This is a picture of the low-key, beautiful Thanksgiving dinner we had. This was our first year hosting as real live grown-ups! My sisters, Melissa & Heather, were our guests and we made enough food for about 15 people.
This Thanksgiving I have been reading Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place and I have been thinking and feeling so many things. If you have never read this book, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It is a memoir of a very devout Christian, Dutch family; more specifically, it is written about Corrie’s life. She is in her 50’s during World War II, Holland’s occupation by the Nazis, and the Holocaust. She and her family form part of the resistance and help Jewish people, which ultimately leads to their imprisonment. It is an incredible novel about an even more incredible family. As I was reading, a thought came to me that I can’t quite shake. I started thinking about how Corrie and all of her family, friends, etc. had all passed away by now. It made me think and realize in a new way that we won’t be alive forever. Of course we all know this, but sometimes it doesn’t seem real. Sometimes it does seem like we have an unlimited amount of time. Out of necessity, we don’t tend to dwell on this thought and on most days we act as if we had forever–we do normal things, think normal thoughts, and pass out our days, weeks, months, and years pretty unremarkably.
I guess that’s why that question about what we would do if we had 1 day to live always seems out of place for us–a lot of times we realize that we wouldn’t travel or do something on our bucket list–we would spend our last day with our family and friends, the way we spend a lot of our days.
I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank and thinking how interesting it was that so much of her diary focused on ordinary, daily things. In many ways it seemed like the diary of any 12 year old girl. I guess that’s what is actually remarkable. Even though she was in a life and death situation, she continued to think her normal thoughts and act in her normal ways.
This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for every day. I’m thankful for waking up to Madi’s sweet little voice in the other room, I’m grateful that I get to pick her up out of her crib and play games with her, read with her, and feed her. I’m grateful for the excitement we feel right when we hear Kyle’s keys in the door. I’m grateful for our daily meals and bedtime. I’m grateful for happy weekends spent laughing and playing. I’m grateful for the time we have to worship together at church every Sunday. I’m grateful for every ordinary thing that make up our lives.
**As I was writing this, another thought came to me. If we had one last day, we would probably do pretty normal things, but there are some things we do on a daily basis that we probably wouldn’t do as much of. If given the choice of how to spend our last day, I don’t think any of us would spend too much time on social media or web browsing or catching up on a favorite television show. It does help me think about my day to day in a new light.