Well, ’tis the season to be thankful.
I’ve heard it said in more than a few places by more than a few people this year that Thanksgiving is probably the most overlooked holiday in our churches, and frankly, in our world. I think that they have a point. Not to sound like Andy Rooney here, but I feel like each year, we get more and more hyped up for Christmas that we forget the beauty that is a holiday to simply say “thanks” to the great people in our lives and to give thanks for God putting them there (as well as all the other material blessings that many of us enjoy).
So this year, I’ve been intentional in trying to really be thankful around this holiday of Thanksgiving. And to be honest, I think it’s really started to cultivate a great new attitude within my own heart regarding thankfulness and gratitude. Things that I normally just take for granted I’m now discovering I’m thankful for.
This Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I’d really encourage you to make a list of all the stuff you are thankful for. Share it with God. I think that’s probably one of the best Thanksgiving exercises that anyone could partake in. Here’s a few of mine.
1. I’m thankful for family. It’s taken me a while to realize it, but I am super thankful for my family. My mom and dad are awesome; I appreciate how they always keep a positive attitude about everything, and that they’re just solid people overall. As she and I both age, I’m starting to really appreciate my sister, Jennie, as well, despite all her quirkiness. There’s never a dull moment at our home. I have two awesome grandparents who will never let me go needy. I don’t think a person could ask for more than that.
2. I’m thankful for my friends. My first two months at Suncrest reminded me of just how tough it is to be lonely. I really felt out of place for my first little while here. But it was in times like that that I was reminded of how awesome my friends are, and how thankful I am for them. I am so thankful for my BFF (best friend forever, pretty lame, I know) C.J. and his wife Ami, who are both serving at Kingsway Christian Church in Indianapolis. Being away has also made me realize how much I miss my other best friend, Rachel, who is absolutely a joy for me to be around and is probably one of the best listeners and greatest people I know. I’m also thankful for a host of other friends… those from back home in Columbus like Justin, Kevin, Brent, and Ciara, as well as some other friends from school like Mikey B., Kelsey, and Brandon, and also some friends from the church I worked at in Dayton like the LeBlanc family, the Garlands, Jeff Archer, and soooo many others! And of course, can’t forget a lot of the great folks here at Suncrest as well! I’m learning that friends are part of what help me get through life. If you haven’t lately, say a huge “thank you” to your friends, because I think they all definitely deserve it.
3. I’m thankful for our Suncrest staff. I can’t say enough how much I really love working here, and most of that’s because we have what is, quite possibly, the greatest staff in the world. Every day I walk in and I know I’m going to get a chance to laugh and just have fun doing what I love to do with folks like Bobby, Doug, Jared, and others. I’m thankful that people like Kay Roberts and Robin McHugh always laugh at my stupid jokes. If you haven’t had the pleasure, sharing an office with our leadership resident, Andy Kaser, is pretty awesome. I’ve never been a great children’s ministry worker, but it’s sure a great experience when you do it with people like Miss Sue and Julie Coons. Greg does a great job of always leading us and pushing us in the right direction. In short, what I’m trying to say is that I love our staff, and I’m thankful that for every day over the next year, I get to come in and work at a place like Suncrest.
4. I’m thankful for Bobby and Beka Jackson. Seriously. I know that Bobby’s my boss/mentor and it probably sounds cheesy to say this, but I am very thankful for he and Beka’s friendship. If you don’t know this family, you are missing out on the experience to get to know people that really love Jesus and are totally committed to serving him. I couldn’t think of two more refreshing people to be around and hang out with.
5. I’m thankful for Kay Roberts. Kay is like the ultimate volunteer/administrative support staff person. Also, she understands my extremely sophisticated sense of humor (see above), so you know she’s cool. But in all seriousness, Kay has a heart for worship ministry, and watching her serve is always a real inspiration to me. If you don’t know Kay, you should. She’s pretty awesome.
6. I’m thankful for the kind families that have housed me. It’s okay, I know… I’m kind of a slob, and probably not the easiest person to live with. That’s why I’m very thankful to Lonnie and Tonia Marsh from our East Campus for housing me from August to October. And that’s why I am thankful now for the Hines family, who is housing me know. And that’s also why I’ll continue to be thankful for families like the Stooksburys and McAgys who will be housing me in the future. Hospitality is something that is kind of missing in our world right now, and it’s been a super humbling, super awesome experience living with these families.
7. Lastly, I’m thankful for Jesus. I don’t get entry into heaven because of anything cool I did. I get it because Jesus decided to give a gift: the gift of grace. I can never be thankful enough for that.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Share with us!
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