I’m grateful for Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, one of my professors from Erskine Theological Seminary, and for how he used to always pray Psalm 103:1-2 at meals: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is in me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” What a prayer to God, calling on your own soul, everything in you to be thankful, to not forget anything He has done. So here I am trying not to forget anything, arms full, and so many benefits tumbling off the top and down and around.
I’m thankful for my grandfathers. I’m thankful that they both served in our armed forces, my maternal grandfather in the Navy, and my paternal grandfather in the Marines. I’m thankful for how they were faithful to their wives, my grandmothers, and for how they were not soft men. I’m thankful for their courage, and for their joy. They both had great senses of humor. I’m thankful for my grandmothers, also strong, joyful, and intelligent.
I’m thankful for my mom and dad. I’m thankful for how they are spending this Thanksgiving caring for my grandmother, my dad’s mom. I’m thankful for their steadfast faith in Christ, and I’m thankful for how simple and humble their love is for one another and for their family. I’m thankful my dad played hockey growing up and in college, so that he could use hockey expressions with us all growing up that none of us understood but always thought were really fun sounding. I’m thankful that my dad is a minister of the gospel, and for how he has remained faithful in that calling. I’m thankful for how my mom is a no-nonsense Christian woman. And I’m sorry if having 5 rowdy boys did that to you.
I’m thankful for my brothers, all four of them. They put up with me as their oldest brother, my crazy ideas, my trouble-making. I’m thankful for the men they have all become, for their families. I’m thankful for my sisters, one with the Lord, whom I haven’t met yet, and the one here with us who is sweet and steady and married a very good man.
I’m thankful for my in-laws, my father in-law in particular, for his steady thoughtfulness, his voracious curiosity about so many things, especially history and his quick wit and conversational style. I’m thankful for my mother-in law and how thoughtful and caring she is. I’m thankful for their parents (my wife’s grandparents) who all welcomed me into their family with kindness and lots of good food, especially at the holidays.
I’m thankful for my wife, for how sweet she is, and for how diligent and kind she is, especially to me and our family. I’m thankful for my children, several with the Lord, whom I haven’t met yet, and the four I get to enjoy every day. They are all such thoughtful, intelligent, and fun people. I’m thankful for football for my sons, and lacrosse and baseball. I’m thankful for dance and ballet and violin for my daughters. I love that they all love to sing. I think I’m most thankful for our times of singing after dinner.
I’m thankful for the many fathers and brothers God has put in my life, pastors and teachers, some of whom have delivered very pointed corrections and admonitions over the years. I’m thankful for professors and fellow elders. I’m thankful for the Christ Church and New St. Andrews College community that is real and honest about sin and forgiveness, but honestly pursuing holiness and the good life. I’m thankful for Logos School where so many pour into the lives of my children every day.
I’m thankful for our new house we just built, for our builder who poured himself into this project, and for all the subs. I’m thankful for a well with lots of water, for a field to walk in, and the fabulous views of Moscow Mountain. I’m thankful for the loft that overlooks the living room, and my little nook of an office with windows. I’m thankful for four bathrooms! I’m thankful for oak wood floors, and a front porch to sit on.
I’m thankful for two goofy golden retrievers and three surprisingly friendly cats. I’m thankful for my truck, my pipe, my books, coffee, Guinness, Laphroaig, my iPhone, good leather boots, Spotify, Audible, cheese burgers, Tabasco sauce, peanut butter, pecan pie, the Oregon Coast, the Enzian Inn, CrossPolitic, the wind in my face, sunrise, the air in my lungs, and the joy in my heart.