The holidays always begin with a time of reflection and wonder about how we got from the first day of the year to this final push to another calendar year. Just how we survived and conquered all of the challenges and opportunities that 365 days bring is truly something to be amazed at, and definitely be thankful for. This year has certainly been both beautiful and incredibly hard. From a full calendar year of employment for myself (something I haven’t had in over three years) and the opportunity to take mine and Heather’s collective passion and begin the process of starting a business out of that dream, to the honest difficulty of navigating the rhythm of marriage and the struggle to maintain the ties of family…this year has been packed full of both wonderful and incredibly difficult moments. But both are exactly what to be thankful for. That we have the opportunity as two people, both similar in tastes and extremely different in thought processes, to struggle and overcome the challenges of life is more than amazing. We are thankful for so many things. That we have our base needs taken care of, from shelter and food and clothing to gainful employment and free time together, well, we make it in this world even if by a fine thread at times by the grace of God.
We are thankful for family and all that implies, from excellent models of togetherness to the opportunity to change those things that are often barriers to depth in relationships. We are thankful for Emory, who over the course of the last 15 months has been a constant source of happiness, laughter and comfort…with only a little frustration! We are thankful for the freedom we have as human beings to be honest with ourselves and the direction we feel our life should go in, from moving in place and focus in my ministry to how we spend our energy in both experience and documentation of our life on a daily basis through Heather’s lens and heart. We are thankful for a God that we believe in that is not forced into the boxes so often created and fought for by those who are religious and/or political. As a husband, there is not much I can ask for that Heather doesn’t already give me. I am personally thankful for how she loves me in spite of my own idiosyncrasies, how she often forgives me and challenges me to be a better man and is protective of who I am and what I want to become. It is rare to have someone in your life who is so present to all these joys and challenges of life together, and who shows from her love and care of Emory to how she gives to everyone from the closest friends to homeless strangers how life can be lived well.
Together we are figuring out how to live in a way that shows those around us that love wins, that all are accepted by the God we believe in no matter what, that honesty is best in a world of thin veneers of false successes, that generosity is a lifestyle and that at the end of the day and the end of each year we are alive and we are together and we have enough within us to do all it all again for another year. We hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving and we are happy to wish you all a very happy holidays!
P.S. These are some Thanksgiving 2011 family pictures that we wanted to share as we haven’t taken any of us all in a while and we wanted to share them. We want to thank you all ever so much for sharing in a little glimpse of our world with every day and every post. We live our life openly and this blog is merely a by-product of those moments lived out loud. We enjoy all of you and your consistent and wonderful kindness that comes our way. Simply thank you. ~Heather