Reminder to be Thankful

Thanksgiving Eve doesn’t get the hype as Christmas Eve, but just the same I (Joan) want to take a moment to remind all to count our many blessings. Yesterday I had the incredible honor of keeping my granddaughter Elia for the day. She hangs out here a couple days a week, but yesterday was extra special because she was 11 months old, so we sang and did the happy dance and had so much fun that napping was not on the agenda. And since she will be with her other Grandma in MO over her 1st birthday (yes, I do have to share), we lived it up yesterday!

Last year at this time we were barely breathing as we awaited her very high-risk birth. “Pins and needles” I believe we called it! Didn’t seem fair after having 3 special needs children ourselves that we were again in this precarious position of awaiting our first grandchild under such duress. But last Christmas we celebrated a miraculous birth and with each of her following check-ups we breathed a little easier. Elia is a charmer at 11 months, and we will never forget God’s grace on this family.

Of course, we have much to be thankful for this year. My back surgery and surrounding recovery going terrific, my brother Joe falling 12 ft face first on concrete and miraculous recovery, we are still a seizure- free home after 35 years of daily bombardment of those terrible “lightning strikes of brain,” and we have amazing tranquility in our home despite daily challenges of caring for 2 special needs children and their grandfather. Compared to the rest of the world we have an abundance.

Before Moses sent his Israelite crew into the promise land, he had some words of reminder: “There (in the promise land) in the presence of the Lord, your family will eat and rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you!” (Deut 12: 7) I love this encouragement he gives them to keep looking forward and see what is coming! So tomorrow, you can bet I will be eating and rejoicing with my family – celebrating the blessings in my own little “promised land.”

But I can’t stop here. Moses went on to contrast what the Jewish nation was experiencing at that very moment, “Do not do as we have here today, everyone doing as they see right in their own eyes!” (Deut 12:8) Ugh! So, our reality! Surrounded by evil, pain, and everyone interpreting life the way they want it and not seeking the face of Jesus for His truth and purpose.

I Peter 1:3 reminds us, “though we can not see Him, you believe in Him and are filled with inexpressible joy.” Yes, Peter, I am! And not because all is “right” around me but because God is still on His throne, His presence is nearer than if He was walking beside me. As we enter Advent season, I believe His coming is near. Like wise men of 2,000 years ago eagerly awaiting the Messiah, I want to encourage us all to be among the few who do not forget Who is about to come back – to be ready – to let my light so shine to attract others to Jesus and to be thank-full for this promised blessing! Happy Thanksgiving!

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