Speaking of Esther.

My house is really quiet tonight. Only a few of us are left now that everyone’s left for Thanksgiving break. It’s the kind of night made for writing and cooking and spending time with Jesus beneath the twinkle-light fort we built this week.

We built it for our Ginger’s birthday soiree. It was quiet and sweet and full of joy, like she is. And then we threw the most epic Friendsgiving party of all time.  Fifty plus people showed up to crowd around tables, drink wine and eat delicious food prepared by the CGA women and friends.

Someday, some men are going to love having us as wives.

I feel blessed. Tired, ready to hug my parents and eat good food and blessed. The LORD has proven Himself to be an Ephesians 3:20 God over and over. This is consistently a season where every new day is my favorite day, despite the challenges of community and new jobs, despite the heart that is sometimes unfaithful to it’s purpose.

I’m listening to a sermon series now that talks about Esther. She’s my favorite Old Testament heroine, and today, Mark Driscoll spoke of her differently than I’d ever thought before. He talked about how hypocritical she was.

He said that Esther’s story was proof that the LORD blesses wayward children trying to move toward obedience. He said a lot more than that, obviously, but it made me breathe a little easier to hear just this piece. I’m learning slowly-by-slowly, that I don’t have to carry the whole world on these slender shoulders. I don’t have to have it all together or know what I’m doing.  It’s even okay that sometimes I’m a little wayward. Sometimes I’m the hypocrite. Sometimes, I don’t do everything right.

For example, for all my good intentions, the amount of times I’ve actually gotten up at 5am to have Jesus time is fewer than I’d like. Has that stopped me from mentioning an early morning wakeup call in many a conversation?

No, of course not.

But it’s okay. The desires of my heart is to be with the LORD, to follow Him. I’m not perfect, but He is making me new always. He is disciplining me to be a woman up before the sun, a woman who is slow to speak, and who hides all these things in her heart.

And in learning how to do that, I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a God who loves me as I am, but too much to let me stay that way.

I am thankful for a house full of women on journeys with a similar end destination as mine.

I am thankful that there is a man in this house who loves us each for ourselves and serves as the big brother figure many of us never had.

I am thankful for a job I love and a team I respect.

I am thankful for a family who has clung together despite everything and whose broken pieces find their redemption in Jesus.

I am thankful for my own broken places, for the places where unfaithfulness has splintered me, for the hurts I’ve sustained, because they show me where I need a Healer, a Savior and a Lover.

And most especially, this year, I’m thankful to be going home for Thanksgiving, to cook with my mother and introduce a dear friend to the family I love.

Glory upon glory upon glory. There is so much to give thanks for.

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