Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving + giving thanks

First off, my apologies for the blog absence. Here are a few excuses for the recent posting gap:

1. The "Our Story" series (episode 1, episode 2, and episode 3, and the final chapter) really took it out of me, writing-wise. Not in a bad way...more of a "that was really powerful, and now I feel at a loss for words" kind of way. It's hard to follow up a God story with human words. Does that make sense?

2. I recently completed the manuscript for a how-to book based on my column for D Weddings, "Hitched in a Hurry," and am working toward a spring book release (more details to come!). I'm also juggling a few freelance projects. So bye, free time.

3. Basically, I've just been doing a lot of reveling in God's goodness.

Speaking of which...

The Kikers just celebrated our first Thanksgiving! It looked like this:

It went like this: North Carolina, in-laws, crunchy walks through fallen leaves, football and fireplaces, coffee and hot chocolate, oranges and cloves, light tours, a castle visit, ornament making, and FOOD. Like, the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. So many good things packed into just one short week.

My mother-in-law's Thanksgiving table was beautiful, and decorations included "leaves of praise." One in particular caught my eye.

It just kind of "popped," you know?

My favorite decorations, of course, were of the human variety. I love having a second family that's not afraid to make a good silly face when the occasion arises.

I should probably mention that Taylor and I also purchased our first home during our visit. Formerly known as Asheville's "Biltmore Estate," this beauty is now officially referred to in my mind as "Kiker Castle."

It boasts a casual 250 rooms, huge gardens, a huger kitchen, and statues of cherubs, so...Christmas at our place this year? Literally, everyone I know is invited.

. . .

On a serious note, more than ever this year I was reminded that Thanksgiving shouldn't be a one-day thing. A lot of concern has been expressed about the fact that Christmas (or rather, the world of retail) has staged a takeover of Thanksgiving as a holiday. At first I kind of hopped on that ship, and said things like, "YEAH. Why IS Hobby Lobby putting up Christmas trees in mid-September?"

Actually, I'm still presently saying that. But the point is, it doesn't really matter. What really matters is that every single day, we bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving and worship and praise before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That every single day, we remember the many ways that we have been and continue to be blessed—and that in response to God's immeasurable Goodness and Kindness, we lay our lives, our plans, our everything down at His feet. We tell the world the reason we can have joy no matter the circumstance. We speak His name at every opportunity. We live like this:

Hebrews 13:15: "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name."

Happy continued Thanksgiving!
. . .

UP NEXT ON THE BLOG: "Christmas Decor on a Dime"—tips and tricks for decking the halls without breaking the bank! (Preview: We spent a grand total of $17 to decorate our entire apartment. Stay tuned!)

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