November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

It is hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving 2013. Every year seems to move more swiftly than the last. We have another year of trials, adventures, sorrows and joy. When you look back over the year since the last Thanksgiving, what do you see that you can be thankful for? Could you put together a Top 5 list?

I have much to be grateful and thankful for, but I have narrowed it down to a Top 5 list. I'm sure many of you will have these same items on YOUR list!

#5 I live in the country.

I never knew what a blessing this was until I moved to the Kentucky countryside the year I got married to Love-of-My-Life. In the rural area we live in, we are blessed with inexpensive utilities, conservative beliefs, and freedom to grow our own food; not to mention brilliant evening stars, fresh country air, little traffic and glorious evidence of God's handiwork in the creation all around. 

#4 I have a great network of support

Friends are amazing. Good friends are incredible! I am blessed beyond measure with excellent friends. I have friends of every shape and size and they keep me going. I've really been working on trying to stay in touch with my closest friends more than usual. I love my sisters of the heart and couldn't go through life without them.

"Friendship isn't a big thing--it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown

#3 I am grateful that I don't have room in my fridge and freezer.

I can't tell you how many times I have said, "Ugh, I can't find a spot for this in my fridge!" It's a simple saying and one we've all said on more than one occasion. Do you stop in that moment to THANK GOD for your full fridge? I have learned to do that this year. The majority in this world have never experienced that. Do you think about that? We are so incredibly blessed to live in a country where food is available every day. Where we have food CHOICES every day. I can walk to my fridge and KNOW that I will find something inside. I have a freezer so full we have to rearrange it regularly! That is an abundance!

#2 My family is alive, vibrant, healthy and happy!

With all the craziness in this world, all the sickness, the diseases...this is something to NEVER take for granted.  I have friends with special needs children--who have to fight every day to keep them alive and fed. Who never know if this might be the last year, week, day they have with them. We've had our share of sickness, but it was never life threatening. We had our share of worries about our boys, but they never lasted very long. My boys can drive me nuts, but I am thankful they can run and jump and play and yell and just be boys! My husband works away from home 3 days/2 nights a week but he comes home each week. He's alive and able to wrap his arms around me. I cherish my family and thank God daily for the privilege of being a part of their lives.

#1 God is STILL God.

This year has brought much discouragement to the heart of man.  We've witnessed horrible destruction from natural disasters. Incredible loss of life because of man's inhumanity to man. Governments toppling and rebels rising. Threats of global war ever increasing. Families being decimated by lies, pride and greed. Children being cast aside like rubbish.

BUT....through all of this chaos and darkness, I know that God is STILL God. He STILL cares about His children. He STILL desperately desires a relationship with us. He STILL honors the incredible sacrifice by His Son Christ Jesus that allows us the incredible blessing of salvation. And, He is STILL moving forward with His plan for the salvation of mankind.

I give thanks for Jeremiah 29:11 because of the promise it holds...

My hope for this coming year is that I will keep my eyes focused on that future and hope. That I will continue to draw close to God, to cherish my family, and to count my many blessings. I don't know what 2014 will bring, but I pray that I can still find many reasons to give thanks.

May you and your family have a most beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!


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