Gratitude … for family … for friends … for health … for abiding presence when health fails … for steadfast love … above all, for the faithfulness of God, no matter what we face. Those are things topping my list for thanksgiving.

I’m not a person who cares that much for solitude, but I have become experienced in solitude in recent days. The pain and slowness of recovery following surgery has provided me with a good bit more solitude than I care for, and then Leah is with family today for Thanksgiving while I move very slowly in my recovery.

Solitude has given me time to reflect. Today, Schatzi (my pup) and I conquered a trip around the block. As I began feeling sorry for myself and feeling alone, suddenly I was struck by the beauty of my surroundings. The neighborhood is quiet … trees are in radiant beauty … and suddenly I rounded a corner where the sun and the trees engaged in a graceful dance designed to speak to my heart.

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The quiet of the moment struck me. In the absence of sound, I heard a loud voice. The voice of a grace-filled moment: “You are never truly alone. My presence is enough. My gifts are enough.”

I felt the richness of the moment. The gift of color and light … stillness … it was impossible to mistake the message.

Gratitude … my response to such a profound message … for the blessings of eternal and abiding presence. So even without a house full of people and no table full of food, I suddenly discovered just how full my life is at this very moment in time.

Family … friends … faith … love … abiding presence. Those are the gifts of grace that fill my life, and for these things, I will be forever grateful.

May your Thanksgiving be a day of gratitude!

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