiful family. Your Christmas blog and header/picture - absolutely gorgeous!!!

Trust you are all well.
Love ya,
Joy

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

We have a very similar journal and keep it out all year long...remembering to write in it is what gets me. :)

Kathy S. said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS KELLEY!

Kristi said...

Merry Christmas!

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Cute blog. Love the Christmas plaid in the header.

Merry Christmas!

I invite you to join us on our year-long journey, as we read the Bible in 2009.

Blessings,
Linda

HEART OF A READY WRITER – Bible reading and devotional

Lelia Chealey said...

I miss your words of wisdom my dear friend!!!
Love you,
LC

Joyful said...

I just miss you!

Praying for you and sending love,
Joy