Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Jenny Peters

Today I am proud to introduce Jenny Peters. Jenny is my sister in law. She and her husband Matt live in Northern California with their three kids. Emily, Katelyn and Daniel are our only cousins and my girls just LOVE them! I have always admired Jenny's unwaivering faith, in the face of extreme trials. I also admire how well she balances being a mom, a teacher, a wife and a friend. While she might say differently, it seems like she does it with ease! Here are Jenny's answers to how she tries to keep Thanksgiving in her heart and home all year through.

How do you try and give thanks every day?
On the way to school each day I do two things:
One, mu children and I take turns praying for the day ahead and thanking God for all He has given us. While I find the rote prayers to be o.k. for some things, most of the time I simply like to hear my children's hearts and encourage them to talk with God like they would anyone else. It is important to me that they know they have a Heavenly Father who they can go to at any time with anything that is on their minds.

Two, I try to point out at least one of God's obvious blessings to my children so they can reflect on how much we have been given. We are so blessed. I am so blessed to have Matt, Emily, Katelyn and Daniel and sooooooo much more!

What do you take for granted that you might express more thanks for?
I would like to think that I take nothing and no one for granted. However, I am not perfect and therefore I am sure there is much I have taken for granted (unfortunately). If I were to be really honest I would say I take my extended family for granted. I do not call, check blogs, email, etc. more often. I get busy in my life as a wife, mom, teacher, editor, chauffeur, cook, etc. that I forget to be more intentional about stopping and connecting with those I love who are not in my immediate day to day. I will be more intentional about being a part of their lived from afar. I have so many I love who I do not "see" everyday.

What attributes do you possess that you are thankful for?
I am thankful, first of all, that I am a daughter of the King; that I have been offered grace and forgiveness and love beyond measure. This helps me to be a more gracious, forgiving, and loving person. I am working on these attributes right now! I am grateful God has filled my heart with compassion and a desire to serve others. I am thankful He made me in His image so I can strive to be more Christ-like each day. Any attribute I have comes from Him who made me, and is really because of Him, not me.

Who has treated you with kindness and generosity, and how would you like to thank that person?
I have the most amazing friends. They have always treated me with kindness and generosity, but especially lately with some struggles I have been facing. Many of these women are older and wiser, but some are walking similar paths as mine. They are kind with their words, offering prayer and encouragement and generous with their time and talents - providing meals, hugs, etc.
If I could, I would treat them all to a relaxing retreat somewhere far away from the craziness of life! To thank each of them individually I would say or do something a bit differently. So let's just say that I would like to pray blessings upon each of them for the love, kindness, and generosity that have freely, with no-strings-attached, bestowed upon me.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
We do not have any Thanksgiving traditions that come to mind. Sure we always have a turkey dinner and celebrate with people we love, but nothing stands out as something we "always" do. One or two years we went to the movies. On two occasions, I prepared to shop for the mad rush that follows Thanksgiving! What was I thinkin? This year we will deliver food to those less fortunate with church members in an event called "One Beautiful Day." So, I guess the tradition that we have is that "there is no tradition!" Maybe we will start one this year! I do have a Christmas tradition I can share with you some time though!

Thank you Jenny for participating in my Thanksgiving Series. There is much I can learn from you! CLICK HERE to visit Jenn's Blog "The Peters' Porch"

Today I am thankful for Jenny. While we don't "connect" as often as we should, when we do, it is like old hat. I enjoy her friendship and the way she has always made me feel a part of the family. When someone has a birthday in our family, we can count on hearing her kids sing "Happy Birthday" to us over the phone! Thank You God for Jenny!

CLICK HERE to read today's Haute Plates post - Caramel Apple Pie. YUM!

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