Tuesday, November 27, 2012


 This year was my 5th Thanksgiving here in Mexico.  If you had asked me what my "5 year plan" was as I was graduating college, I never would have said that I'd live in Mexico for 5 years but hey - who knows what is best for us?  I'm pretty convinced that God has better ideas for our lives than we do.  We just need to say YES when He asks us to commit to something or serve somewhere - whether it's big or small - God knows what is best.

So here is an ode to what I'm thankful for:

I'm thankful for my parents.  I'm thankful for all the ways you took good care of me and made sure that I always had my needs met.  I'm thankful for the trips to Wet'n'wild mom and for your example of someone who had decided to put God as a priority in your life - through your career, your free time, the way you spend your money, and through all your battles with the giant football of cancer God placed in you.  Dad thank you for driving me to school for years and for making all my sports such a big deal.  Thank you for being such a die-hard Gator and teaching me that Florida State is a girls school.  SEC for life!  right dad?

I'm thankful for my extended family.  I'm thankful for all my grandparents - from Canada and West Virginia with all your accents and different family traditions.  Thank you for caring about me, encouraging me and providing for my college education.  Grandma Jones - thank you for sharing our family history with me, for playing board games with me, taking care of me when I was sick, picking me up from pre-school and hosting all the sleep-overs that Laura and I ever wanted.  Thank you for deciding all those years ago that our family didn't need Christmas presents but that we needed to be generous and grateful for all that we already have.

I'm grateful that God so clearly called me to live and work here in Mexico.  I'm thankful for Campus Crusade for Christ that led me to meet Alex who brought me here to Mexico that first time. I'm grateful for the 7 boys that he has put in my life.  I've always wanted to adopt.  But my boys aren't adoptable.  They live in orphanages, without family, without attention - abandoned by their families and by this society.  But on days like Thanksgiving - I'm grateful that I get to be their "mom" even though legally they will never get a shot at a family.

Thanksgiving day my boys had another soccer game.  Up until Thanksgiving, they hadn't won a game and it was starting to eat them up and fill them with anger.  But on this day, not only did we win - we beat the best team in the league.

After the game, we ran on the field just screaming.   My boys said, "Caroline!!! God answered our prayers!! He heard what you said!!!! We finally won!!!!"  At bedtime, we almost always pray for their games to not be canceled, for them to play like a team, and to win.  We always thank God for their soccer coach and for Enrique who paid for all the league fees so they can play.  They've NEVER had the opportunity to play in a league before so this is a BIG deal and you better believe we are thankful.

Right after their game, we went to Back2Back's property for a good ole American thanksgiving dinner with about 200 people.  We had some mission teams here with us that week, all our 50 some staff members and the 50 orphans who live with our staff.  
Miguel loved the conversation questions on the table.  Beth is pretty infamous for these dinner table questions.  Mikey really enjoyed asking everyone what 3 wishes they'd ask for if they could have 3 wishes.  He mostly wants to win his soccer games and go to a professional soccer game and have his favorite team win lots of games.  Notice a theme?

If you've ever wanted to know what a good Mom looks like - wonder no more.  Pictured here in the stripes is Sammy.  She's an awesome mom and together, her and I share the responsibility of mothering our 7 boys.

I'm also thankful for everything that I once took for granted that makes America great - as awful as many including me might claim our public education system is - it's FANTASTIC and I'm proud to say that I'm a product of American public schools - elementary, high school and college.  I'm grateful for our judicial system, for our social services, postal service, public libraries, right to vote, our interstates and the abundance of clean water.

In this season of commercialism, American greed, spending money we don't have for things that we don't actually need but rather want - I want to be thankful.  I want to ask myself what I can give rather than get.

Happy Thanksgiving

No comments: