Thanksgiving always seems to be a timely reminder of God’s blessings and the perfect opportunity to expand our awareness of all that God has given and done for us.
At the risk of sounding trite, I am most thankful for my family. I am thankful for the parents who gave me life, supported my faith, and set me on a good path. I am thankful for my brother, who makes me laugh and gives me perspective. I am thankful for my extended family, with all their love, drama, humor and passion.
I am also thankful for the people at Anniston First United Methodist Church who have welcomed me into their family. Their faith and love are an inspiration to me, and I am blessed to worship, serve and grow spiritually with them. What a diverse, talented, uplifting, hospitable, generous and open family of faith! I am thankful for sisters and brothers here and around the world with whom I share a devotion to Jesus Christ. Though we can’t all know each other personally, it is a gift to be connected to so many people who have a similar faith and calling. I truly believe God works for good through the people of his church.
And I am thankful for our human family, all created in God’s image, but with beautiful diversity. May we become more peacefully united in brotherhood and sisterhood.
Amy DeWitte, Anniston First United Methodist Church
Our capacity for joy, love is overwhelming
First, and foremost, I am thankful for my faith in God and for the understanding that I have a choice in how I live my life — not only with a moral compass, but also principles to guide life choices. My faith is the foundation that my existence is based upon.
Family, the second foundation, is equally important as the life-altering decisions that center around the people to which I am most irrevocably connected. The ability to think and reason without the restraints of religious dictates and to know that I am uniquely designed to live a rich, rewarding life gives me reason to celebrate life with gratitude.
Thankfulness floods my heart every single day as I wake knowing even though there are demands that will have to be met, there will be at least one moment when I will look around and be completely overwhelmed by the beauty of my chaotic yet ordered life. I am constantly in awe at our ability to experience great joy in the midst of whatever celebration or crisis that arises; knowing that I have the capacity to love and immeasurable, unlimited expressions to demonstrate that love. Other than my love of God, that is what I’m most thankful for.
Beverly Mattox, Word Alive International Outreach