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Holiday Corner: Giving Thanks - What We are Thankful For

As we near Thanksgiving Day, we thought it would be nice to give our columnists some time today to share what they are thankful for.

A word from Jim Hughes

I am thankful I serve a living God. I am thankful for His active role in my life. I am thankful for daily peace and contentment that enables me to live life free from fear and the need to pursue earthly gain. I am thankful for the love of God for me that allowed Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and His faithfulness in completing the task.

I am thankful for my wife and children. The Lord brought into my life a woman who loves me in spite of me. She is always there to support and encourage me in my endeavors. She loves the Lord like I do, and it is such a blessing to share my life with her. Our children are very special to me. I may not agree with all the things they do in life, but I am very proud of the people they have become.

I am thankful for those friends who have stood by my side regardless of circumstances of my life. They believed in me and trust me when others did not. They embraced me and included me in their lives when others pulled away from me. I am thankful that the Lord brought special people into my life to make it possible for me to not give up. Because of their friendships, I continue to serve the Lord daily in my life.

I am thankful for my certain hope for my future. I know that someday I will be in heaven with my Lord and that knowledge holds me steady in the storms of life. I am looking forward to the Lord’s coming for me.

About Jim Hughes

I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly has a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years. I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son. I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage. I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books. Readers can visit my webpage. I tweet at 4248 and I post devotionals at my blog and on Facebook.

Cornucopia of Words by Michelle Janene

I love words. In the way a weaver creates a tapestry, a writer chooses and arranges words to elicit emotion, stir desire, spur action, and build courage.

With a brush of the plastic tiles, I configure another grand epic and sound rather pretentious. But plunkin’ on my keyboard will make ye’ all feel right at home. There is no end to the possibilities when a blank document sits before me. The blinking curser beckons for words. New worlds can be created, or history explored. It is a storyteller’s sheer delight to play with words.

I am blessed to be in a profession that allows me to be a bard of history and still have time to create and spin new tales of my own. I’m a teacher. I can bring the ancient world to life for my students and take my readers to new worlds in my books. As an extreme introvert there is no greater honor than to capture and hold someone’s attention with words. I love to see my students on the edge of their seats, waiting for what I might tell them next. A quick, ‘Thanks a lot, I was up all night reading your book,’ quickens the beat of my writer’s heart.

I am grateful to have the resources and training to self publish my books. Not everyone gets to live their dream. I do. And for that I am thankful. Joyful for words, stories, readers and the means to see the adventures of my wandering mind come to life on every new page. I have a cornucopia of words and a bounty of ideas ready to be unleashed. I am so grateful to be a writer.

About Michelle Janene

Michelle Janene lives and works in Northern California. Most days she blissfully exists in the medieval creations of her mind. She is a devoted teacher, a dysfunctional housekeeper, and a dedicated writer. She released her first novella Mission: Mistaken Identity in 2015. God’s Rebel came out in 2016, followed by Rebel’s Son and Hidden Rebel in 2017. She has been published in “Guide Post Magazine” and several anthologies. She leads two critique groups and is the founder of Strong Tower Press—Indie solutions for indie authors. You can find her at Strong Tower Press, Turret Writing, on Facebook, Twitter, and on Goodreads.

A Word from Diane Burton

I have so much to be thankful for, especially this year. Our Arizona family (son, wife, and Toddler Girl) announced they were moving to our town. That meant for the first time in twenty years my whole family lives close. They also announced they were expecting twins. The twins arrived a week ago. As of this writing, they are still in the hospital. Thank God, they are both doing well.

Our grandchildren, now numbering five, live close by and love to come to our house. Spending time with them counts as my favorite pastime.

Our children and their spouses are healthy, as are we, and employed, which we’re not anymore. Retirement is wonderful. So thankful we did without during our working days to live comfortably now.

Hubs and I were married on Thanksgiving Day. Sounds strange, right? My parents were married on Thanksgiving. Dad was in the service and was able to get furlough for that weekend. My mother’s parents were also married on Thanksgiving, Grandpa’s only day off from driving a milk cart. For me, the timing was right, and I liked the idea of following my parents and grandparents.

Imagine my surprise when our daughter chose to follow that tradition. Four generations married on Thanksgiving. We’re going to tell the two granddaughters they do NOT need to follow in our footsteps. Why put pressure on them?

Divorce is more prevalent these days than when my parents and grandparents married. According to statistics in 2017, 80% of marriages are headed for divorce within the first 5 years. My grandparents were married 39 years, until my grandfather died. My parents missed their 50th by four months when my dad died. Hubs and I are celebrating 45 years of marriage. Our daughter and her husband will celebrate 19 years and have been together since high school. Our son and his wife married later. They’ve been together for six years, married three.

I am so thankful for my family, their health and mine, thrilled that we all have found our soulmates. God has truly blessed us.

About Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren. For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website. Connect with Diane online at her blog, on her website, and on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for Diane’s new release alert.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Thankful by Rachel Schmoyer

My minivan is old and tired. The paint is peeling off its bumper. One of its sliding doors does not open from the outside. The other sliding door opens, but not easily since it’s a power door that has lost its power. There is a CD player, but no digital music input. That technology is too new for my 2001 Toyota Sienna.

I admit that the mini-van gets me from here to there, but I usually operate it with an undercurrent of discontentment. Other moms have vans with stow and go back seats. Other moms have mini-vans with steering wheels that aren’t cracked and peeling.

Recently, I was driving home when the mini-van’s engine started to shake and shimmy to the rhythm of the blinking check engine light. Into the shop it went. A surprising thing happened while it was in the shop. I missed my mini-van! Sure, it may be beat up and old. But it’s mine. We’ve been through a lot together. Baby number four came home from the hospital in it. It’s the only family vehicle she has ever known. We’ve gone on every family vacation together. It faithfully takes us to school, basketball, and church without ever giving a complaint. Yet in return all I ever did was grumble about it.

After the repairs were made and I got my mini-van back, I was so happy! I didn’t care anymore that it was worn out and old. I was thankful to have it back. It’s true. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or, in this case, absence turned an ungrateful heart into a thankful one.

About Rachel Schmoyer

Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes. If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States. You can connect with Rachel online at Twitter.

A special thank you to Jim Hughes, Michelle Janene, Diane Burton, and Rachel Schmoyer for sharing what they're thankful for. Feel free to chat with our columnists and comment below. We'd love to know what you're thankful for or what your favorite Thanksgiving memory is.

#Thanksgiving #Holiday #GivingThanks #JimHughes #DianeBurton #MichelleJanene #RachelSchmoyer

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