3M: Thankfulness

Thanksgiving in the US typically begins the holiday season.  Lots of parties will take place from now until New Years.

If one is not careful, this week will become just a necessary event to get to the really good stuff, like shopping on Black Friday.  Today, I was looking at some of the ads for Black Friday and saw that Wal Mart is starting at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night, Best Buy at midnight and others will follow.

I was in Texas for Thanksgiving in 2006.  I remember one young man telling me that he spent all of Thanksgiving on the parking lot of Best Buy so that he could be first when they opened the next morning at 5 a.m.  Now they are opening at midnight.  All of this just to save a few dollars (well, maybe more than a few!).

In 2009, I was in Wichita Falls for Thanksgiving and drove to my sister’s house to help get things ready.  I drove by Best Buy at noonish and there were already 3-4 people lined up for a store that wasn’t going to open until 5 a.m. the next morning!  That is persistence.

I don’t fault these people for what they did, I just worry that Thanksgiving is going to lose its meaning due to all the rush to get to the next big thing.  I love thanksgiving.  I love sitting around the table and speaking of what we have been thankful for in the last year.

I love the smells, the preparation, the food, and then watching the Cowboys play.  That is what Thanksgiving means to me.

Last Saturday, I sent out my weekly Pray: Donetsk newsletter.  In it, I listed things for which I am thankful.  Most importantly for me is to serve a Lord that loves me and watches over me.  I could not live overseas without seeing how He watches over me.

I am thankful for two sisters and other family members who love and support me.  They did not choose for me to live overseas.  I know it was hard for my mom to “let me go” live in Ukraine in 1994.  She always supported me though.

I am thankful for the opportunities God gives me.  It’s hard to imagine that a boy who grew up in Jacksboro and Lone Star, Texas has had the opportunities I have had.  I thought my life would take a completely different path.  But, wow, God has blessed me with lots of opportunities.

I am thankful for friends He brought along the way who invested in my life and molded me into the person I have become.  I am afraid to begin listing people as I would forget someone!

My prayer for you is to take time on Thursday to reflect over the ways you have been blessed in the last year and thank God and others for those blessings.  Life is too short to not be thankful and to enjoy life.