And Always Be Thankful

In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak and share my story with our Law Enforcement.  It was a different venue than where I usually talk.  I was asked to share why I feel the enforcement of Driving Impaired is essential.  Yesterday was a kickoff campaign for the Holiday season.

Of course, this is near and dear to my heart.  I don’t want another family to suffer the same tragic loss as my family has.  After I finished, I had many of our law enforcement tell me what an impact I had on their lives —  that it brings an honest and human approach to the training —  many of them thanking me for sharing from my heart the most painful part of my life.

As I took in the room around me, I realized how many of these men and women were sacrificing their lives, time with their families to provide a safe and secure environment for you and me. Every day they leave their homes to go out to their battlefield, not sure if they will come home at the end of their shift.   I wonder how many times they focus on the danger they face. I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for their service. However, It was I that was the most thankful person in the room.

In our busy lives, do we stop to appreciate the things we take for granted? Are we truly thankful for everything we have in our lives?  I read a story of a young father dying of cancer, and he listed all the things he would miss.  I didn’t find one item on that list that referenced the big house, expensive car, the top position in his company.  No, it was the simplest of things like feeling the grass beneath his feet, the warmth of the sun on his face.  The special times ahead with his wife and his children.  Daddy daughter dances, proms, weddings, and the joy of that first grandchild looking into his eyes and smiling.

 Those of us who have lost someone near and dear to our hearts understand that desire to have just one more moment with our loved one.  No expectations, no extravagant vacation, luxurious possessions, or elaborate celebrations.  Just a simple moment in time to feel the depth of love we shared. To feel their touch, to smell their scent, hear their laughter and expressions of affection. To look in their eyes one more time and tell them you love them.

Every day my husband will wake up and thank God for the simple things like hot water, heat on a cold day, food to eat, and for God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  He doesn’t focus on the “things” he lost in life, the unanswered dreams, and desires. I often hear him say ‘God gave me a second chance in life, and I will never be ungrateful.”

What if we don’t get that second chance? What if we get that call or the knock on the door? Will all the things we cherish as important mean that much to us at the end of the day? Will that offense we are holding against another matter? Is the fracture in your family unfixable?

Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…. And always be thankful.  Colossians 3:13-15

This week we are celebrating Thanksgiving.  Many of us will be missing someone at our table. This year, I am thankful for those that are alive and sitting at my table, whether it is loved ones or friends. I am grateful for our military, so we have the freedom to give thanks.

 Let us all create a list of gratitude and place deep within our hearts and try and walk it out with those we love. Maybe you need to call someone and make amends before it is too late. Here are a few things I am thankful for:

A husband that loves me as Christ commands, my son who is still living, a daughter- in- law who fills the shoes of the daughter I never had, three beautiful grandsons, my mother I can call every night and share about our days, my family, my friends, my health, legs that carry me everywhere I go (even if they are short)  and most importantly…

That God loved me so much, he sent his only son, that Jesus loved me so much he bore all my iniquities on the cross, that he died, rose again and conquered death. For the Holy Spirit to help, protect and guide me.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Please be safe as you travel, and please, don’t drive impaired.

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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