Thirty-five. (30 days of thankfulness - day 22)

On Thanksgiving Day, I celebrated thirty-five years on this earth.  How did that happen?  Wasn't I just turning 25, arriving home from dinner with friends in Nashville, and then stunned by a surprise party at our little abode in Hillsboro Village?  Back then, I was about 85 times tanner than I am now, with bushier eyebrows and a lot more makeup.  I guess I had more to prove then.  I certainly haven't "arrived" and keep discovering more about myself that I want to refine and change.  But there is something about the thirties that has helped me settle into more of who I really am.  And it gives me joy to realize that most of the people who were at that party are still close friends.

I love when my birthday falls on Thanksgiving, because I usually keep forgetting it's my birthday.  This introvert is perfectly fine with that; I'd rather be wrapped up in the wonderfulness of the holiday.  This year we got to spend Thanksgiving weekend with our dear friends Paul and Brooke in smalltown Athens, TX, about an hour from Dallas.  Over the course of this weekend, I was reminded again how much my soul craves smallness, how the love of a small town's simplicity and slower pace of life is deep in my bones.

The day was so memorable from beginning to end.  I was with my husband and daughter, my two best gifts.  It was a coolish breezy fall day, causing brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves to shower down on us the entire day.  A gorgeous table with mismatched chairs was set outdoors; about 20 of us held hands and gathered around for a prayer.  These were precious people who made us feel like part of the family. There were wild red wagon rides, moments in the wooden swing, chalk drawings, and some light drizzle to drive us inside to embrace the coziness.  And at the end, a double rainbow arched across the sky, God's little promise to me.

Another year of this perfectly imperfect life, and I couldn't be more thankful.

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During the month of November, I'm practicing "30 days of thankfulness" - will you join me?  Use your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to voice your thankfulness for something every day in November.  My hope is that this daily routine will create in me a heart of thankfulness and gratitude, no matter the day or month or situation.