As we enter the Christmas season, it is important to remember one thing; there is a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas, and it’s Thanksgiving. Sure it is not as flashy or fun as dressing up and getting candy, or as festive and cheery as spruce trees and a rosy-cheeked fat man, but it has some wonderful qualities! There is food, and lots of it, showcasing maybe the only time anyone sees actual cranberries on their table. There is family gathered, including some cousin whose name you don’t remember, and there is that inevitable question that gets asked every year, the same one I asked our staff.

What are you thankful for?

CMc: I’m thankful for new life!

BMc: Very simply, faith, family, and friends.

LG: For Jesus, my husband, my family, and friends.

HL: Family, togetherness, restful seasons, and thanksgiving celebrations.

JE: Thankful for the ability to watch life change, as part of my job.

LS: My job, my family, the ability to work hard, and music.

SW: My wife, my family, the community of our camp family.

RT: I am thankful for a job, and one where I get to work with horses everyday.

AS: Family, friends, my job, and life in general is always something to be thankful for.

DS: Our lives should be a testament of thankfulness! So I will just say the provisions of God!

DSc: My kids, and the strength and support they have given me.

CO: My family, and this beautiful place that I live and work!

Hmmmhmm, now what am I thankful for? Since the idea for this blog popped in my head, I have been trying to think of a good answer. It was a little harder than usual because my heart was not feeling particularly thankful. My heart was in a rather selfish place, so concerned with my own frustrations, failures, and own well-being, that I had not opened my eyes wide enough to look around. My co-workers reminded me of that. Some of the most basic things in my life I have taken for granted. My ungrateful heart has been reminded to love new life, to be be thankful for the surroundings I get to see everyday, to appreciate my community, and my situation, despite what I feel. So I looked around outside, the yellow and dropping leaves, the turkeys rambling across the road, the deer bedded down in the brown grass. The peace is tangible. I went home to search for a verse, and this was definitely the most fitting for my heart.

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… Ephesians 5:20

 So here it is. I am thankful for a redeeming God. One that can use my shortcomings for his glory. A God who chooses to use me in spite of my spirit, and promises to make it new. A God, who can transform hearts, minds, and lives. And, for coworkers, that remind me of the many blessings that I often forget I have. If you too have not taken time to be thankful, I hope this serves as an encouragement to do so. To give thanks always and for everything.