Sunday, November 7, 2010


I know the official holiday doesn't come till later in the month, but I just love Thanksgiving.

We've seen firsthand what a game changer gratitude can be. Like a lot of other heaven-encouraged virtues, gratitude by itself doesn't make everything smooth again but it sure does shine an illuminating light to dispel darkness and encourage hope.

Gratitude also helps remind that God really is over all.  Gratitude leads to remembering which leads to trust which leads to confidence.

Gratitude has a soothing way of dissipating worry. And since worry is a complete and utter waste of time and energy, gratitude is energizing.

I love that we recognize and celebrate Thanksgiving.

You can see by Talitha's smile that she loves this time of year too.

The weather has turned a lot cooler but Tali still insists on going outside as often as she can talk someone in to taking her outside.

Her walking is steadily improving and her love for life and people is obvious. There's just nothing quite as sweet as hearing her say "I love you."

She's gaining weight, growing hair, and trying to be about as normal in good ways as we could hope. We try not to think about upcoming MRIs and tests but you have to pay attention to the calendar even when you'd rather not.

Obvious reminders of past trauma are fading with time--e.g. hair has almost completely covered the scar on the back of Tali's head--and that's another tender mercy from God.

What I don't want to see fade is the lessons and the learning. Life can be a series of distractions and competing voices luring away from what matters most. Good vs. Evil isn't just the substance of fairy tales.

God is real. He has a real plan for our happiness. This life is not the end. Families are sacred and they can be Eternal. And what we do in this life matters. It matters now and it matters in preparation for what's to come after this life.

The miracle of trials is that things can get very focused very quickly on what matters most. And when you seek the Lord especially in the midst of trials, He makes His hand very obvious and that seems to compress the time frames for learning vital lessons.

One of the things I’ve learned is that the difference between a trial accelerating your growth instead of stunting your growth can often be traced to the choice of gratitude instead of anger or bitterness.

So much to learn and so little time, but I'm more grateful than ever for a loving Heavenly Father and the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.

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