It seems the week before Thanksgiving through Christmas runs at full-speed. For the most wonderful time of year it can be full of stress. Given our economy the financial strain on families can make us forget finding the smallest thing to be thankful about.
I live in a city that has been designated the top city for poverty (or something to that affect). It’s easy to forget the positive things and people that impact our lives.
Perhaps this is the first round of holidays where one “celebrates” without a loved one for the first time. I know even a few minutes ago as I slid across a wet deck and landed in a split it felt like the latest of cruel jokes to come my way. Once I shook it off I tried to think of something positive to focus on because so much has felt wrong.
Thankful? It’s a choice. Even as I sprawled across the deck in a heap I realized my knee didn’t dislocate. For that, I’m very grateful.
One way I celebrate Thanksgiving and try to highlight how life-changing being thankful can be is to open my blog to guest posters who share their thankful thoughts. I’ve been doing this for 4 years and it is a favorite tradition for me and readers. Whether the posts are a few sentences or a two-day post, they are inspiring, challenging, funny, emotional, and yes, thankful. The bloggers are published authors, bloggers, friends, family, and those who stumbled on my invite that I do not know.
The guest bloggers this year chose to be thankful, most in the midst of trying circumstances. I thought to encourage you I’d share snippets of some of the thankful posts. May their words bless you beyond measure as you enter into Thanksgiving.
Lee Carver—In the year 2000, a few weeks before Darrel and I were moving to the Brazilian Amazon as missionaries, I fell down the rickety basement stairs at our son’s home. I screamed during the fall, hoping to call the family to my aid because I knew in midair that this was going to be bad.
The pain was so overwhelming that I retched and almost passed out. My left leg was strung out behind me on upper stairs. Darrel and our son, Quinn, and his wife came running. Darrel and Quinn came to my side while Sue watched in horror from above. I reached back and, with both arms, lifted my leg and placed it on the lower step beside the other. The leg wobbled in my hands, and I felt the grinding of loose, broken bones. Words fail to describe the pain.
Darrel and Quinn began to pray, begging the Lord for help, resting their hands gently on my shoulders.
After the amen, Darrel suggested we call an ambulance. They discussed how best to get me back up the stairs. I said, “Wait, let me see what I can do.”
Pulling against the one weak board on the right side, using my right leg as much as possible, I was able to stand. It didn’t hurt as bad as I expected. I turned around with their help, and looked up all those stairs. What would happen if I put weight on the left leg?
It held. Unbelievable. Slowly, I climbed with the good leg and braced with the other and even walked to the car.
The doctor illuminated X-rays against the hospital lights. There were no breaks. Not one. Tears of joy slid down my face, because I knew we were looking at a miracle.
Becky Frame—How do I give thanks for Dad’s death? I don’t. I can’t. But Christ in me can. Gratitude for something like this, that breaks so many hearts and alters so many lives so completely, requires nothing less than a miracle performed by the powerful God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
That God, my Abba, does miracles every day.
Abba, from the bottom of my crippled, broken, bleeding heart, in the name of Jesus Christ, I give You thanks for my dad’s death. Glorify Your name.
Jennifer Slattery—Now, sixteen years later, my hair’s streaked with gray, laugh lines fan from my eyes, and it’s harder to find clothing to compliment my not so complimenting figure, and I’m thankful for ‘till death do we part. I’m thankful that even when I’m at my worst, lying on the couch with hair frizzed out and nose swollen red with the flu, my husband still looks at me with fire in his eyes and says, “You’re beautiful.”
Because over the years, we’ve learned that beauty extends far beyond the exterior, heightened by a love that penetrates so deep, no amount of wrinkles, bald heads, pot-bellies, or gray hair, can distinguish the passion we have for one another.
But most importantly, I’m thankful for my Bridegroom who holds my husband and I together and shows us, through His death on the cross, what it truly means to love with passion.
Ada Brownell—As a result, I’ve written a book, several years in the making, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, which will be on Amazon in November 2011. I discovered medical science shows we are much more than a body—and scripture proclaims it loud and clear. I found Jesus was the same Lord when we lost our beautiful daughter as He was throughout my life and the Holy Spirit is the Comforter.
Holly—I met Jesus today. He was about 6’2″, slender and walked with a slight limp. He’s has 3 surgeries to repair his broken back, but everyday he experiences excruciating pain. He’s got a beard speckled with grey, auburn and black hair. While we talk he nestles his hands under his chin and plays periodically with his beard. He holds a cigarette in his left hand, which is mostly ignored. His eyes speak volumes, as do the dark circles under his eyes. He wears a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and work boots. A former Hells Angel, I see the tattoos on his hands and neck testifying of a past life. He’s been sober 17 years now.Not exactly what you hand in mind was it? Ya. Well, me either.
I’m thankful for this blog, and that Vicki obeyed God to create it. I’m thankful for you. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate