20 November 2006

Belated Friday Five - Thankfulness

It's that time of year. In the U.S., college students will be on their way home, traffic on the highways will be at its highest point, cooking and baking will ensue. But before the gorging and napping begins, let's take a moment to give thanks.

Please tell us five things or people for which you are thankful this year.
First I'm thankful for my Beloved wife, Kristin. Lucky doesn't even begin to describe my fortune in marrying such a woman. She prefers 'blessed' and I suppose that's maybe a better way of looking at it.

Second, I'm thankful for Little Miss, our baby-to-be. The closer we come to the big day, the more joyfully I am anticipating being a father. At one time I was really worked up about the changes fatherhood would bring to my life. Not anymore. I'm even looking forward to changing her diapers. I hope Little Miss has a strong little finger, because this daddy's gonna be wrapped solidly around it.

Third, I'm thankful for my family and friends. (I know, this is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech - "You love me, you really love me!") My mom has survived cancer, my dad has farmed for close to 40 years, my brothers are good friends and good people - I'm extremely fortunate to have them in my life. My in-laws are great, too; they love each other and they love the three people who've married into the family as if we were their own from the start. And what could I say about our friends? They open their homes and lives to us as if we were family; when the line between family & friend blurs like that, you've been blessed in ways you could never have imagined.

Fourth, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a pastor. There are days when it's a frustrating profession. There are days when I'd just as soon chuck it all, find a job where I can just make widgets for 8 hours a day, and call it good. But those days are few & far between. The privilege of walking with the people who've called me as their pastor is great, and one emphasis I'm going to adopt in the coming year is showing more appreciation for that privilege.

Fifth, I'm thankful for young people. This Friday Five is belated because Beloved and I took kids from our congregations to our Synod Junior High Youth Gathering in Bemidji Friday & Saturday. Being with these kids overnight; singing worship songs with them and 600 of their peers; taking time to be in prayer together; learning more about the adults who also give their time to come along and be with them; these are great experiences for Beloved and me, and we wouldn't give them up for anything. By the way, I'm also thankful for caffeine - if it weren't for coffee & diet cola, I couldn't keep up with the kids anymore! :-)

So, there you have my thankfuls for the week. I'll post again before Turkey Day, but I pray you all have a blessed day of Thanksgiving all the same.

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