Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who read this blog.

May God flood your week with thankfulness.

The holiday season is upon us. As seasonal events and shopping get added to our schedules, I really want to be quiet this coming week and thank God for His blessings.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1 Thessalonians 5:16)

Things I am thankful for in 2023:

  • The birth of a beautiful grandson.
  • A child graduating from high school.
  • A child graduating from a trade school.
  • The trade school child landing an amazing first adult job.
  • A child traveling to another state to tackle a financial issue head-on.
  • A child being an amazing first-time mom and starting a business.
  • A husband getting emergency surgery just in the nick of time.
  • The privilege of teaching in two prisons.
  • The privilege of teaching two One Gritty Blink studies (see below)
  • The honor of having other ladies teach two additional One Gritty Blink studies (totaling four).
  • Watching God meet the needs of my sick friends. His care has been so specific and kind. Each has been a bright light for Jesus in a dark diagnosis. I am humbled to know them and to watch them.

This is the “pretty list.” It is honest, but it’s a quick read, and life is always more than a list of bullet points. Each item listed above is devoid of description — missing the struggles, hurdles, intense conversations, and tears that saturated each one.

Each member of my family has been brave.

The above subtitle reveals what I am most thankful for this year. It is not lost on me that what I am most thankful for was birthed in trials. My 2023 rejoicing has been hard won.

We are to give thanks in all circumstances, even difficult ones. Each of our children has faced trials and forged new paths completely unfamiliar to them with a courage that has earned even more of my respect. I am praising God that my husband is alive and I am proud of him for facing a new way of life with bravery and grit. Not once has he thrown up his arms to quit, though I know he has felt like it.

I am thankful to God for enabling me to be brave too.

The list of 2023 has been scary. I have watched it all and lived it all. I have had control over how I responded to my own challenges, but have had no control over the struggles of others. I could only come alongside and pray. I have had to practice 2 Timothy 2:7: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

I know that the bullet list of your year only skims the surface as well. This week, thank God for all of the unseen mercies and graces that only you and He know about. After all, it’s never about what the public sees, is it? Our faith runs much deeper than that.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

Picture Explanation: I get this serenity in my neighborhood! 

Speaking of living with a thankful heart for God’s story: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

14 Responses

  1. Laurie: once again you have crafted such a Jesus honoring blog post, every word of it! Thanking Jesus for His light that you bring to your family, students, friends, and incarcerated men!! May you have a quiet week of gratitude!

    1. Thank you, Dear Friend, for reminding me that it is all under His grace. Trials play a part in forming our character. Character is hard won. A life in Christ is hard won. So is obedience. I am grateful for YOU! You have played a role as one of God’s tools to form me and my life in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for my dear friend!

  2. We all have much to be thankful for.

    Thank you, Laurie, for your weekly posts. I’m supposed to write a prayer letter every couple of months and I’ve failed to do that this year. But you put out quality posts every week! Thanks for your faithfulness and for the excellence you bring to your writing and for allowing God to use your writing skills to inspire, challenge, and encourage.

    1. Thank you for these kind words. It’s a miracle really. I just pray and write and post, praying God uses me somehow. Nothing fancy is going on.
      That being said, if we want to talk about the deep inner workings of our soul that are slowly giving God more room, then something fancy it going on! Ha! But it’s Him. All Him.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.

      1. You just pray and write and post. YOU MAKE ROOM FOR GOD TO USE YOU, AND HE DOES. It is a beautiful sacrifice as you make space in the midst of such a busy life! I love you!

  3. Among many things, I’m thankful for this blog that is so raw and real. It ALWAYS makes me think deeper thoughts and I know it does for many others as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your readers!!

    1. Thank you, friend, for appreciating raw and real. I just want to be honest. No secrets. No games. No hiding. Just honest. And you appreciate it because you are the same. Thanks for another year of being out there. 🙂

  4. Thank you, Laurie for your genuine love for Jesus and for sharing your life with us each week! Your posts have meant so much to me, especially this year. I am very thankful for you and your ministry this Thanksgiving!

    1. Ah, yes, it’s been quite the year for you too. God has pared things down to just Himself, hasn’t He? He has used suffering to test our hearts to see if our faith is genuine. And when He sees that it is, our faith if more precious to Him than gold.

      In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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