I’m writing this entry just prior to the Thanksgiving break here in the United States and by the time you read this, most of you will have already eaten your fill of turkey, ham, and all the sides. But today, I can’t help but to reflect on the past calendar year. I’m sitting here thinking about how my family rang in the new year of 2020 staying up late playing our annual game of Monopoly. It’s a great tradition that I’m already looking forward to on December 31, 2020. My mind is moving through the year of 2020, on from January and into February. My wife and I were anxiously planning our trip and train ride from Norfolk, VA up to New York City in March and the kids were focused on school, looking forward to their summer break. Then my mind moves into March. Mid-March specifically. Things changed for me, things changed for my family, things changed at church, things changed at work, and things changed for our country. A new reality had set in. Fast forward through the spring and into the summer months, the Presidential campaign was in full swing. Then suddenly we’re into the season of fall and our new reality is still here. The leaves on the tress are changing color, the air is becoming cooler, but the kids are still upstairs working on their school work instead of sitting at their desks in their classrooms. I haven’t worked outside of my home office in almost nine months. If you’re reading this the way that I’m writing, it all sounds kind of dark or bleak. What do I have to be thankful for?  

 

I’m thankful for my faith in God and His plan of salvation through His son Jesus. Likewise, I’m thankful for my local church community. The relationships my family has built with our local church family have grown deeper. I’m thankful for my family. In many ways our new reality has built a closer bond with my immediate family members. We haven’t really been ‘running’ around. We haven’t been waking at 6:00 AM to hurry the children out the door to catch the bus to school at 6:45 AM. We haven’t been moving from one after school activity to another. My kids play outside more. They find trails in the woods. We talk more as a family. I’m thankful for employment and clients that understand the ability to work remotely. I’m thankful for extended family and our friends. Our “COVID-19 pod of friends and neighbors rely more on each other now than ever and our local community has grown stronger. As I reflect on thankfulness, I can’t help but remember that God is in control and that things happen in His timing. Today I’m just thankful; and that might sound strange given what has occurred so far in 2020. I’m thankful. What are you thankful for?