I am taking a break from my usual blogging to express how thankful I am today, Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2021. Yes, even in 2021, despite the downer news daily around the globe, we still have so many reasons to be thankful. And while many of the things I am thankful for happened in years past, remembering and being thankful for them still reminds me that I am not alone. Today, however, I want to look back on what has happened in 2021.
Today and every day, I am thankful for the Lord. Some folks don’t understand how I could be thankful for someone I have never seen or touched, but I can never forget all the things that have happened in my life that I know without a doubt the Lord orchestrated. Those life experiences remind me how good God is and how much he loves me. I am so thankful for his love.
I know what the Lord has done, and I have journaled several life events that I hope to always remember with a bit of help from a pen and paper. The older I get, the harder it is to remember everything that has happened. There are things the Lord has done I always want to remember so I can thank him.
Allow me to share some of what the Lord has done in my life in hopes you will be encouraged during these difficult times.
I am thankful for:
My brother is now 11 months sober. After 35 years of drug and alcohol abuse, he is still clean today and cooking a turkey for all his roommates in the sober house. What a great blessing! His courage inspires me and gives me hope. We can have a brother-sister relationship for the first time in many years.
My parents were successfully relocated from Georgia to Florida and got the much-needed care they required. Dementia is a complex disease for all involved. It’s been a difficult road, but the Lord has provided each step of the way.
A family member of mine recently had a liver transplant. So far, it has been successful. We pray for the family grieving the loss of their loved one, but we are thankful for the sacrifice they made so ours could live. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who made this possible. Praise the Lord!
My grand-nephew Jaxon, who lives with us, is finally getting the help he needs to manage his behavior, speech, and sensory challenges. It has been a tough year, but I rejoice that we are learning more each day. With the therapy support we have received, we can better care for him and provide what he needs to flourish. I am thankful for all the encouragement and education I have received from others in similar situations with their children and family members. Little Jaxon has taught me a lot in the last year.
Parents and grandparents alike post their heartwrenching challenges with the littles in their lives in Facebook autism groups. They share the challenges of their little loved ones and their frustrations with the system, doctors, therapies, and the like. Some have great stories of success, while others do not. I read about the challenges, the fighting among spouses, and the pain they live each day watching their littles struggle. I have learned a lot from being a part of these groups.
Until Jaxon, I didn’t have a full appreciation of what parents and grandparents experience daily. Many families have more than one child on the spectrum and the cost for therapies, if they do not have the proper insurance in place, is unaffordable, so many struggle just to make it through the day. They search online for any free help they can find because therapy is costly. These parents and grandparents need our prayers.
Amid the trials and the tears, I have celebrated some meaningful moments this year. My daughter graduated from college with her teaching degree and landed a job at her elementary school as a kindergarten teacher. On October 30, what would have been my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary (my real dad died 31 years ago), her boyfriend of almost three years asked for her hand in marriage, and she said yes! So, I will gain a wonderful son-in-law.
- my job of 15 years
- my daughter
- food to eat
- provisions for Jaxon’s care
- supportive friends who have walked through the valley with me this year
- church friends who are like family
- multiple friends who have survived covid and the ventilator
- the forgiveness I receive from the Lord when I mess up
- the love I feel from the Lord every day
- ministry opportunities I’m not worthy of
- for all those who follow this blog and my YouTube channel
- and on and on…
I have so many reasons to be thankful and reasons to keep chasing the Lord every day. He is the Lord Almighty, and there is none like him.
When I scan the list above, I can’t help but smile.
2021 has been another unprecedented year for so many people. Life, as we know it, has changed in ways we never imagined, and while it doesn’t look the same, we can still be thankful for what the Lord has done in our lives. I always want to remember the things that have happened in 2021 and be grateful because they remind me of the Lord’s presence in my life.
1 Chronicles 16:34, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Your list will look different than mine, but the blessings are still just as meaningful. Open your eyes and your heart and give thanks to the Lord. Be thankful for today and each day you are given. Please don’t take this life for granted. I know things look and feel tough. But I also know we have a Heavenly Father who sees all, knows all, and is everywhere. Nothing has escaped his sight or knowledge.
Place your hope in the Lord, for he is worthy.
To God, be the glory for all he has done.
I am so thankful for this holiday season, and no matter what the rest of 2021 brings or even 2022, I will treasure the memories and small blessings I received forever.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
With a thankful heart,
The Teaching Lady