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So Very Thankful

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. ~Psalm 107:8-9

A season of giving thanks is upon us. Thanksgiving; a day set aside to count our blessings and to give thanks. Truly, one of our best holidays.

An atmosphere of love and gratitude is set as our tables fill with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. The comfort of food, the love of family and friends, and the peace of Christ dwells in our hearts as we gather around and give thanks to Him.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. ~Psalm 100:4

My mom taught me a lot about giving thanks and being grateful. Her life was simple, yet so rich. She focused on what she had and not on what she had not. She was generous and her hands were always open, never clinging to the things of this world. She spent her life serving her family and she taught me that the greatest work I could ever do was inside the walls of my own home.

I remember when I had three young children under the age of 3 and life was full of diapers and dishes. I stayed home with them. Working outside the home just wasn't an option for me at that time. I wanted more; more time for myself, more money, just more of anything but diapers and dishes.

My mom's words to me were..."Let Mike make the living, Carolyn, but you make the living good." These words struck me and forced me to change my perspective. They took my focus off of me and put it onto my sweet family. "Making the living good" for my family became my passion and it still is today. "Making living good" meant preparing meals that brought healing and health. "Making living good" meant having a servant's heart and not a selfish one. It meant slow down, learn to communicate better and figure out how to work through conflicts. (still working on this one!) "Making living good" meant teaching my children to love God with all their heart. And more importantly, that He loved them more than they could ever fathom. "Making living good" meant surrender and contentment instead of striving. It meant finding joy in the simple...a bouquet of flowers from the garden, homemade bread on my table, and reading stories together as a family in front of our woodstove. On and on I could go, but honestly, it is the simple things of life that bring the most joy.

Mom's words of wisdom settled me and turned what I thought I lacked into realizing all that I had was more than enough.

What does "making living good" for those around you look like? Ponder this as you give thanks this holiday. What can you do to "make the living good" for someone you love?

Pray my mom's thanksgiving prayer with me...

Dear Heavenly Father,

Our hope is in You. You provide us food for all seasons. You open Your hand and care for all creatures of this earth. You care for the land and You water it.

So great is Your power. Let us all rejoice in God, our Father. May we always be thankful for the harvest and for all the good things we have. (mainly each other)

In Your goodness You have given us gifts our forefathers never dreamed of having.

Mercifully grant that we may never be so occupied with material things that we forget the things which are spiritual.

Although we are many, we are all one body in Christ. The gifts we have, have been given to share.

May Your Spirit of love make us one indeed, working for the Father's Son, working that His will be done and that we are the sign of His love.

We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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