Day 28-Thanksgivng

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I am just thankful for this day.  thanksgiving-quotes5

As we gather around our tables with our family and friends may we remember what’s truly important;  relationships, love, laughter, appreciation, togetherness, those stolen moments when eyes sparkle with pure joy,  our freedom, our health, authenticity, eyes creasing as smiles appear,  loyalty, our faith.

As we prepared for our meal today cooking and baking, my hubs and I stopped mid-kitchen.  How many Thanksgivings have we hosted?  How many times have we prepared this meal together?  Music on, dancing around our kitchen, we laughed out loud remembering past mishaps, pies that didn’t set, recipes that didn’t turn out, the dreadful turkey mishap of 1996.  He looked at me and said, “Baby, it’s all about the stories and the journey we took to get here.” He continued, “When we are old, think of the laughter and merriment we will bring to our kids and grandkids when we recall all of this!”  Time…thats another thing I am thankful for.  It’s something to never be taken for granted.

Thanksgiving-QuoteMy heart swells with joy when my family and friends enter this home.  To bring them in from the brisk, fall air, into the warmth, to a table overflowing with feast, to football, and piano recitals, to playing games…to hear the exultation that is THANKSGIVING is luxury beyond compare to me.  There.  Is.  Noting.  Better.

May God richly bless each and every one of you this Thanksgiving.

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Day 26- Thankful For Home

Unknown-2We have moved a lot!  Since my hubs and I have been together, we have moved from California, to Idaho, to Minnesota and back to Idaho.  Whilst living in these various states, we have moved to different cities, and different homes.  Every one felt like home to us and our children.  It’s interesting to me when I run across people who for some reason are somewhat displaced.  Maybe waiting for a house to be built, and are in a “temp home”  maybe in between moving to a new city…and they say they cannot stand it, because it’s not home.

Greg and I have always had the feeling that Home is Where You Make It.  In all of our moving, every place felt like home…because, it was.  It was never the “dwelling” in which we were living.  It was the people, the family, the friends, the LOVE that made it our home.  I have told hubs that I could live in the plushest of mansions or the minimalist of huts, and it would be home as long as were were there together.  It’s true.  jolby-home-is-where-you-make-it-print-lg

Unknown-1You see, we learned years ago that our “things” are really only things.  Things on loan to us only for a short time.  Nothing we “own” is truly ours.  We know the Source for whom these things belong.  So for us, home is much more than our address and couches.

This week, we learned that our oldest is moving out of the state.  It was only a matter of time before this happened and we knew it.  Our middle is also moving out of the state.  In a few short weeks/months, we will have two children living in two different states.  We are so happy for them.  We knew to grow and to build careers that they wouldn’t stay here long.  So that leaves hubs and I wondering what to do?  Where to go?  We do not need this big house we are living in.  Our cub will graduate in 2.5 years…and then what?  Lot’s of praying is happening in the Nilges house right now.  Transitions will be happening.

UnknownIn talking to our older pups, they were astonished at the fact that we will be considering selling our house….we were met with “NO!” and “We want to bring our families here, eventually!”  “You cannot sell our home.”  Well, dear children, we are not selling our home.  I explained to them, that our house, this dwelling, is not what they think it is.  Coming home to anywhere that our family is, the love we share, the bond that is the NilgeFam5 is what true home is.  I had a friend say yesterday that “we have such a warm and loving home.”  I tend to think that has nothing to do with our address.

So today I am thankful for home.  A home full of love, affection, appreciation, family laughter, friendship, tenderness, messiness, affection, sensitivity, kindness, warmth, hospitality, favor, passion, snuggles, relationships, and appreciation.  I am thankful that we have been blessed with this house for now and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this home will be full of joy forever, wherever we are…even if it’s a tent, because the builder of this home is who makes it what is is.  A house of love, no matter demographics.  There is a difference between a house and home!

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~Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

Day 24-Thankful For the L-Word

Love.

Is there anything better than love?  Being in love, loving someone else, feeling loved by your spouse, your family, your friends?  There are books about it.  Songs about it.  Poems about it.  Movies, art, and lectures on it.  It’s everywhere.  Inescapable even if you want to.

Today I am thankful for love.  Love is something of an anomaly.  It’s the biggest thing we crave but it can obliterate you within seconds.  Take our children for instance;  they are born and you cannot imagine a better feeling.  Your heart swells to unbelievable proportions.  It oozes from every crevasse of your being.  And then those children begin to grow and you start feeling a difference as they play on the playground, go to school the first time, or drive away in a car for the first time.  They start spreading their wings, and all you want is to hold on to them.  That love…can make you sick.  That love that you feel is now walking outside your body.  images

Or what about your family?  The love of family is an up in the air circus ride.  It can lift you up and toss you right back towards the ground.  It can be beautiful and coarse all at the same time.  On occasion you wonder how you can love someone so intensely and hate them all at the same time.  I think families have a way of calling you on things and behaviors that can build up and tear down.  They can be as sweet as honey or as bitter as acid.  Family love can leave you empty as well as overflowing, uplift or destroyed all in a matter of moments.  It’s a strange and unusual sort of love.

images-2The love of a spouse.  I have been with the hubs for 20 years.  We have moved all over the country, bought and sold houses, raised kids currently in the house and out on their own, traveled the World, argued, been in situations that we weren’t sure how we got into or how to get out, cried together, laughed together, prayed together; you name it, over twenty years there has been a multitude of life lived.  One thing about us, no matter the situation, is our fierce love and respect for one another.  It’s solid, resolute and unwavering.  It’s the thing of fairytales, chick flicks and romance novels.  It was truly orchestrated from above.  No other way around it.  When you meet and fall in love in a God-harmonized way, it is magical.  It’s a love that will never be severed.  images

Then….there’s God’s love.  Agape love.  So intense, so unconditional.  God’s shows us a love that transcends any earthly love.  It’s whole and complete.  Never failing.  His love reaches us beyond all circumstances.  It’s the highest sky and deepest ocean and nothing can separate us from it.  It’s never failing, and will never leave us abandoned.  He can pick up the most broken of people and put them back together with His love.  It’s earth-moving and tangible.  Isn’t that something?  Who doesn’t need that?images-1

love that God designed us to love and be loved.  He crafted our hearts to feel the intensity of this LOVE-emotion.  I love also that He has taught us how to love.  His “manual” is full of love.

Even on the worst days, I am thankful for love.  I am thankful that I feel.  I am thankful to know that no matter what this life hands to me, I am loved and am loved exceptionally and that I love exponentially.  Regardless of circumstance the love that fills me is outer-world, secure, stable, reliable, durable and hugely surpasses any love I will ever have on this earth.

I am thankful for that L-Word…even when my heart is walking around outside my body.. I know that something else is there that fills up every space perfectly and completely. Unknown