A Heart of Thanksgiving

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As the calendar rolled around to the first of November, I noticed that many posts on various social media sites are focused on 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Friends plan to post about something they are thankful for each day of November. I thought about joining in, for indeed this November I have a heart full of thankfulness. But I know a)I really do not have the time for daily postings, and b) I admittedly do not have the discipline (or brain cells) to remember to post something each day of the month.

Since I have taken a five-month hiatus from my blog (for reasons that will become evident in this post), I decided to share all in one place some of the things for which I am most thankful this November ~ to express the gratefulness in my heart and to update many of you on the events of the past five months.

A Heart of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for:

  • Tony, my dear husband, who survived a near-fatal heart attack on May 21st.
  • God, who was pleased to give us more time together.
  • The life-saving team of paramedics from Kingsburg Fire Department who responded to my desperate 9-1-1 call at 10 pm that evening.
  • The surgeons who placed three stents in Tony's blocked arteries to save his life.
  • The faithfulness of God to supply all our needs during this time of healing and growth.
  • The wisdom and generosity of our New Path Center Board of Directors for their guidance and grace during the months of recuperation.
  • Family and friends who prayed for us, visited us, cooked for us, and carried this burden with us. We continue to feel the love!
  • Our new heart-healthy eating habits ~ our diet is nearly all plant-based and we feel terrific. We have lost a combined 50+ pounds since May!
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  • The joy of living in the same town as our daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Jeff, and our three precious grandchildren. Some of the best medicine around. Such a blessing! (They loved Grandpa's hospital bed.)
  • The turn of the seasons ~ fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love living in this agricultural area, and like the orchards around us, we shed the remnants of a busy year and prepare to enter a season of rest.
  • Birthdays! November brings two birthdays to our home. We celebrate my birthday in a couple of weeks (I will be 59 for the first time. Really.) And we remember the sweet sixteen years we had with Scott on what would be his 32nd birthday.
  • The blessed hope of a glorious reunion with loved ones who have gone before ~ what a comfort to know that the best is yet to come.

My heart rejoices this November as we truly could have experienced such a different outcome last May. This coming Thanksgiving, almost six months to the day of Tony's heart attack, we will gather around the table with family to rejoice and acknowledge that the things for which we are most grateful in life are, indeed, not things!

A Victim of God's Design

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I have a friend who lives in Democratic Republic of Congo. Luc is a fine young man who was my translator when I taught at his seminary in Kinshasa a few years ago. He has tried on numerous occasions to acquire a visa to come visit my family in America.  But Luc's application has been repeatedly denied.  In the face of this rejection, I love his perspective . . . 

I am a prisoner in my own country ~ 
a victim of God's design.
But oh, what a lovely victimizer,
who has never allowed me 
to walk the streets naked
or go to bed without at least a pinch of a loaf.

With Thanksgiving only days away, many in my country will take time to express their gratitude for the many good things that fill their lives.

And, if they are like my own family, they will sit down to a Thanksgiving feast, with culinary delights prepared to perfection; to consume a couple of day's worth of calories in one sitting.  Incredibly, they will save room for the array of desserts to be enjoyed later in the evening.

But this Thanksgiving, Luc's words seem to echo in my head. I am convicted of my own indifference at times toward those less fortunate. I am challenged to check my assumptions ~ what things in my life I take for granted as rights, when they are, in reality, privileges.

Luc's words bring an renewed awareness this season of how often I forget that I too, am a victim of God's design ~ that He is the one who provides this life filled with so very many comforts and conveniences.  He made me who I am and allowed me to be born in this nation of plenty. This Thanksgiving, I want a heart focused on His design. I want to be fully aware that I am nothing without Him.