November is upon us, and aside from the previously-mentioned novel-writing, another activity common to November is focusing attention on gratitude. So, during this month of thanksgiving, I’ll be devoting my Thursday posts toward expressing thanks for the incredible blessings God has given me.
This week: a short list of people* I’m particularly thankful for this year.
My wife. While the list of my wife’s admirable qualities could be a series of lengthy posts in and of themselves, I will focus specifically on one way she’s blessed me lately: she has demonstrated in recent weeks that she believes in me more than I believe in myself. She encourages me to be creative and bold, to make tough choices and not second-guess myself. She trusts in me. She is proud of me. I can’t begin to explain what that means to me. Beloved, I am thankful for you.
My folks. I haven’t been a great son at times, especially in this season of life in which I’m trying to figure out how to relate to my parents as an adult-child. But I regularly see in new and surprising ways the imprint of my parents upon me–how I think, how I relate to the world, even how I speak. My parents aren’t perfect people or perfect parents; they never claimed to be. But they were and are good parents, who have shown each of their children love, support, and encouragement. I would not be who I am without their constant presence and impact.
My sisters and brother-in-law. It has been a pleasure watching my sisters grow into young women. They are pretty much total opposites, but they share the same strength, loyalty, and generosity of heart that my parents have. I am blessed to have these 2 women in my life. And last Christmas, I had the added blessing of gaining a brother, a man of gentleness and generosity, whose good-natured sense of humor and quietness makes him a perfect match for the older of my 2 sisters. I’m glad to call the three of you my friends, as well as my family.
Our Care Group at Redeemer. When my wife and I joined our new church, the first worry I had was about building relationships. Our previous church had a vibrant young-adult group, and we have many friends there. Our hope was that, when we joined our new church, there would be at least a few people we can get to know. God has blessed us beyond our hopes, by placing us in a community group with about 10 people (and a half-dozen kids) who have welcomed us with open arms and open hearts. It has been a joy getting to know this group, and every time we leave your houses after a meet-up, my wife and I always say, “We’re so glad these are our friends.”
Our tribe of friends at CFBC. That said, we still have deep roots and strong connections with people from our previous church, and though we have moved across town, we still are trying to keep up with the old group. We may not see y’all as often, but know that you are still in our hearts.
My unexpected online tribe of friends. In the online world, we too easily confuse acquaintances with friends, but I can say with confidence that I have made true friendships with people all over the place through social media and through this blog. Guys like Webster, Michael, Darin, and others have been a blessing to me personally, through email and online chats. I’m thankful for y’all.
You. Yes, you, dear reader. Whether or not we know each other, or have ever interacted, I’m thankful that you are taking the time to read this blog. I know that your time is valuable, so reading this far is a gift from you to me. I appreciate that. I hope that this blog will be a blessing to you now and into the future.
Your turn: Is there anyone for whom you are particularly thankful this year? If so, here’s your 2-part assignment: a) Comment below, and share a little bit about the person(s) for whom you are thankful; and then b) Go tell them yourself.
It’s November. It’s as good a time as any to be thankful. So go do it.
*I feel I should clarify: Non-divine people. So Jesus is not on this list. He’ll be back later. *wink*