Thanksgiving always seems to sneak up on me…and well, here it is again! This Thursday is the big day. I try to think about all the things I’m thankful for and all the ways I’ve been blessed on a fairly regular basis, but this week I’m especially thinking about it.
There are all the obvious things that I am thankful for… food to eat (never have I gone hungry), a house to live in (never have I had to worry about shelter), clothes to wear (I have a nice warm coat for this cold weather), and good health (yes, I have some health issues, and though they can be a nuisance, they are nothing life threatening).
There are things that I am thankful for that are unique just to me. Things that have personal significance and mean so much, even though on the surface some of these things might seem odd for me to be thankful for.
I’m thankful I was born in the United States…. I’ve always enjoyed freedoms that so many in other lands do not have. I never had to worry about bombings, oppressive regimes, or starvation while growing up. I’ve always been proud of the country I live in and think that even though we might have some problems, we are still, hands down, the best country in the entire world.
I was born into a loving Christian family. I had parents that loved me and made sure I was taught about Jesus. (I’ve always thought my mom is one of the most intelligent women I know….hope some of that has rubbed off on her eldest daughter!) We attended church weekly and I knew that God loved me and Jesus died for me. I’m thankful that in 1979 I made a decision to give my life to the Lord and then to follow in baptism.
I’m thankful for my sister. I don’t tell her enough that I think she is a great sister. Sure she drove me nuts many times as we were growing up. She mercilessly antagonized me until I blew up and threatened her life…..but I also remember playing with her, wanting to share a bedroom with her for a while, and having her hang out with me when I was in college and she was still in high school. She is now a great wife and mommy and I am proud of her. (though even now she likes to challenge me and beat me at games whenever she can!)
I’m thankful that I have relatives that lived close by my entire growing up years so that we could get together on a regular basis for birthday parties, holidays, and just to hang out with each other. My cousins were more like brothers and sisters then cousins. I’m thankful for all my wonderful memories from childhood, memories I look back on with an affection that can never be replaced.
I’m thankful I had the opportunity to attend a small Baptist liberal arts college, 500 miles from home. I learned to live on my own. I made friends. I took on responsibilities. I studied hard. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree.
I’m thankful for my very first job in a small, rural town in the mountains of Tennessee. I was an outsider. (Sort of a modern day “Christy”.) I grew to love my students and they grew to love me. I’m so glad I started my teaching career in that school system. I learned a lot about people. I learned that poor doesn’t mean ignorant, and that community pride is contagious. After that experience, I went on to teach individuals with special needs over the next 15 years and have gained many hilarious, touching, and sad stories to think back on and muse over. I feel like I made a positive difference in the lives of my students and their parents.
I’m thankful that I married when I was 24 to a man that taught me a lot of things about life, and then taught me a lot of things about dying. When he got diagnosed with his terminal heart condition I learned about human nature and emotion and how he dealt with the knowledge of knowing he was dying. Dying can be a difficult, scary and ugly business. (After all, we are all dying it is just that some of us realize this fact and others don’t.) It was a painful lesson in many, many ways. I learned that being widowed was not the end of my life–and God is still good and He continued to bless me even during that most difficult of times.
I’m thankful for my son. Due to a medical condition, I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to get pregnant ….but to my great delight after 9 months of a near perfect pregnancy and just 2 days after my 27th birthday I was given one of the best gifts ever. A beautiful, healthy baby boy. I will be thankful to God for the rest of my days, for allowing me the opportunity to be a mommy.
I’m thankful that after 5 years of widowhood God blessed me with another husband. True, we didn’t meet in a conventional way but there is no question in my mind that he is the one that God chose to bring into my life. We are coming up on our 2nd anniversary shortly, and yet it seems like we’ve been married much longer. (is that because we are wiser and more mature this time around, or we just have lost our sanity and don’t know any better? The jury is still out on this one:) I love my husband and am glad that he loves me too!
I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to love and be a motherly influence for all of my husband’s children and family. There is plenty of love to go around…that is the great thing about love–you can’t “out love” someone. The love tank just keeps getting refilled. As much as I am teaching them, they are teaching me too. I’m blessed to have them in my life.
I’m thankful that I was able to resign from my teaching career and become a stay at home mom. I enjoy the new life style of home schooling and am grateful that I live in a country that allows my husband and me to teach our children how we choose.
I am a much blessed and very grateful woman. I challenge you to think of all your blessings. Thank God for all He’s allowed in your life, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!