In years past, Thanksgiving was simply a day to gather with family & friends. It was fun; but I never really placed a particular meaning to the day. Today, I'd like to offer a few thoughts.

This past year has been full of turmoil & uncertainty for most of us in a variety of ways. We've seen the world around us go into almost complete chaos. Everywhere we turn, there are murmurings of gloom & doom. Most of us have experienced the pain of loosing a dear loved one and felt the emptiness of lost relationships.

A couple of days ago, I had a long conversation with Mama. I love the talks we have because she gives me so much to think about. After our talk, here are some of the things that have passed through my thoughts:

This Thanksgiving is truly a day to be thankful. When I was growing up, we didn't have an "Ozzy & Harriet" life. There were ups & downs that equaled a roller coaster. But I am so very thankful for my parents. They did the best they knew how to do. Most families have a black sheep. Bless their hearts, my parents raised three. All of their children had minds of their own. We raced head-long into life, eager to experience everything that life had to offer. We ignored their cautions only to bloody our noses at every turn by making unwise choices. I truly believe that the prayers of a Mother go straight to the ear of God. We've all come through those years with some scrapes and bruises ~ but with a renewed & stronger relationship with the Lord. I used to say that when Mama prays, I'm in trouble. God seemed to take special note of me & my actions and would put me back on track without delay. Mamas ~ don't ever under estimate the power of prayer.

Children are a gift of God. I have been blessed with some of the most wonderful & challenging gifts imaginable. They followed their Mama's footsteps and rushed headlong into life. They are acquiring their own bumps & bruises; but in the tradition of my own Mother, they are mentioned to the Lord daily. This morning, my youngest son called. He lives in North Carolina and is having Thanksgiving with friends. In his haste to contribute to the gathering, he volunteered to bring the turkey. He had no idea how to cook a turkey, but he did know how to use a phone. The calls started yesterday ... "Mom, how do you cook a turkey? It's not thawed yet, so can I just put the frozen turkey in the oven and cook it?" My first thought was 'oh my gosh, food poisoning!'; but I started digging through my stack of cookbooks to find a solution. By this morning, the turkey was adequately, (and safely), thawed. He put me on speaker phone while we went through the turkey preparation together. As I hung up the phone, the prayers began. The prayers of a mother are often required. I have found that the most challenging time of raising children isn't when they are small and tearing through the house like a tornado ~ it's when they are gone.

Now that the kids are grown, Honey and I are readjusting to the empty nest. With just the two of us now, I am seeing him in a new way. He's my rock. I am so very blessed with a husband who loves the Lord and cherishes me. In these turbulent times, I feel more secure than I have ever felt in my life. With God as the center of our lives & our home, we will make it through anything that comes. Wives ~ pray for your husbands. God hears the prayers of love from wives and He strengthens their husbands and their marriages. Husbands ~ nothing will endear your wives to you more than knowing that you love them enough to take their cares & concerns to the Lord.

The greatest blessing of all is that God loves me. He loves all of us. I heard one time that something is only as valuable as the price another is willing to pay for it. God values us so much that he paid the ultimate price for us ... His Son. Christ paid his own life for our salvation. In this sacrifice, we are purchased. All we have to do is reach out and receive that salvation. God looked beyond my sinful nature and saw someone worth saving. That to me is love beyond my understanding. But, I am so very thankful for that love.

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 118:29

This is a good day to examine God's grace & mercy and make a renewed commitment to walk closer to Him. No matter what lies ahead, God is with us and will guide us through the storms. Find peace in that promise and join me today as we focus on just how great our God is.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may the Lord bless you.

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