Wendy Wall

Wendy Wall

Living & Growing: Give thanks, always

  • Sunday, November 15, 2015 1:00am
  • Neighbors

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, it is a good time to pause and reflect on blessings in life. Of course, this is not just something to do once a year, but is beneficial to do each and every day. There is no doubt; we have so much to be thankful for.

Here are a few of the things I am thankful for this year; maybe it will help you reflect on the blessings in your own life.

I am thankful for the gift of life and the opportunity to share life with my family and friends. This year I am especially thankful for my parents and my brother. Even though we do not live in the same geographical area, I am thankful we are able to connect with each other with phone calls and modern technology.

I am also blessed with a wonderful church family at Chapel by the Lake. Teaching Sunday School alongside one of my friends and two teen helpers is something I look forward to each week. It always brings a smile to my face as we teach the students and sing along with them.

I am thankful for family and friends who share their smoked salmon (hint, hint). Seriously, we are blessed to live in a land by the sea that offers an abundance of fish and berries.

I am thankful for the many trails in the Juneau area that allow me and my dog to get outside and experience the beauty of Juneau. Recently, on one of our walks out near the glacier, I found myself amazed once again at the size of the rocks and all the moss that carpeted them. The beautiful, bright green moss illuminates the forest floor even on the gloomiest days. It is nice to see that color green even as the other vegetation is dying off.

Another thing I am thankful for is my job at Love INC. Each day I am able to go to work and do what I love as part of an amazing team of staff, volunteers and partner churches who strive to work toward one common goal: Meeting needs in the community of Juneau in the name of Christ.

Pausing to reflect on the blessings God has given me is something I first learned as a child from my family and my church. One of the churches I attended as a child used to take part in hymn sing-alongs where area churches came together to sing, and I seem to remember there was dessert afterward.

I remember searching the hymnal for just the right song to request, raising my hand and calling out that hymn number. One of my favorite hymns was “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman, Jr. The verse of that old hymn says, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” It taught me at a young age how important it is, especially when discouraged, to keep things in perspective; even when times are hard there are always blessings to be thankful for. This is something I strive to do every day, to notice the little gifts each day has to offer.

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV), “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That verse reminds me that each and every day there is something to be thankful for. If nothing else, I can thank God for his presence and provision in my life. Especially on the days that I am easily consumed with worry and anxiety, I need to remember all the good things and to thank God for them.

I would encourage you to take a few moments each day to reflect on your own life and count your blessings and thank God for each one of them. There is no doubt that we have so much to be thankful for.

• Wendy Wall is the executive director of Love Inc.

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