This is what I wrote last year: 2013
Every day is a thanksgiving day. Every Sunday is Easter. There’s a connection between the two. This Thanksgiving Day – the holiday – for 2013 carries too many thanks to list. Yet, in the rhythm of the year the blessings that sing out should be heard.
Thank You, Father God for creating the universe and all that is in it. Thank You for creating Life. And Love.
Thank You, Father God for putting part 0f You, Your Spirit, into a human, Jesus, birthing the Son of God. Thank You, that Jesus, God-in-Man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for all humankind’s sins, and bodily rose from the dead. Thank You for walking out of the grave.
Thank You, Jesus, for sending another part of God, the Holy Spirit – Ghost – to be everywhere on earth at all times. For physically being in the body of Christians.
Giving thanks at Thanksgiving and every day
Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ, for the survival and recovery of my critically injured son-in-law. Thank You for the many tender mercies given to him and his family by so many people.
Thank You for family.
Thank You for my 1 wife of 38 years, my 3 children, 2 in-law kids, 4 grandchildren.
Thank You for all my kin – living and those gone home.
Thank You for friends, classmates and comrades who are like family. Like the Bible says, closer than a brother.
Thank You for faith.
Thank You for Your Grace and my free will to be saved by faith. Thank You for my relationship with You – and knowing You through the Bible. Thank You for right to the free exercise of my Christian faith and for my fellow citizens who are Christian and Jewish.
Thank You for your fellowship with Christians and Jews around the world.
Thank You for freedom.
Thank You for my unearned gift of being born American. Thank You for my inheritance in freedom as an American, Southerner and Virginian.
Thank You for my time spent serving in the U.S. Army – and still serving as best I can – to preserve our Constitution and Country. Thank You for all who serve the Nation now.
Thank You for the past, present, and future in Your perfect Will.
Thank You for the people I know and those I only met through writing, social networking, political activism – and even those I don’t know – who will fight and win for our families, faith and freedom.
Thank You for all of this and much, much, much more this Thanksgiving 2013.
Thank You and praise You, from rising to resting every day of life in this body.
Thank You for all things – good and bad – in Your Will.
For the crooked road, the cleansing tears, the pain and suffering unto brokenness, the hurts that healed and taught, the fear and despair, the failure and humiliation, the loss and grief, the dark depths of this life.
For the joy in the journey, the absolute thrill of living moment after moment of intense and sublime happiness, wonder, excitement, gratitude, pleasure, awe and satisfaction, the overwhelming, pulsing power of physical strength, courage, and passion, the beauty brought to every sense, the gentle quiet times, the recoveries, the next chances – new days and nights, for love of lovingkindness, and blessing upon blessing piled and stacked upon blessing wrapped in blessings abounding – undeserved, unmerited, unearned, yet gifted in UNCONDITIONAL love.
For all in all, more and more, from rising to resting – every day. One day at a time. Every day is a thanksgiving day.
God is good. All the time. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT!
The day after I wrote this above my wife had a stroke. Nine days later she died.
I could write the same this year – by adding ‘late wife’ to my thanks for Nellie Katherine Kyle Bowden.
God is good. All the time. No matter what.
God is good through a long night – many days and nights – of grieving. Through a long soul season, crossing earthly seasons, of mourning.
In Nellie’s hand in her well-worn Bible
God is good for providing a new home of exquisite and constant beauty on The Bay – my Sanctuary.
Summer storm on The Bay
Light above the dark storm below – a metaphor, too
Beauty when bright, cloudy, fog, storm, or under moon and stars
Never a bad sunset. Textured from glass to Oh my gosh!
Sanctuary, the structure.
God is good for having me survive to serve in His Will for whatever He purposes for as long as He likes. He had me endure what seemed unbearable. He had me feel more pain than I thought possible, more loss than I ever could imagine, more sadness than I thought a heart could hold – because God is good, no matter what. Today’s pain, loss and sadness aren’t yesterday’s. Yesterday’s aren’t last week’s or last month’s and on and on and on.
The tears still come swiftly. They’re impossible to stop. Yet, they stanch more quickly.
God is good through the tragedies and trials that happen in many families – even when it’s our childrens’ challenges.
God is good with so many prayers of well-being and love from so many people who love Nellie Katherine and her family. Abundant thoughtful kindnesses.
Today last year was the last full day Nellie and I had together before she couldn’t talk. It was the last night of our marriage bed. That milestone is profoundly sad – that all of our life here ended. Psalm 30:5. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Come joy, come.
Psalm 30:11. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me in gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Come dancing and gladness, come. I praise already. I praise God at rising and resting every day – and through the day.
I give thanks this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving 2014.
Giving thanks in 2014. CHRISTmas pic shot.