It’s quiet this morning, save for the lovely sounds of soft piano music in the background. A beautiful day is streaming its early morning light through the windows, and my little dog’s body gently nudges against my leg as he finds just the right sleeping spot here on the couch.
Today is my 47th Thanksgiving. For a lot of years, there was the noise of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade serving as the morning sound-track, but this year is different. Actually, it’s different in a lot of ways. This year, I’m back home in Texas after eleven years “abroad” (state lines, that is!). This year, I’ll spend it with extended family for the first time in that same number of years, as we chose Christmas as our traveling holiday. This year, we are living in an apartment, waiting for a house into which we thought we’d have moved long before now. This year, our oldest daughter is living with us, after living away for four years. This year, our youngest daughter is not with us for the first time, ever. And, this year, we received news that we are going to be grandparents; not in the way that most parents hope, but nonetheless, a grandchild will be coming into the world!
Because of this latest announcement, I’m going to be really honest and tell you that these last couple of weeks have been among the hardest of my life. Yet, through it all, my Jesus has been more real to me than ever. Each day He has shown me a sweetness that I’ve never experienced, and He’s opened my eyes to the fact that I really can “thank Him in all circumstances“. What seems impossible at the time, serves to change me, if I but choose to make mine an attitude of gratitude.
So, I leave you with my “ABC’s” of Thanksgiving, and encourage you to make your own, as you walk through whatever God is allowing in your life right now – the good AND the challenging. A focus on thanks will change your heart and serve to make the path a little straighter.
- The AWESOME wonder of God’s creation.
- The BIBLE, which truly is “alive and active”.
- CHRIST, Who set me free.
- DOGS, who make me laugh every single day.
- EMMIE, my baby, who still calls me “Mommy” sometimes.
- FRIENDS, on both sides of the screen who blow me away with their care.
- A GRANDBABY who has already rocked my world and captured my heart.
- The blessing and excitement of a new church HOME.
- The fact that I am of the utmost worth to God.
- The JOY that only comes from Christ and is not dependent on circumstances.
- KEVIN who stole my heart in 1981 and never gave it back.
- True LOVE that always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.
- MADDIE, my first-born, who called me “Mommy” for the first time.
- The power of being NICE and how it can change a person’s day.
- The lesson that life lived with an OPEN hand allows for much bigger living than holding it with a tight fist.
- PARENTS who can be counted on for anything…especially PRAYER.
- The ability to still find QUIET moments in a world that never shuts up or down.
- Enough RESOURCES to not only keep ourselves afloat, but enough to bless others.
- A SOLID marriage built on SOLID Ground.
- TECHNOLOGY and how it makes fulfilling the Great Commission possible for the every man.
- UNCONDITIONAL love and forgiveness.
- The fact that VICTORY is already ours through Christ; we don’t have to choose to live in defeat.
- The WRITTEN WORD.
- The fact that my pursuit of living a life of eXELLENCE is not dependent on my being perfect.
- YAHWEH holds the world in His hands; He’s in control when nothing else seems to be.
- The lesson that a little ZEST added makes not only food more fun, but life as well.
The happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours, dear ones who visit me here. I’m so thankful for you, and the constant delight and encouragement your visits bring.
God bless us, every one.
AMEN, sweet daughter!!! We are so thankful for you and yours and, like you, we are thankful for the new little life that is being formed in God's image, our first great-grandchild. We love you so!!
Mom and Dad
I love your ABC's of Thanksgiving. What a grand idea. I may just do my own list!!
I enjoyed your ABC'S Melinda. I did mine too. We have so much inb America to be thankful for don't we? (:>)
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits
Melinda: I am so blessed by your blog every time I stop by. I LOVED your ABC's of Thanksgiving so very much.
Thank you for starting the holiday season off for me in such a sweet way with your generous gift box. I poured over the journal this morning in my quiet time – enjoying all the verses of Amazing Grace – what a beautiful journal!
I am anticipating two NEW grandbabies in May and spent all afternoon with my first/only grandbaby, Zeke, while my family was gathered around.
This is my favorite part of the song I shared with you:
A dream come true too early
Still can be a dream come true
We will love this child my child
The little one in you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you friend,
Beaytiful … love you so very much!
I pray the very best for your daughter and grandbaby and all of you, Melinda. God bless!
Dearest Melinda, I'm a reader of your blog and I have prayed on many occasions for the issues you share. I'm with you! My story is different from yours, but for some reason it is on my heart to share. I wanted to tell you I remember the day my 16 year old sister walked in our home to let out the "secret" that she was pregant. I was just 14, my mom was only 39 yrs old. She wanted to have an abortion. I will never forget begging her to have her baby. I was young, but I loved the Lord, and I knew that was never in God's plan for her or her baby. It was hard, terrifying, sad to watch my mom suffer, so many emotions were in my home. Long story short, and only through Jesus.. she had that sweet baby boy!!! The Lord gifted my family more than we ever could have hoped for or imagined for…more abundantly than we could have ever dreamed of through my nephew! I know you know these truths about what the Lord can do already, I just want you to know, even though we are strangers, I'm so proud of you. I'm so proud of your heart for the Lord, and for sharing the truths about what He can do for hurting hearts, and the truth about your journey, walking with Him. You have touched my heart tonight….you have reminded me of His faithfulness through your posts…you are special! Your grandchild doesn't know what he/she has coming to him/her by having a Grandma as precious as you!!! That is one blessed baby!!!
You are a gift!!
Thank you for what you do!
In and because of His Love…a sister in Christ,
Beautiful Melinda! I hope your day was wonderful!!
I can just know how full & plenty are the thanks-givings you're experiencing this year.
You're on my own list.
Precious friend, this post makes my heart sing. You've captured the heart and life of the believer in your words, beautifully written once again. Praise Him at ALL times.
When I read your "Mother's Heart" post, I began to pray for your daughter and the life growing within her. Our gracious heavenly Father is the Author and Giver of life, and I KNOW He will cause all things to work together for good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose. So the circumstances aren't what some parents would hope, BUT GOD (one of my favorite phrases in the Bible)can and will be glorified through this. In fact, that's already happening by the testimony of your blog and the choice of your daughter to preserve this tiny life.
I wish I'd made a similar choice at another time in my life and allowed God to work through the circumstances. Alas, I did not, and the price paid was far too dear. BUT GOD… has used even that tragedy and deepest pain to draw others to Himself and minister to young women facing the same fears.
My prayers include you and Kevin and your entire family. May God rain down the riches of heaven upon you as you continue to serve Him, love Him, and honor Him.
Your post just have a way with my tears.
Love you sister,
A beautiful tribute to life, Melinda. Have thought about you tons over the last couple of weeks; have prayed accordingly. May the peace of Christ and his Christmas RULE in your heart as we come to the manger, once again, and bow in reverent pause and remembrance for the gift of grace.