Sunday, November 23, 2014

Slow Down, Remember, Give Thanks

     It's time to get the turkey out of the freezer and let it start thawing -- only 2 more days of school this week! Lots of traffic in town and a long line at the fast food place yesterday-- people are busy with Christmas shopping. I need to make a list of food to prepare for Thursday's meal, a list for Christmas, and start the testing at school while decorating for the holidays. Amid all this busy-ness, I was reminded at church this evening that I need to slow down, remember, and give thanks.  At the end of a message about the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus -- and only one stopped to give thanks -- Pastor Tom asked us to write something that we were thankful for on a paper leaf. As I started writing, I soon realized that there was not near enough room on that leaf to write all the things I am thankful for.

      So this evening I decided to do just that -- slow down, remember, and give thanks for the many, many blessings I have.  I am thankful that when I was a little girl about 11 years old, my heart was stirred during a revival at a little church in West Virginia and I knew I needed a Savior. I am thankful for my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents who worshiped and served at that little church, and for all the old saints who prayed for me and encouraged me as I grew up. I have sweet memories of those days. Thank You, God.
       I am thankful for the sacrifices my family made to make college possible for me. I got to go to West Virginia University where I found a new church family. I graduated with a degree in elementary education -- what a blessing that has been! Thank You, God.
       Church camp -- EvUnBreth Acres -- was another big influence in my life. I am so thankful for my summers there where my faith and circle of friends grew. I met one of my best lifetime friends there, and I have many memories of feeling so close to God in that beautiful location. Thank You, God.
        And then there was the mission trip where I met my future husband --- I could never thank God enough for the man he chose for me. To love and be loved by him has been the greatest blessing of my life. And  our 3 children -- words can't express my gratitude for the privilege of being their mom. Thank You, God.
         My churches -- and there have been many since we have moved around with the military -- have all been such a blessing. From the Army chapel where we worshipped as newly weds -- to the churches where my children were baptized and we first taught and served -- to the church in the town where we finally settled after the Army -- all have given us a family and friends and made our faith grow.
           I can see that my trip down memory lane could barely scratch the surface of my list of things I am thankful for. A good job, precious friends, my brothers and cousins, nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, healing from cancer and Sam's heart attack, opportunity to live and travel in Europe, mission trips, my chorus, scripture, and about a million answered prayers --Thank You, God!


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