I know -- we’ve all heard of “Christmas in July”, but why ‘Thanksgiving in July’? Today as I was driving home from having a late lunch with Granddad, I started thinking about all that I have to be thankful for. And I was overwhelmed to say the least! I know that I will not include everything that I am thankful for, but I just need to write this list now. So, here’s just a beginning of my ‘Thanksgiving in July’:
~~~ God is still on His Throne … With everything going on in the world today I know Who wins in the end. And I’m so very thankful that He has a home waiting for me.
~~~ Godly children … Our daughter and son-in-law both are children of God. Over the past 5 years, we have seen them rely on God for their every need. And even now, not knowing what lies ahead, they are allowing God to be their Guide. We told them from the beginning that their marriage was between God and them – and they have put Him at the center. Lucy is being brought up to trust in God for everything she needs. What a blessing to see their family serving God and our country!
~~~ Parents … Both of us still have our parents living. We are very close to my parents, and having them within an hour and a half in physical distance is a blessing. There are so many young children who will never know a parent. So for us to have come this far in our lives with our parents is truly a blessing. I know that whatever may come our way, I can always count on my parents being a support for us.
~~~ Health … Granddad and I are still in very good health (despite a few little quirks). We have family and friends who are battling health issues including cancer, recovering from horrific wrecks, depressions and various other diseases and the list goes on. Although we have no idea what we may face in the future, right now we are very healthy and praise God for this.
~~~ Career … Granddad has worked for several different companies, but his current firm takes a different approach: family is important. The company has grown and prospered over the past 13 years that he has been there – God is good! I’m thankful that he followed the career path that God had laid out for him. He could have easily taken another road, but this is where God wanted him all along.
~~~ Childhood … Yes, I am very thankful for my childhood. I’ll write more about this later, but here’s just a little synopsis: my parents and I lived with my Granny and youngest Aunt until I started 2nd grade. One Aunt lived beside Granny with her family (2 girls), my Uncle lived behind Granny (2 girls), another Aunt lived just ‘around the hill’ (2 girls, 1 boy), and another Aunt lived a few miles away (1 boy, 1 girl). (I am 8 ½ years older than my sister, so she basically grew up with one of my cousin’s son). My Granny showed us that the most important aspect in life is relationships. I am still very close to my family even though we live several hours away.
~~~ Church … We have been a part of different churches over the past 26 years of our marriage. It’s always been very important to us to have a ‘home church’. Our current ministry is like no other that we have experienced. Our mission is to “reach those who have been untouched or unaffected by traditional churches, and bring them to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.” Every aspect of our ministry is met with one question “How is this reaching those who have been untouched by churches?” God is bigger than the box we put Him in. And He can use even the smallest aspect to reach someone within our grasp.
~~~ Prayers … It used to be that when a person asked if someone could pray for him/her, it was automatically assumed “what in the world is wrong?” I am so past this … Every single one of us needs prayers. If it weren’t for prayers, I couldn’t make it through even one day. I appreciate it and am very thankful when someone comes up to me and says “you have been on my mind lately, and I just want you to know that I’m praying for you and your family.” I believe that God knows what I need before I know what I need. Why wouldn’t He have His people praying for me when I don’t even know what I need? So, for those who pray for me and my family – I can just humbly say Thank You.
~~~ My husband … Okay, so I did save this for last. One of my previous blog posts tells 'the story of' Granddad and me . But I want to elaborate just a little. I have watched my husband become a child of God after we first got married. And I’ve seen as situations, crises and events have challenged and grown my husband into the man of God he is today. He works hard for his family and never complains during the extremely busy times. He always makes time for our family no matter how hectic things get at the office. He is a God-fearing, God-loving, God-devoted man. He uses his gifts and talents to honor and glorify God in church. He will be the first to tell you that he never knew what 'playing music' was all about, until he started playing to the audience of One -- our Lord Jesus Christ. I simply cannot imagine going through this journey of life with anyone else but him. My husband is my best friend, and I love him dearly and have the utmost respect for him. God truly blessed me with Granddad.
Sometimes when life gets at a hectic, chaotic level, a little Thanksgiving may be just what is needed. Paul wrote (Philippians 4:11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. My prayer is that when I am having a down moment, then to start thanking God for all of His blessings He has given to me. God is so very good, and I am so very blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving in July!