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 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.