A Month of Thanksgiving – Days 10 & 11

I think it is wonderful that Veteran’s Day just happens to fall during the Thanksgiving Season. I know that it  wasn’t thought of that way, but it is so appropriate to be thankful for our veterans in November. As most of you know, my brother is in the Marine Reserves. He’s been to Iraq. It wasn’t a super eventful time for him, which I praise the Lord for. He might be going to Afghanistan in the near future, though. I am still amazed at how resolute he was on joining up, and how he has stayed true to his commitment. It is not always enjoyable. He missed his family a lot while he was away.

In Iraq, he and the others we very bored. When I talked to a fellow Marine who was in the combat at the beginning of the war, he said, “Wow. I wish I had been bored. I was exhausted.” We were very blessed that Mitch went near the end of combat in Iraq. But I know it isn’t that way for everyone who serves or has family serve.

That is something to think about – we need a holiday to celebrate the wives, mothers and fathers, children, siblings that have to deal with the turmoil of a loved one away, and possibly gone forever. I have seen first hand several times how difficult it is for them. The mother who tries to watch the news everyday for a word of how things are in Iraq. She’s just waiting to hear the name of her son’s base. Repeating to herself, “No news is good news.” I have seen the wife with her beloved thousands of miles away, skyping faithfully with her husband everyday. Trying to stay busy with her daughter to make the year apart go faster. The young child, whose only tender touch from her father comes from computer screen, which is no touch at all. The fiancée, wondering if her wedding will ever really happen, or if her promised one’s life will be cut short, and her hopes cut short in the process. These people make the ultimate sacrifice as well. I cannot imagine resigning myself to a loved one’s possible death or injury in less than favorable circumstances. Wow.

I am thankful too for the businesses that honored veterans yesterday. Places like Applebees, Texas Roadhouse, Culvers and others gave free meals and treats to those who served. That is how it ought to be!!! No one, not even the President, deserves more of our gratitude in America than those who have served in the military. And we also need to pray for our country anew. That our military would be provided for, as cuts seem to be in the future. A great nation like ours needs a strong military.

Now, it seems almost sacrilegious to change channels, but I must. I am also thankful for friends. I am not going to start naming names, because I do not want to miss anyone, but you know who you are. Last night, I was able to spend some time with some of these friends, working on crafty things, talking, laughing, eating, listening to my kids scream… ahem. I have some great friends who really encourage me in many ways. I love being able to talk about spiritual things with many of them; being real with them and knowing that even if they do not fully understand, they are still there for me. It’s like having a bunch of sisters, since my own is far away. There was a time, not too long ago, that I really distanced myself from other women. Put on a front. I have been hurt so many times in my life by supposed “friends” that it seemed that maybe I was just going to be a loner. So I really praise the Lord for people, friends, who saw that and drew me in.

God is so good to us to give us just what we need, isn’t He? What are you thankful for today? I would love to know…

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