Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

Been “off-blog” for a bit, and have come to appreciate the discipline, time, and effort needed to truly blog on a regular basis, so hat’s off to you “real” bloggers out there!

At this time of year we often pause, however briefly, to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. It’s unfortunate but true that this is often the only time we stop to really be thankful each year, and I’m as guilty as anyone. This has been a trying year for many around the country and last Sunday NorthStar Church held an “open mic” Sunday and gave people a chance to come up and tell everyone what they were thankful for. There were very few dry eyes in the place after hearing story after story of people giving thanks for God bringing them through tragedies such as divorce, loss of loved ones, personal or family health issues, loss of jobs, and on-and-on, but always beginning and ending with “thanks” to God and their friends in the church who helped them through all these circumstances.

Hearing these stories made me feel even more overwhelmingly blessed to be coming through a relatively “uneventful” year (from a negative perspective). I’m so thankful that I have an amazing wife, three wonderful, healthy children, and a job where I can work with churches around the country. We also just enjoyed a fabulous long Thanksgiving weekend together. For the first time in recent memory we didn’t make the trek back to Virginia to be with family and instead Lisa and I and the kids went and spent Thanksgiving in a secluded cabin in the north Georgia mountains (“How secluded was it?”…Turn off a winding paved road onto a narrow winding gravel road, then turn off onto a single lane dirt road…still called a road on the GPS, then follow that uphill on winding switchbacks until the GPS shows you are no longer on any road at all and you are sure you will never find your way out again, and then go another mile or so and you will dead end at the cabin we stayed at).

cabin-fireplaceWe enjoyed time with just us, sitting by the fireplace and roasting marshmallows, playing board games and card games, relaxing, reading, laughing, and having a great family renewal experience. We did drive into the big town of Helen, GA, a unique Alpine village (yes you read that right, look it up or stop by if you are in the area), and saw the town lit up for Christmas and the kids saw Santa.

It was just a great time to unwind, reflect, recharge, and to give thanks for all of our blessings. It is something I should do more often and it shouldn’t take an annual holiday or a getaway to the wilderness to make me remember to do it. What are you thankful for and how often do you remember to give thanks?

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