|The pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving 2013 coming out of the|
oven of the Margin Gem cookstove.
1. I'm thankful for steady, relatively secure employment for both Nancy and me. Even though school is the chief source of stress in my life, when it comes right down to it, I do find my work rewarding.
2. I'm thankful that we live in an area of the country where God's provision results in abundant food and fuel. When my aunt Cheri, who is a missionary in Africa, talks about the difficulty that she and the native people have sometimes had in securing fuel to cook their food, I realize how closely tied these two items really are. We often hear about how much food is wasted in our society, but I'm amazed at how much fuel we let go to waste in our part of the world, too.
3. I'm thankful for our home. With homelessness being such a large problem, I'm thankful that we have not just a house to live in (albeit humble and still in need of a great deal of work), but a home rich in family history and memories.
4. I'm thankful for our parents for several reasons. First, they raised us in Christian homes.
Second, they have remained married to each other. Nancy's celebrated their 51st anniversary in August, and my folks celebrated 42 years together yesterday. I am continually amazed at what a huge difference it makes in the lives of my students if they live with their own two parents rather than an assortment of step-parents or transient live-in mates. Each year of teaching makes me more and more thankful that my parents have held steadfastly to their marriage vows.
Third, my parents and Nancy's parents get along great with each other. This is one of the best blessings that our parents could have given to Nancy's and my marriage. We all had supper together at our house last Saturday night, and Nancy's folks will be with us for Thanksgiving at my parents' house tomorrow. The friendship between our sets of parents makes our lives so much easier.
Fourth, both sets of our parents are very generous to us with their time and resources. Even after over nine years of marriage and being fairly independent people, I'm humbled by how much we rely on our parents in various ways. I see this in other families who are our friends and neighbors, and I cannot fathom what it must be like for those who cannot rely on their parents for whatever reason.
5. I'm thankful for our remaining grandmothers who are two of the sweetest women God ever created.
6. I'm thankful for the blessing of having siblings and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law whom we get along with and enjoy the company of.
7. I'm thankful for extended family, the aunts, uncles, and cousins who play such a large role in our lives, and for our many friends.
8. I'm thankful for our six nieces and nephews who help fill the void left by our own childlessness--especially my brother's sons who live only a few miles away and see us regularly.
9. I'm thankful for the "wife of my youth" who still loves me and makes my life interesting.
10. I'm thankful for our church family and the opportunities that we have there to serve Christ together.
11. I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can still worship God. I often feel that many things are not on the correct track in the U.S., and I sometimes wonder how long we will be allowed to worship freely, but at this moment we have that right, and I am thankful for it.
12. I'm thankful that God knew that we needed a Savior and sent His Son to save us. Without that, everything else is pointless.
Oh, and #13. I'm thankful for this blog which has allowed me the opportunity to visit with so many people regarding woodburning cookstoves. Nancy's thankful for it too because otherwise she would have to listen to me all by herself. ;)
I'd better stop there. I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!