“When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.

But that is the time to be careful!

Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey His commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today……….

Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God,

who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

Do not forget that He led you through the great and terrifying wilderness….”

I’ll never forget the faces of the children in India.

The huge smiles in the midst of such extreme poverty.

The thankfulness they showed when handed one small piece of candy.

They understood what it means to receive a gift and be grateful.

Sometimes when I see my children or students at school act unappreciative when surrounded by phones, computers, nice clothing, plenty of food,

I am reminded of how easy it is to forget that we are blessed.

When Adrienne died, I remember feeling so very close to God as I walked the road of grief.

And even though I was so brokenhearted, I didn’t want that relationship with God to change.

I needed Him to make it through each day.

Somehow, though, as we had more children and I returned to school to finish my degree, I became so caught up in “life” that I believe the closeness I had with God somehow dissipated in the middle of my busyness. I still loved Him. I still served Him. But there wasn’t a connection with Him that caused me to lean on Him daily for strength, support, and guidance.

And being thankful wasn’t my first thought as He blessed us over and over again as we walked the road of grief.

Since losing Nick, I have realized that the closeness I have felt to God in the wilderness of grief is a closeness that cannot be compared to any other relationship with Him.

Like a pillar of fire or clouds, God’s presence is seen in the wilderness.

He truly is “close to the brokenhearted” if we allow Him to be.

But, when things get easier, and we begin to venture out again in what feels like our “own strength,”

I think it is a critical time for us to choose to STAY CLOSE TO GOD!

I don’t want to be like the Israelites and forget who has led me through the wilderness of my grief.

The truth is, we NEVER live in our own strength.

God leads us from “strength to strength” according to one of my favorite passages in Psalm.

Today, be thankful for all God has done for you.

Like the children of India, consider every gift from God (even a tiny piece of candy) a blessing worth receiving with thanksgiving.

God loves you.

He is a giver of good gifts.

And, like any parent, He loves to hear the words, “Thanks.”

Listen to the song below by clicking on the link if you are searching for a reason to be thankful today: