This Thanksgiving, it's different. After years of looking at things from one perspective for so much of my life, I have slowly begun changing and thinking about life, my world, my mission here on earth, my role as a mother and wife, just everything...differently. Moving to Austin has been directly from God; I know that now after encountering some people who have changed me and my perspective. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for these people whom God has brought into my life:
Sadie Bell...a lady in my Bible study - her voice soothes me like a gently rocking chair; she loves God with a fierceness and honesty that brings most of our group to tears every time she opens her mouth. She underwent surgery and lost her father in the span of a week, but still came with insights, a smile, and a listening ear. She's more joyful, content, and wise than most people I know; she struggles to make ends meet, and get this...she rides the bus every week to class because she can't afford a car.
Brad Thomas...the pastor of our church - he speaks with genuineness and deep wisdom, asking questions that pierce through all the trappings of our lives. I've heard a lot of pastors, good ones too, but something about his messages and his heart really cause me to think in new ways about my faith and about God's love for me. He has a special needs son and I know that he has a heart for helping and serving, and he inspires me to change and embrace Christ fully.
Garrett Luce...a young boy who recently died in a tragic accident. I didn't know him, never met him, but the stories and the faith that he lived out, have inspired me to re-examine my priorities and my path in life. I know this lesson well, having lived it with my own dad's death, but it can easily be forgotten as time goes by. However, Garrett has left a legacy through the lives he impacted, and the contagion he spread has caused me to look at my life, be thankful for each morning I'm alive, and make my days count, instead of counting my days.
My sister's friend with a special son...she probably doesn't know I read her blog all the time and think of her and pray for her. My girls know her son's name and we talk about him and I just am convicted time and again when I complain about anything in my life that she is walking a completely different path, yet she still chooses to fight and battle. She, too, inspires me to love others and be accepting of people who maybe don't get things as easily as I do.
Most of all, these above people are selfless - sure, they probably have moments of selfishness and are not perfect, but because of their situation and because of their love of Christ, they inspire me to change, too. Selfishness is like cancer; it starts small, and before you know it, it spreads throughout your body until every part of your body is consumed with it and you no longer know your own self apart from the cancer. Meeting these people and hearing about these people's stories this year has caused me to realize how easily I can slip into selfish thinking and spend time making sure my needs are met without considering others before myself. May your Thanksgiving be different and may your heart be open to people around you who can impact you as these people have impacted me this year.