Today I'm not at the Thanksgiving table with my family. Although I'm so grateful God gave them to me … I'm also very aware that sometimes I have to make decisions to serve God in ways that require sacrifice. Sometimes we pay a cost for freedoms we have … in our country and in Christ.

If we ignore what is hard stuff we rob ourselves of the validation of hurt in our soul. 

I think something happens in our soul when we recognize the cost  … call it pain, loss, grief or whatever it is. When we do that, we give our soul the permission to address the cost. It's important to honor the process pain goes through because without it our thanks can be shallow because we never got to the joy that overcomes sorrow.

It's a sweet aroma to the Lord when we praise Him in the hard times too. 

I have a friend that lost her husband recently and is left with three little boys under 4 years old. I'm watching her praise God anyway. I have another friend that wasn't able to see the restoration of their marriage and is celebrating the holidays in a different way. I remember a Thanksgiving dinner where my brother said he was thankful his wife's cancer was found so she could be with us. I know he was thankful for her before that diagnosis, but his thankfulness to God for life and marriage was deeply felt that year.

Thanksgiving reminds me to think upon those things that cause gratefulness to rise up in my heart. 

As I look back over the last year I’m so thankful for all the people God has allowed me to meet through my ministry.

I’m especially those of you that have signed up for my monthly emails and read my blog posts. I love getting your notes of encouragement or prayer requests because it puts a name to a cyber space world. Thanks for being a part of my life.

I’m reminded what a privilege it is that my ministry outreach is still growing after 3 years, and to continue to be given the opportunity to reach people all over the natural world. I never dreamed there would be people being reached in over 100 countries with my videos or blog posts! I’m so thankful for the opportunities God gives me to speak about His generosity and love.

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed that I get to go to work every day knowing that everything I do will reach someone that needs the love of God. I pray that in today’s broken world people are touched through the strategy with online social media or Single Matters magazine.

And the greatest reason for my thankful heart is that the Lord Jesus Christ has drawn me to Himself. He meets me in that place that is very aware I'm single for another holiday season. It's one of the things I let my soul recognize and then praise anyway.

I count the cost and give praise for the opportunities I have because I live in the United States. I count the cost and give praise for the opportunity to serve God in ministry as a vocation.

So even though today I'm missing the family traditions; a beautiful table my mom always sets, the volume of the kids laughter and the whip cream fights (yes, every year) I declare I'm so thankful for my wonderful life.

I pray you are blessed with the remembrance of all the things God has done for you this year and that you receive all your hearts desire as the year draws to a close.

May you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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