The Thankful Tree

ThankfulTree
Our tree isn’t quite like this…

This year, Jen found a great project online called a “Thankful Tree.” It was a simple printout that we put on a wall and had leaves that we cut out. Every day the girls would write down something they were thankful for and tape it on to the tree. Our tree is just about full and it is really interesting to listen to the different things the girls are thankful for.

There are a plethora of “big picture” things I am thankful for, and the struggles and events of this past year has made me even more humble and grateful for the things I have. I’m sure it’s the same for you. However, I was thinking to myself what specific things I am particularly thankful for this year. A few came to mind:

Dry Firewood
Last year we had a short supply of firewood. Rain had gotten to some of it and the stuff we had received at the last minute was still pretty sap filled. This caused us to run the heater more and struggle a bit on those nights where we were burning the firewood. This firewood isn’t that efficient at heating as well. Over the course of this year, we were able to get a lot of dry dead trees from local people in town by checking out craigslist. In addition, Jen’s folks had a large tree fall at the beginning of the year and gave us about three-fourths of it, which has been drying out all summer. As a result, we will be able to run our fireplace all winter without worry, have safe/efficient burning wood, and even have enough wood for next winter.

Side Jobs
The economy has been rough on everybody over the past few years. With some increasing health expenses and some bills to catch up on, the standard paycheck wasn’t making ends meet. We had started talking about me commuting to Phoenix for work, since the pay was better, but even then it was hard to find employers that would hire a commuter. Fortunately Jen landed a part time job doing web updates from home and I’ve been able to find some small side work that required some night or weekend computing from home. Thanks to these, things are getting manageable again.

ESV Bible
Jen gave me a pair of ESV bibles earlier this year as a gift. I had no beefs with my NIV bible of 10 years, but I had heard about the new edition that came out a year or so back, and respected the community of historians, theologians, scholars, and others that worked on the project. I have a “study bible” chalked full of commentary by R.C. Sproul and others. More importantly, I have a “plain leather bible” as well. Over the past few months of reading it during my devotional time, I’ve found that simply reading the chapters, with out all the “interruptions” of cross references, commentaries, and maps, very natural and intimate. It has helped my spiritual life grow that much more.

So what about you? What specific things are you thankful for this season? Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

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