This time of year is so wonderful! The cooler weather, shorter days, and changing leaves; yes, even in the Southwest, some of us have the chance to enjoy the changing of leaves.
Even more enjoyable and special is the outpouring of thankfulness which society overflows with so freely. In a country such as ours, it is sometimes so easy to take the blessings we have for granted. To just forget that there are so many others who are not as blessed with things as we are and to almost begin to believe we “deserve” what we have.
Our family has the deepest understanding that we don’t deserve what we have been blessed with in life, and are fully aware that God has bestowed amazing blessings on us. Throughout the past years of economic instability, there were times when it would have been completely realistic for my husband to lose his job, but God saved us from that pain. Through strong leadership and reliance upon God, no one in my husband’s company lost their jobs. We all shared in the suffering of pay cuts and things to help manage finances, but we were blessed to remain employed.
A few years ago, I had a health scare near my daughter’s birthday. The fear of possibly facing treatments and potentially not being around for later birthdays brought fear that sometimes seemed greater than I could stand. Through God’s great intervention and blessings, the suspected illness was not debilitating and something minor.
At times, I look at instances such as these as “The Big Things”. Major occurrences when individuals and families normally run to God, as we should, and we are usually able see His handy work when things work to His glory. It’s the “other” times where I fail so often to see the daily blessings of God’s graciousness, not only to me, but also to our country.
The most basic evidence of His love for all of us is the sun rising in the east every morning. This seems like such a basic, given happening, that I forget to be thankful for its consistency in my life. The evidence of my children’s growing independence, able to do so many things on their own, should also remind me to be thankful. The talents each of them have been given by God and so joyfully share with our family and friends, are blessing I sometimes overlook, although I don’t overlook them on purpose. It seems though, when life is going well, we begin to take the credit for our successes and happiness and, in a way, take life for granted.
The freedom I share with my family and friends to speak freely of our likes and dislikes, to share our dreams and fears openly without hesitation or fear of punishment, is another instance where I forget to be thankful each day.
When we see the disruption of life in places such as the Middle East or the lack of freedom in so many countries around the world, the realization of what we truly have in America is brought into such a clearer view. To be able to express ourselves on virtually any topic and in such a variety of ways is something some people have never experienced in life and may never experience, given their circumstances.
Let’s not be naïve, we have serious situations that need to be addressed and altered in our country, but they are nothing like some other countries in the world.
Then there is the confidence I have in Heaven. Being able to express that daily and knowing its promise should bring me to my knees each moment of the day, yet I take the most important thing in my life for granted. Having the ability to worship in the way we believe is a freedom we should all cling to and fight to keep in our country. It is the bedrock of America.
As Americans, we are exceptional in thought and talent; however we sometimes believe it is all our doing and I still believe credit needs to be given to God.
I am so thankful for my life. If someone had given me the opportunity to “plan” every moment of my life, there is no way I could have planned or imagined the family, friends and opportunities I have been entrusted with from God. I don’t ever want to take my life for granted. I hope none of us will.
May God bless you, your family and friends with a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday. Let’s all remember to hug those we love, thank those we admire and praise the One from whom it is all given.