Thanks for hope and a future

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We have a November tradition to decorate the dining room with leaves of thankfulness. It’s a simple idea: every family member is given four paper leaves on which they write four things for which they are thankful. ‘Mom and Dad’ have been written on at least one of the leaves every year, which is a relief since we are the meanie kind of parents who make their kids do chores and eat quinoa.

Reading the heartfelt expressions is pure delight, often because they awe me. My son cleverly wrote, ‘I’m thankful for cars and planes because they allow people to come visit us.’ My oldest simply penned, ‘Marching band’. Who would’ve guessed? Last Thanksgiving, she couldn’t even play an instrument! (One of my leaves should have read, ‘My daughter chose the flute, not the drums.’) ‘One More Truth’ was my first leaf, no surprise to me now, but blogging wasn’t even on my radar this spring, let alone last fall. Seasons of life certainly usher in surprises.

Do your thankful prayers ever surprise you? Eighteen years ago, I was just a knocked-up teenager, soon to be a single mom. I couldn’t fathom how to be thankful for that. All I could muster was humble appreciation for hope in Jesus Christ; hope He could transform my bleak present into a wonderful future. My daughter and my 3 younger children (and you too, sweet husband) are now the treasures for which I’m most thankful. Was there ever life before them?!

Maybe it’s a tough year for you. Maybe your leaves say, ‘Clothes, food, a place to live’. (Clothes are always a good start. You should definitely own some. And wear them.) Maybe you are literally living day-to-day, dreading the approaching Christmas season. There’s hope. I don’t say so because it sounds super nice and cutesy-bloggy. That’s not my style. I say so because faith is confident trust that in and through Jesus Christ, in our wholehearted pursuit for Him, there is hope for a better future. That is one more truth.

I’m thankful for you, reader. And I pray for you.


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