Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We enjoyed back-to-back celebrations- Wednesday with my dad and brother/sister-in-law, and Thursday with the husband's parents, brother/sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law's sisters and their families.  The rolls were plentiful (sign of a successful Thanksgiving, I think) and in addition to everything being delicious both days, it was just plain fun.

As nice as it was to enjoy good meals and a lot of down time, the best thing over the whole long weekend was the people.  I had the opportunities to visit with a lot of people over the break- visits with people from church, visits with family, and visits with friends filled much of last week/weekend.  It was perfect.  I loved learning from those around me as I saw examples of tireless service, quiet thoughtful acts, generosity of time and talents, and sweet conversations lifting and comforting and communicating love.  I could write about 100 acts of service witnessed over the weekend, but two in particular stand out to me.

For the past several months I have watched my sister-in-law work on a quilt for her sister's birthday.  Hours of planning and cutting and sewing fulfilled their purpose as the quilt was opened this weekend by her very surprised sister.  I can't think about that moment when she opened the box without getting teary-eyes.  Surprise was coupled with gratitude and deep appreciation for the hours sacrificed to create such a beautiful gift.  The moment between giver and receiver was beautiful- almost sacred- and love was an unspoken backdrop to the occasion.

The second lesson came from an interaction the husband had with my dad after he took him home from dinner at our home on Wednesday.  While he was here we were all on pins and needles as we watched my dad try to get around.  Every time he stood up we were sure he was going to fall.  He hadn't seemed so unsteady since his first days at our house almost two years ago.  Despite the nerves we felt and the demands of his visit, the husband is very open with my dad in sharing his love and kindness.  He told my dad how glad we were that he could come, how much we enjoy spending time with him, and communicated an open invitation for him to come any time.  My dad was grateful for his kindness but also added that he really only feels at home when he's at his assisted living center.  I've thought about this interaction a lot over the past few days.  I feel a pang of sadness for my dad, but also gratitude that he does feel at home in his current circumstances.  I feel great love for my husband at being able to communicate things with my dad that are often too difficult for me to do.  I feel an increase of love for both of these men in my life.

Mentioning these examples is not to diminish the gracious invitations we received over the weekend, or the aunts helping with kids, or the kids who helped each other, or the dozens of other acts of kindness.  I truly feel overwhelmed as somehow over the weekend my view has enlarged to see each of these things for the love they communicate instead of overlooking their true value as I have for a long time.  

I am always inspired by the amazing amounts of goodness that people have.  There is a tremendous capacity for love and service that each one of us contain.  This time of year always seems to bring out the good in people, and I'm grateful I can witness those examples around me.  I have always felt that people are part of your life for a reason, and I am blessed to be surrounded by truly good people.    

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