Thankful.

Things always look the same when you come back after being gone from some place for a while. They tend to do that. We change but things often stay the same. 
With much anticipation I look forward to December. Coming home. Nothing like coming home for Christmas.  I have gone longer without seeing my family but something about being here. living here. doing this. makes me believe the embrace and reuniting at Christmas will be one of the most sweet moments. Living in a country such a this makes you realize more clearly the many things that you have. the life you got. without even trying you compare. you see what children have here. you look at the homes they live in and wonder why it is you are one to get so lucky…. suppose this may be question number 2 when i get to heaven. (first one being how is there still water in the sky after it has been raining for days and days)
Before jumping on a flight home though first I will celebrate Thanksgiving. I will be spending it in Guatemala City with Stephanie Riley. The first part of the day will be spent on a bus between Pena Blanca, Honduras and Guatemala City but upon our arrival we will be having Thanksgiving in the city at a hotel that hosts Thanksgiving. Molly and Faye are coming as well (English first timers for Thanksgiving). (my family will be having Thanksgiving in Texas, my sister, Josh, my grandma, my parents and some friends, I will be the missing person, but rest assured I will be missing them more)
I so look forward to spending the holiday with one of my oldest friends. From the same middle school, to the same high school, to Costa Rica, to younglife camp, to college (Alabama to Colorado), to Alabama Auburn game in Tuscaloosa, to post college jobs, to a summer visit in Estes Park Colorado, to celebrating friends wedding in Georgia, to now being Central American Neighbors, to her visit a month ago in Pena Blanca to now me visiting her in Guatemala. Stephanie I cannot wait to celebrate with you all that I am grateful for, especially in a new country. (well technically we went to Guatemala last weekend :))
In my class yesterday we made a list of the things we are grateful for. My kids listed everything from chocolate, to their families, to their dog, to jesus, to baleadas (honduran tortilla with cheese and beans). I explained to my kids that Thursday is Dia de Gracias in Estadios Unidos.  With  a bit of wonder and confusion in their eyes they smiled and said “OOO”. (they are so cute)
I am without words far to often to describe how good I have it. 
  • Grateful that my kids call me “Miss”. What is often annoying and sometimes wears me out is the sweet voice of kids that love and hug regardless of how much I yelled minutes before.
  • Grateful for the warm weather in Honduras. For being sun kissed in November. (although it has been unseasonably cold recently)
  • Grateful for having a place to be excited to come home too. (Texas and Kentucky will be seeing you soon)
  • Grateful for parents that support and love me well even when their crazy daughter decides to move more than a few times, move to Colorado, go to grad school, move to kentucky, quit grad school, move back to Colorado, move to central america. 
  • Grateful for the promises that God has a plan. Plans that far exceed my imagination, and my dreams. Plans that will both challenge, grow and stretch me. Plans that are good. Grateful for the hope in that.
  • Grateful for yummie food in Honduras. For eating and drinking too much on my birthday so I now feel like I should only eat vegetables for the next week or two. (kidding)
  • Grateful for people that were once strangers who to me are now family. We work together, live together, travel together,  complain together, laugh together and teach kids in this place together.  
  • Grateful for kids humor. For them telling me that my dragon looks like a duck. For asking them how to spell the number six and ready with a pen in hand as I am writing on the board he stands up and spells “S—E—-X”. Goodness I had to laugh.
  • Grateful for Yoga. A place that is my escape. To sweat out some of the stress of here and to continue to improve my practice.
  • Grateful for dear friends. Friends that take the time to send messages… desire to send mail but cannot. for those that wished me well. for those that read my blog to make sure i am ok. to make sure i am doing well. grateful for those that though may be distance or it may have been years since i have seen them but yet they are so close still. 
This list as you can imagine could go on and on….. could become really simple as well. Some of the simplest things in life are what I find I am most grateful for. 
Hope you find thanksgiving in the simple pleasures. In the constant. Knowing that there is a God out there someplace that loves you dearly. That you are dear to him. Greatest gift and greatest thing to say thanksgiving for…

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