girl height chart web“Thanks, girls, for helping me unpack the fall decorations.“Sure, Mom,” one of my daughters said. “It’s fun to put out the decorations. Especially the candy dish.” Oh, that’s right, I thought. Now I’ll have to start buying candy again!

We unwrapped and displayed each glass pumpkin, harvest sign, and picture of the kids playing in the leaves when they were little. The room was taking on a festive feel. The box looked empty, but one of the girls reached in and rummaged around to see if there was anything left.

“Look! There is one more thing.” She held up a brown journal with a gilded leaf pattern. “It’s the Thanksgiving book!” She flipped through the pages filled with kids’ handwriting, little pictures, and tracings of kids’ hands. Every year, on Thanksgiving, each member of the family traces their hand and writes or draws what they were thankful for that year.

“Aw, I remember this year. I said I was thankful for my teddy bear,” one of the girls said. “And look! I was thankful for my blanket. I still have that blanket — well, what’s left of it!” We all laughed together.

“Look at the tracing of my hand! It was so tiny!” She placed her big hand on top of the tiny baby hand on the page. It was hard to imagine she was once so little.
Once I got my turn to flip through the Thanksgiving book, I stretched my hand out on the page. It was still the same size, but I had grown in other ways. I remembered the anxiety behind the challenges of life mentioned on the pages: the moves, the difficulties of parenting littles, the bigger difficulties of parenting teens, and the hard times in church life.

Although I was still facing challenges, I no longer wondered if God would pull through for me. Instead, my heart was steadfast, trusting the Lord to provide for me today like He always had in the past. I may not know how, but I knew that He would, in His faithfulness and love. In reminiscing through the holidays, I recognized the blessings of the Apostle Peter’s encouragement to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Rachel Schmoyer is the author of Take It to Heart: 30 Days through Revelation, a Devotional Workbook for Women, and blogger at

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