Hi My Friend,

So happy you are here with me today.

How is it where you live?

Here in New Jersey,  it finally feels like autumn with fallen leaves and pumpkins all around. To think Thanksgiving is just a few weeks.

I love this time of year. We’re just starting to bring out the time cozy blankets, sipping pumpkin spiced lattes, but from what I hear right after we say what we’re grateful for, take care of everything from soup to nuts on Thanksgiving, we’ll be getting ready for a very cold winter.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, do you find yourself becoming a bit reflective? Thinking about what you are grateful for?  All you have to do is take a stroll through any mall or store and you can find anything from t-shirts to paper plates with the words grateful, blessed and thankful on them. At our church we have taken time by showing the pastors our appreciation, we’ve taken up a Thanksgiving food collection for our church’s  food pantry and my husband and I  are even hosting a Friendsgiving with some of our church family.

We have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, we need to count our blessings all the time but why not have a little reminder to look for them. Life gets too busy. Right?

One of things that I have been truly grateful for was my marriage that has been secured in the love of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Even after 36 years we have been willing to keep building a stronger marriage. To do so my husband and I joined a Marriage Ministry class that meets for 6 weeks before church service on Sundays on the book of Song of Solomon. It has been a beautiful experience. A classroom filled with newlyweds, young parents, those with no children, empty nesters, those married longer than us and everyone in between.

This past Sunday we were all asked, “how did we want the next 20 years to look like?”

Suddenly, my heart stopped, and I was so grieved.

God has been speaking to me about this very thing in my quiet time.

Tell me again Lord and maybe again

“Deborah give it all to Me”

After I heard others speak, I raised my hand  “I couldn’t look at the next 20 years without thinking about the last 20 years I shared how I spent too much time worrying, living in fear and crying over things I had no control over. That’s what can happen when you are married for a long time. You can forget about what really matters. From now on I was going to trust God. My husband and I were going to enjoy our lives. We might even sell our home and travel around the country in an RV to which we received a lot of wahoos!

This year my grateful list will have only two things on it, but they will be huge - Giving it all to God and Trusting God with it all.

Here’s why I am trusting God:

  • Only God can change water into wine. I have tried. I’m not God. John 2:11
  • God is Faithful. He is true to His word. His Word is my promise. 1Corinthians 1:9
  • God is Love. He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. I love Him. Romans 8:28

Here’s what I learned:

  • He surrounds me in love, so I am drawn to Him. I want to be so close to Him that I don’t know where I begin, and He ends.
  • In His love I want to change. I want to be transformed into His likeness.
  • Daily I surrender my control. Daily I trust Him. A little more some days, a little less, other days.

Here’s what I received from God:

  • a joyful heart.
  • a deeper understanding of how much I’m loved by God.
  • a deeper understanding of how much I’m loved by my husband.

Here are two to start your grateful list:

  • Worry never solved one problem. Matthew 6:25
  • There is Good News and it is that He loves you too. John 3:16

May you have a thanksgiving of restoration and renewal with a grateful heart with Jesus.

Truly grateful for Jesus