In this season, more than ever, finding reasons to be thankful can be challenging, but will really change our outlook on life. Watching the news on TV can bring fear and anger - neither of which is helpful to any of us. We are part of a larger community, so I'm not going to advocate for hiding from the news, but I'm thinking that I need to counter the effect it has on me.
Sooooo... if I spend 5 minutes watching the news, I could then spend another 5 minutes contemplating all the things I have to be thankful for. Do you know how many things I can come up with in 5 minutes? It's a lot, but I also might get a little carried away and end up spending six or seven minutes. Next thing you know, hope has pulled me up out of that pit of despair.
Yes, the world as we knew it has dramatically changed this year. God, on the other hand, hasn't changed at all - as a matter of fact, HE NEVER CHANGES!
I encourage you to join me in this season of Thanksgiving. Don't just wait for Thursday, but begin right now "counting your blessings!" Let me share a handful of mine with you. Perhaps you will be able to relate to some of them and realize that you also have so much to be thankful for. (I have purposely kept is short!)
I can say, not only by faith in the scriptures, but also by experience over these last 20 years serving in Haiti, that God has never left me nor forsaken me - EVER!
Likewise, I am grateful that my God shall supply my every need, as HE always has! We always have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Many times we didn't know how it was going to be, but it was.
I'm thankful for my family - the love and support we share with one another is a gift from Jesus! And grand-babies are definitely HIS gift to me!!!!
I'm so thankful for the many people God has brought along side us to encourage and support in every way.
I'm thankful for so many friends, brothers, and sisters in Haiti, the US, and in many places across the world.
I'm thankful for and so proud of our students and teachers who work so hard and have not only given MOHI a good reputation in the community and country, but have also given themselves the means to care for their own families.
I'm thankful for our medical and dental partners who provide all the necessities for our staff to care for the sick and those in pain.
I am so grateful for our medical and dental professionals in Haiti who care for more than money. (In a very impoverished society, this is HUGE!)
I'm grateful for every smile flashed my way.
I'm so blessed to have fellow missionaries in our community that I can be real with and who understand so many of my struggles.
I'm thankful for children - they are so easy to love and care for - they also help me to see how I can be special to my Heavenly Father.
I'm thankful for my church families in both Haiti and the USA. I remember how much I depended upon them when I went through surgeries. My church family in Haiti prayed for me constantly and in the US they visited me, sent me cards, and messages. Knowing others can take a moment out of their truly busy schedules does wonders for one's self worth and brings a physical and emotional touch from God.
I'm thankful for those who have gone on before me - those whom I was blessed to know and who impacted my life. Yes, I do miss them, but I'm so grateful for the honor of knowing them.
I'm thankful that (despite my own shortcomings, sin, horrid history) God chooses to use me for His glory.
I'm thankful that God speaks to me through His Word and by His Spirit. I am never, ever alone in this world!
I'm thankful that I am growing in HIM - that moment by moment I am seeing more and more of who I am in Christ. And I am grateful that I will never again be "just" Renee!