Giving Thanks

I plan on making a list of things I thank God for, but I didn’t want to let this day go by without sharing what I am so very grateful for today. Four years ago, on this day, my oldest nephew Max, came into my life. I was driving to Denton to do something at church, when I got a text that said simply “5 cm”, so I thought I had a while, maybe in a few hours I would head down to hospital. Then, I got one that said “Seven”. Then “pushing”. All in a matter of about ten minutes. So, I turned around, headed to the hospital and waited. We didn’t know the sex of the baby, so when Joey came into the waiting room, we were all excited to find out whether Max or Olivia would be the next addition to the family.

Today is a day to give thanks, to praise God for His provision over our lives and the blessing He has given us. I am so very thankful that I have Max. The Lord has used Max’s words to remind me how I am treasured. Max is happy when I get home, he laughs at my jokes, and he wants to play with me. Max reminds me of something that I lost when JD left. Max reminds me that I am wanted.

God has brought me countless belly laughs in the past four years because of a little guy named Max. I am so very thankful for him.



Here are some other things I am grateful for this year:

1.  I am thankful for the Lord. I don’t even have the words to describe my gratitude. He has provided for my every need. He has never left me, and He never will. Lord, You are the giver of good gifts and I have been abundantly blessed by Your hand. I want to serve you and love you forever. My prayer is that I become more like Jesus and that Your grace, kindness, and hope shines through me in all I do.

2. The Vanderveers: I am so thankful I get to live with my sister, Joey, Max, and Graham. I never thought it would work out as well as it has, and I am so glad I have people to come home to everyday.

3. My family. My mom, step-dad, dad, and step-mom, as well as my other sister, Amy, her husband Jared, and my bro Tyler have held my hands, wiped my tears, and helped me so much this past year and a half.

4. My small group/home group (whatever it’s called). I am thankful for everyone in the group, how you have encouraged me this year, and let me be who I am. I know it’s been hard and, at times, uncomfortable, but God has been gracious to show us how to love each other through pain and joy.

5. Chad and Hiroko Farmer- Thanks for the window unit, because without it, I would have died from heat stroke this summer.

6. Laura, Geoff, Mallery, and Josh- Thank you for your friendship and willingness to travel with me to Boston and hold my hand during one of the hardest weekends. We need to plan another trip, this time, without a depressing agenda.

7. Laura Stewart. my bestie. She lets me talk and cry and get pissed. She lets me watch reality Tv and pretend all is right in the world. She lets me do what I need to do to recover, and she always is willing to go to Target.

8. My job. I am thankful I have one. I am thankful I have one where I work with kids I love. I am extremely grateful I work with wonderful men and women. You bring me such happiness and laughter.

9. Graham David: He is happy, funny, and adventurous. Love him!

10. Karaoke. Games. Movies. and all the things that bring me laughter and joy and allow me to spend time with friends.

11. Hot showers. I never take one without praising God, because cold showers in Honduras really made me angry sometimes.

12. Words of encouragement. I am thankful when friends encourage me and let me know they see how hard I am working in my recovery, and that they see good things in me. Those words are a salve to my soul.

13. I am thankful that my body works. I’m gonna be honest here, with how much I have tortured it over the years with not eating and over exercising, it’s a miracle that I can still stand, run, and function well.

14. Facebook and Twitter. I love that I can see my friends around the world and talk to them.

My desire is to be a person who celebrates Thanksgiving each day, and that I can be someone who remembers the blessings I have and is grateful to the Giver of all gifts. So, here are some pictures of the fun things I am thankful for this year…