Giving Thanks, 2009 Style

Every year we set aside the fourth Thursday in November for counting our blessings.  This year, for many of us, worries come much more readily to mind than blessings, and that’s the position I find myself in.  This has not been an easy year.  As I write this, I think of my sister, paralyzed since a horseback-riding accident last spring.  I think of my husband, agonizing over how the economy has hit his architectural firm and what that means for the staff.  And I think of my sons and their wives.  Brendan and Erin, new missionaries in Peru, were recently stuck in a city away from home because of road strikes:  life in a third world country.  My other two sons, Patrick and Kevin, are both in school; when they finish next spring, they and their wives have the bleak job market to face.  What happened to the “good life” that we Americans think we deserve?  I’d like it back.

Yet when the good life eludes us and there aren’t as many obvious pleasures to count, if we have any wisdom at all, we learn to count deeper blessings.  So these are mine:

  • I’m grateful that my sister and her husband, for all their pain and fear, are still able to give and receive kindness.  Their hearts are alive and—in a difficult way—growing.
  • I’m grateful that my husband is the kind of man whose deepest heartache during this economic downturn has been for the welfare of his employees.
  • I’m grateful that Brendan and Erin, exchanging the good life for a better one, responded to the call of God upon their lives and have chosen to serve the people of Peru.
  • I’m grateful that Patrick and Kim are expecting a little daughter (rare in the Connally family!) who will grow up in a home of love, wisdom and faith.
  • I’m grateful that Kevin and Adele, starting out their adult lives amid daily bad news, are people of hope and prayer.

So on Thanksgiving Day, even if we aren’t as high-spirited around the turkey as usual, there is much that’s good—and as I said, I’m grateful.

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