Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again. A day to express our gratitude for the many blessings we have received in our lives. While this may be more difficult to do some years than others, there are always things that we have present in our lives that have made them more meaningful.
I am thankful for loving parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren… There are so many situations in life where friends can be here one day and gone the next. But when it comes to the long haul, I have found that family is there when it means the most. I am fortunate to be able to spend Thanksgiving with both of my parents. For the past fifty years they have seen to it that a bountiful meal is prepared and a warm home available to spend the day. While the number of family members has decreased over the years, it’s still a special time.
I’ll see my sister and her family and perhaps send an email to my brother, who lives in Georgia. I’m not sure if my children, Patrick and Heather, and their families will be sharing dinner with us or eating with their mother and her family. I’ve been so blessed that they have continued to be there for me during both the good days and bad. It means a lot to have a family that stands beside you regardless of the mistakes you’ve made and been there to help you get back on your feet again.
I’m also thankful for the fact I’m still gainfully employed with a full-time job. I’m 99% sure that this will be my last year in teaching, but for the past 29 years a teaching position has enabled me to support a family, put food on the table, buy vehicles and take care of life’s basic needs. With so many out of work with the current economy, I’m thankful that I have always had work to earn a salary. There are a lot of options for the post retirement years. I’ve learned to take it one day at a time and to examine all the choices and to consider new and exciting avenues I haven’t considered before.
Above all else, I am thankful God has done for me what I could not have done for myself. God continues each and every day to do for me what I cannot accomplish on my own. If you would have told me nine years ago that the events of the past years were going to have happened, I would have questioned your sanity. But the fact of the matter was, at that time I didn’t have much of any type of relationship with God. It was during the darkest days of my life eight years ago that I came to realization that God is really what it’s all about. It’s not just going to church and doing those things to help others that “good God-fearing people do.” It’s all about relationship,,, my daily walk with Him.
I have been blessed with a small, but loving church family that meets my worship needs in so many ways. I have been given the resources to attend seminars that help me to better understand what being in close communication with God is all about. But most importantly, I have been given the gift of faith that has helped me to become more like the person God intended me to be. I only hope that I am able to share with others what He has done for me and perhaps help them in their time of deepest need. I know that despite of what my emotions might be telling me, despite the outward circumstances I may be facing, that there is a God that will never leave me nor forsake me and that, my friends, has made all the difference in the world to me. For that I am most thankful.