A Thanksgiving to remember

Levi’s first Thanksgiving was perfect.

It wasn’t “normal”, but then again, we aren’t always a “normal” family.

We flew into Hawaii on Wednesday night, just in time to celebrate the big holiday with some of our closest friends who serve at YWAM Kona – the Dutton family.

On Thursday morning we started with a beautiful breakfast of all sorts of American and tropical delights filling our plates, and then headed out to a Thanksgiving service at the Ohana Court here on the YWAM base.

We heard from Loren and Darlene Cunningham (the founders of YWAM), and then together with a few hundred other YWAMers, we thanked God for all that we have and celebrated the fact that life is good.

Make that… Life. Is. Good. Real good.

For our main meal we went to the Hamilton’s house where we had mountains of glorious Thanksgiving fare and ate around tables filled with people from eleven different nations: Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Holland, Canada, Korea, China, Egypt, Palau, Japan, and of course America.

We sat in our summer clothes enjoying gi-normous turkeys full of stuffing – the sort that can only be found in America – while the cool breeze blew through the open windows and sliding glass doors and the sun sank into the Pacific Ocean.

It was the perfect blend between my roots in Oregon and our new home in Australia – a little bit of the tropics mixed with glorious American bounty until our belt buckles were busting.

We feel so blessed to be able to celebrate life and all that we have, along with others that are equally grateful for the opportunities and provision that God has extended to us.

And now, a few of the things I’m grateful for:

  • My freedom to live and worship and speak and be all that I’m created to be.
  • The amazing family that loves me so much and laid an incredible foundation for my life… and the wonderful family I married into.
  • A husband that has become my closest and dearest friend.
  • Our little boy who has turned my world upside-down and taught me what love is.
  • The home we have which is a place of refuge, rest, celebration, fun, hospitality, and growth.
  • Work that is rich and varied and purposeful.
  • Friends that share their very best with me and make my life journey incredible.
  • Technology that allows me to fly to the other side of the planet, speak face-to-face with far-away loved ones, and access the knowledge of the world at my fingertips.
  • A home in heaven prepared with me in mind.

Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, but my heart of gratitude remains. I’d like to reach the end of my days and be able to look back and say that I lived a life of gratitude… not just when November rolls around each year.

A life of gratitude is a life that stays sweet.

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