Recently we celebrated a Day of Thanksgiving. For Kristi, Beth and me this is always a wonderful family time. On Thanksgiving day we were joined by our son John, his wife, Alisha and our two grandsons (also the grand-dogs!). We were also blessed by having Alisa's parents and sister join us this year. It was a feast of both food and fellowship. Usually we connect with Kristi's sister and family on Friday after Thanksgiving for pizza at Hideaways (pictured above) but this year that side of the family was doing a mini-vacation in Alabama. Still we had a great time with all who were able to join us. Indeed, we had much to be thankful for...
While I could make a significant list of the things for which I am thankful, I have to say that this year I am especially thankful for my family. Nothing makes life more miserable than family upset and strive. On the other hand, nothing makes life more meaningful than the way families share joy, encouragement, and care.
Mental health research confirms that isolation and loneliness (disconnection from one's family) significantly raises one's level of anxiety and stress. On the other hand, family support (coupled with the resources of God's grace) helps us face illness, loss, trauma, and strife. A loving and caring family is a powerful thing!
Now obviously I'm thankful for all that God has done and the way He has provided for me. But one of my "shout outs" to God is "Thank you for my family and the privilege of sharing life's journey with them!" If you haven't done so recently, it might be a good idea to let your family know how thankful you are for them!
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Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.