During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips every day. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, (Psalms 92:1-2 NLT)
Every year since the boys were little, we've made it important to take the 30 days of November to remember to be thankful. I'm sad to say that this is the first year that they haven't been willing participants. This, however, has not stopped me from being thankful. I hope that at some point they will join in :-)
Day 1 - I am thankful for my salvation. I am also challenged this year more than I have been for a while to make sure that everyone knows that Jesus is my Savior. Not just my friend, prayer partner, umbrella for when times get tough or the guy I think of in church on Sunday. He IS THE ONLY way for me to have fellowship with the Father and make Heaven my home!! I know this isn't popular in today's thinking, but it doesn't change that it is the truth. Jesus is the BEST thing that ever happened to me. He IS my best friend. I DO call on Him when I am praying and He IS a help in times of trouble. But all of that is possible, because when I was 10 years old, I asked him to save me and come into my heart (By way of the Holy Spirit), I have not been perfect and I've still failed Him, but I have tried to live for Him most of my life. THAT is why He can be all those things to me. If you don't know Him in a personal way - Today could be the day!!
Day 2 - Today I am thankful for my boys - ALL of them. Andrew, Zachary and Anthony have changed my life, over and over again. Drewby waits in Heaven for me and I can't wait to see his face. Zachary and Anthony have grown into fine young men (not perfect, but they are a work in progress). This season of my life is new. The boys are grown and although in my life that may look a little different than in others, it is still a change from when they were little. Many of the "growing up" traditions have changed and especially Anthony has begun to develop his own life. So my life at this point is a single woman, who can no longer work, but isn't free to just do as I please. My sons are grown, but I am not fully able to just leave them on their own. It's a strange dynamic, but one that I am sure I will adjust to. No matter what the future holds, I will always be thankful that in 1998, I went from a newly married woman to a mother of 3 - 2 of which had just started school! It's been a crazy ride, but I don't think I'd change very much, if I could.
Day 3 - I am thankful that Heaven is my real home! This world is just a holding place while my Father prepares my mansion. I don't really care about the mansion, but I do know that God is preparing a place especially for me. One day He will send Jesus to take me home. This is a promise that I can depend on! In John 14, verses 1-3, Jesus tells us that we shouldn't worry, because He's coming back for us and taking us home. What a great thing to look forward to!!! Now, that being said, they is lots of work for us to do, while we are here! I pray that I will do the work God has called me to do, to the best of my ability. I don't want ANYONE to say that they missed heaven, because "I" didn't tell them!! I challenge you to do the same!
Day 4 - Today I am thankful for my 3 closest friends on this earth, Kimberly, Debbie and Rachel. To say that we have been through a lot together would be a gross understatement!!! Our friendship had crossed state lines, weathered, sickness, death and all kinds of tragedy. We have experiences, single life, married life, divorced life, births, adoptions, teenagers and just plain joy along this journey together. I am truly blessed with many friends. I am thankful, as some cannot say that. However, these 3 woman share my heart. I can't imagine the last 20+ years without them. For that matter the next 20+ either!! We don't get to spend as much time together as any of us would like, but I know that any time of day or night, I can depend on them and I hope they feel the same. I love you, my Tennessee Golden Girls!! Can't wait to see you all this weekend!!!!
Day 5 - Today is Anthony's 19th Birthday. WOW, it's hard to believe that almost 17 years ago, he entered my life as a 2 year old. We've been through a lot. He's my first child, but yet my baby. That whole birth order thing didn't seem to be as important at the time, but I've learned a few things along the way!! Anthony struggles. He has low self esteem and unresolved anger. He is Bi-Polar and ODD, He has many challenges. He's come a long way, but still has trouble excepting who he is in Christ and why that makes the difference. I love all my boys with all my heart. I don't know how to be any other way. But I guess like most mom's our attention goes to the one who seems to need it the most. Zachary and Anthony have competed for this spot most of our lives together. Right now, Anthony is the focal point. I don't love him more, I just see his struggle is greater at this time. Please pray for him - and me!! I know that he needs me and I know that in some ways, I have to let him go. This balance has proven much harder than I ever imagined. God has big plans for Anthony. Sometimes Anthony forgets that we need to patiently wait and runs ahead with both barrels blazing, only to find out that it was God, but Anthony that wanted that path. These are the growing pains that we all experience. The ones that made our parents concerned and sometimes lay awake at night praying or in tears. It seemed easier to be on the child end then it is on the parent end. It makes me appreciate my parents so much more, but that's another post ;-). Mainly, I just want to say that I AM very thankful for Anthony and I covet your prayers on his behalf and on mine. I know God has a plan and like the comforting words to an old Twila Paris song, "I Will Listen" and I pray Anthony will too.