Goodness gracious, I cannot believe Thanksgiving is over and we’re marching on to Christmas.

Oh the things I would love to write about Thanksgiving and how my heart has been aching with so much gratitude this last week.  We have had friends and relatives in town staying with us, the annual Turkey Trot exceeded all our expectations, we got to host 52 of our favorite people here for Thanksgiving dinner, we had a niece born on my side of the family and a nephew born on Dave’s side within a couple hours of each other each weighing exactly eight pounds (the day before Thanksgiving), we have soaked up cousins after cousins and second cousins too, we got to have Elle home from Hawaii and took advantage of every moment we could squeeze in between all the Thanksgiving hoopla, and as I write, the house is strewn with the remains of Thanksgiving paraphernalia making way for the Christmas tree and nativities and garlands.

So many details I never want to forget, but for now I will just recount three of the things that made me tear up at church yesterday/today (it’s midnight so whichever way you look at it…).  Yes, I think I’m a little tired because I was a little extra emotional today, but here are the three things that made me feel deeply today.  And I’m so grateful for opportunities to really feel.

1)  I looked down our row at church nestled in with Dave and all four of my girls I just felt such an outpouring of love for each of them.  Even after Lucy was feisty and we were late, that love just washed over me like never before because they’re mine.  All of them along with that tall missionary over in Taiwan.  And sometimes it just feels so good to be enveloped in pure love and gratitude that we are enshrouded together as a family.

2)  Lucy couldn’t see the sacrament cups when they came by.  They were five inches in front of her face and she had to feel around for a split second to determine where the cups were as opposed to the holes that hold them.  Just remembering that makes me tear up all over again right now as I write.  But it was strange that at the same time as I teared up about the sadness of losing eyesight, I was tearing up thinking about the Turkey Trot and all the people who helped make that happen so that this may never happen to other kids with BBS.  I’m still holding out the strongest hope that even if some kind of cure doesn’t happen for Lucy, it will happen for other kids and their mothers won’t have to sit in church with fateful realities hitting them squarely in the face.

3)  This beautiful returned sister missionary who was home for Thanksgiving sang the most gorgeous rendition of Silent Night I have ever heard.b
I think I will just put that on re-play over and over this Christmas season because I want to feel just how I felt as I sat in our family row there at church today, my eyes brimmed up with heavy tears, Claire tearing up next to me, making me know that all is well.

No matter what happens in this life of ours, that sacred Silent Night happened, and because it did, everything is different.

Everything will make sense one day.

Because of Him.

My friend was one of the speakers and she talked about how to “live in thanksgiving daily” (great video here about that).

How I love that Thanksgiving introduces us to the Christmas season.  Because that gratitude is what brings pure joy, and the more we live in thanksgiving into the holidays, the more real that Silent Night so long ago takes root in our hearts and brings us pure joy.

How grateful I am that “His love and mercy are with us the very moment we address Him.”  And that He is a “God of second chances.”

And third and fourth and five-hundred-and-seventy-ninth.

And how I hope that we can Remember Him this Christmas season while retaining that pure gratitude we felt so much this last week in our corner of the desert.  

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  1. now i'm welling up, wishing i was sitting next to you and claire welling up. i love this post shawn and i love you so much. wish we were closer for christmastime. you're the best xxx

  2. I thought you mentioned Elle wouldn't be able to come home for thanksgiving as she chose to use her ticket to come home for her boy friend's mission farewell????

  3. I wish I were better at expressing feelings so this wouldn't sound so shallow: I feel very much for you and Lucy. And I hope that she has some peace of mind about losing her sight. I remember from a post a few years ago how she explained calmly that she was night-blind and her grandfather colour-blind. I realise it's not the same, but maybe (and hopefully) she feels the same calmness.

  4. Shawni, I've never commented before! But I had too today. With it being Day #3 for #LIGHTtheWORLD I had to comment and tell you HOW much this post meant to me. I have thought often about how touching this sweet post was about your darling Lucy and the sacrament cups. Oh, as I read that the first time I was overcome with my "Motherheart" that just ached for you. I instantly welled up with tears and just pondered on that moment. So in honor of YOU and your giant "Motherheart" and your sweet Lucy. My family and I have donated to your charity to fight blindness. I shared this story and feelings with my children, we will all pray for your sweet Lucy tomorrow during the sacrament. I love your testimony and all you stand for. You are a LIGHT to the WORLD in all you do!!! Much love and support from another Mother!

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