Thankful!

I have not always been thankful in all things. When I was twenty-three my daddy died of a massive coronary. He was fifty years old! It took me seven years to stop being mad about that and find peace.


Being thankful in all things is not easy to do. This is where faith and trust comes in. During this Thanksgiving week I’d like to share with you a few things I’m thankful for. Of course at the top of my list, I, like most, am thankful first for my salvation, my family, good health, a roof over my head and plenty of food. Now if I may, I’d like to take being thankful a bit farther.


I am thankful that I was ten years old before our house was remodeled and plumbed for an indoor bathroom. I write a lot about the old times in my books, you know why, because I’ve lived them. Carrying water from the spring, baths in the #3 washing tub, and using a wringer washing machine. If you’ve ever sat down on a wooden toilet seat of an outhouse and fought the spiders for residency then you know what it truly means to be thankful for indoor facilities.


I grew up in the era when you actually primed and tied tobacco with your hands. No machines around then. I miss those days of going to check the barn with my grandpa. He’d open the door of that old log structure and I really can’t say which was more overwhelming, the smell of curing tobacco whiffing up my nose and consuming my entire being or the intense heat warming through to my soul. I am thankful that even though I grew up around tobacco I never picked up the habit of smoking. I did however try to chew it twice. Both left me with a very bad taste as it left my mouth, if you know what I mean.


I always wondered since my daddy died so young if I too would pass on at a young age. Wendy my daughter was three when daddy passed. So everyday I’d pray for God to let me live long enough to see my daughter raised. I am thankful that God not only saw fit for me to watch my daughter grow into a lovely, strong young woman, but He’s also given me six years with my granddaughter.


Being married for thirty-four years is nothing less than a miracle. Have they all been wonderful? No. Have they all been worth it? Yes. I am thankful every day that God saw fit to hold us together through a few rough spots. I cannot imagine being without my friend and mate.


I am thankful for my heat pump and gas logs, and for the wood heater in the basement. Up until about ten years ago the old wood heater was all we used for heating our home. Turning up the thermostat is a bit easier than keeping a fire going. Building a fire is now a soothing luxury not a necessity. I am thankful for modern comforts.


I now know my daddy’s passing at a young age was really a blessing for him. He just didn’t wake up one morning. He didn’t have to suffer through months or years of cancer and treatments. Nor did he have to endure an awful disease like ALS, which his sister now has. My mom wasn’t so lucky. She lay for weeks hooked up to a breathing machine. Her last few years were a struggle as she fought to breathe in enough air. The last days were filled with terror for her. I know, because I saw it in her eyes. So, I am thankful that I now know that there are worse things than dying.


My family holds a special place in my heart this season. With my only aunt suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and my only uncle recovering from prostate cancer I realize that all things will someday come to an end. My brothers and sister are all getting older now and even though one brother is estranged from the entire family I still love him and pray for healing. I am thankful that I do not hold grudges, even when someone has been mean to me. I am also thankful that my sister and I always know we are there for each other even if we don’t talk every day or even every week. We have decided to start a family cemetery out behind my house close to the old log tobacco barn where we used to play and work as children. We built forts from tree branches and made pretend tea from what we called a tealeaf plant. My sister and I will be placed close together out there on our ancestor’s property, and if any of the other members of our family want to join us, then come on! We don’t even care if you are mad at us. I am thankful for my family, every one of them.


Thankful? Yes I am thankful that my eyes and heart have been opened to the truth of what being genuinely thankful is all about. May you and your family feel the true spirit of thankfulness during this holiday season?


1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”


(Next week I will be hosting a guest blogger, Dawn Mustin. She will be telling us a bit about the new novel she has finally decided to write. I am honored to be of encouragement to her, as well as others out there who just need a little shove.)






{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cynthia Neale November 24, 2010 at 9:12 am

As always, your blogs are heart-felt with wisdom seeping through the words. Your imagery takes me to a different place in our country, a different time, and your connection to it.

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