What do I have to celebrate on Thanksgiving? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
I am happy to get back to the blog and see that everyone has still been reading quite faithfully. I’m sorry I have not had anything new to post. I was up in Baltimore celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife’s grandparents. We were gone from Tuesday to Saturday so today I am really trying to sit down and take some time out to write a post in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. I simply wish to share what I am thankful for and hope it inspires you to remember what you are thankful for.
First, I’m thankful for salvation in Jesus Christ. Lately, I’ve been reading Blaise Pascal’s “Pensees” and about the utter sinfulness of man and it’s really left me in a state of mind where I’m thinking more and more about how fallen we are and how much of what we do is tainted with our fallenness. The more I think about it, the more I realize that in most every action we do, I am sure some of our fallen nature is coming through. Pascal writes that we should come to God realizing this, and I quite agree. It is through ideas like this that I am becoming more and more appreciative of the great gift of salvation that is found in Christ.
Second, I am thankful for my wife Allie. I have regularly thought of the Proverb that says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” It certainly is true. I was one who was quite sure a good girl would never come along but lo and behold, I found one who for some strange reason is absolutely crazy about me and loves me. It is a concept that to this day I do not understand and I will freely admit, I do not fully realize.
Earlier today we were on the phone with Allie’s best friend in Charlotte who had said that I am one of those people who is naturally confident. I told her that no, that is not the case. I have often been very unsure of myself in the past, but somehow, after I got married, that really changed. The affirmation of Allie has transformed in ways that I cannot imagine. Readers of this blog know, for instance, that my diet has expanded a good deal since Allie came along, something that has my parents and several doctors stunned.
Also, I have been learning how to love someone and I find that if there are times Allie does something that disturbs me, that lo and behold, I can realize that I am guilty of the same thing. Strangely enough, it doesn’t seem as big a deal when I do it. It is quite amazing the way we work in this system. C.S. Lewis once said that we should show as much grace to someone to grant them the best of intentions for actions that we do not understand. Marriage is a life lesson in that.
I am thankful for my immediate family. When we were visiting my grandfather-in-law and grandmother-in-law, my grandfather-in-law made an interesting statement. He wanted us to imagine two people marrying and they each have no other relatives alive. They have no brothers. They have no sisters. They have no parents or children or cousins or aunts or uncles. I had never really thought about that before, but it was quite a poignant question. What would that be like?
Family really is a gift. Where I live, I have my parents right next door which can be helpful if we’re in some sort of emergency. In another house, I have my aunt and uncle, a couple in their 80’s at this time of writing. We go over to see them regularly. There have been times we’ve gone out walking and just come back to have a chat with them. Allie likes to talk to my uncle especially about his time in World War 2.
My parents made sure to raise me up in church but they also respected my freedom to think for myself. They didn’t always agree with what I did, although they’d say I was certainly a good kid who never gave them much trouble. I was also in school the kind of lazy student who never studied much and was playing video games constantly. It’s something that made apologetics such a gold mine discovery for me since it gave me something that I could do and really enjoy.
Today, I’m thankful to have my parents nearby with their learning and a lesson is certainly true. The more you grow up, the more you do realize your parents actually do know some things. It’s quite amazing, but they do. I have often told Allie that your relationship with your parents changes dramatically when you leave home. Being now not just someone who has left home, but someone married, I suspect my parents see me in a totally different light.
I’m thankful on the other end for my in-laws. It’s so great that they are incredibly supportive of me and saw fit to trust Allie to me and we are a great match as they know. They are pleased that they have a son-in-law who is in the faith, in the field of apologetics, and who has Asperger’s. I am in a unique position to understand Allie. I remember times when we were engaged where they would call me asking what I thought about what was going on in Allie’s life at times. Sometimes that Aspie perspective is needed.
I’ve found my in-laws are someone I can turn to. I like how my father-in-law refers to me as his buddy and likes to talk apologetics shop with me and really treats my ideas and thoughts with consideration. I like the relationship I have with my mother-in-law as well. She’s someone who is an encouragement to me at times and is a great help to have when it comes to financial matters. Over Thanksgiving, I enjoyed getting to converse and laugh with my brother-in-law. Allie’s family has treated me like I’ve always been a part of the family, not just the grandparents we visited, but her other grandmother in Nebraska who I can chat with on the phone frequently (And who seems to enjoy losing at Words With Friends).
I’m thankful for my friends. My former roommate is still someone who I can count on regularly and I’m thankful for the fun we still share even though once again we live hundreds of miles apart. I’m thankful for other friends as well such as one in Edinburgh, some twins in Charlotte, Allie’s best friend and her husband back in Charlotte, new friends we’re making at our new church, and numerous others. Friendship really is such a great gift.
Speaking of church, I’m thankful for the new church we attend. We’ve found a place that we can call home. Our pastor understands how we are with Asperger’s and takes the time to let us know privately and gently if we need to change something. I’m thankful that he is a man who is open to having someone in the apologetics field being at his church and shows no sign of intimidation or hostility to me because of my field, as many pastors do.
I’m thankful for the house that we live in. It’s my grandmother’s old house which means it’s one full of memories, but I think she would be happy knowing her home is being put to good use. I miss her when I think about it, but I still suspect that somehow she knows what is going on. We are blessed to be a couple starting out and having a house that we can call our own and build our lives together in.
I’m thankful that we rescued a cat last year who has brought an extra touch of joy to our lives. How can we not smile when we see him come to us and give a cute little meow? We joke about how pathetic he is, but it’s a bright spot in our world. It’s a regular ritual in the evening when we try to think of a fun way to let him know that it’s time for “DINNER!” Animals are a great gift that God has given us.
I’m thankful that to this day I still have my health and my mind. I realize I am not the most healthy man out there, but I’m able to function on a day-to-day basis. I’m thankful that I have a sharp mind that is helpful for reviewing data in the apologetics field. At the same time, I am thankful that my wife by and large is able to keep me humble as she can with this. I have to remember she wants a humble man.
There is much in life right now that is difficult for me, including especially our financial situation, but by and large, there is much that is good. I am thankful for so much this year. I look forward to more next year.