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thanksgiving partnerWe celebrated my son’s birthday yesterday. On these occasions, the family gathers at our house, and we all have the chance to reconnect and catch up on what is happening in each other’s lives and just enjoy each other’s company. My dad, who is 86, all the way to our 5-month old grandson, glide around the house in a noisy bustle of comforting activity.

In a few short days, all of our family will be spending time with my brother and his family for Thanksgiving. The scene will be repeated and conversations will ensue, food will be eaten, and games will be played.

As I get older, and as each of our kids start their own lives and families, I cherish the moments that we have with loved ones even more. Birthdays, holidays, weddings, and funerals seem to be some of the only times we all gather.

As our house slows into the pace of just my wife and I, there is time to reflect on just how much has changed in a short period of time. One of our kids is still at home and may be engaged soon, one is single and living on his own, one is married with a new baby, and one is married with a baby on the way. We are seeing our past being walked out in our kids’ lives.

Conversely, my dad has been living alone for the past 10 years since my mom passed away, and I am seeing the challenges that living alone brings; him being in even less contact with people on a regular basis.

It feels like we are in a unique observational period of our lives when we can easily see what we recently went through, as well as what lies ahead of us. My wife and I have new lives waiting for us as well. A time to go back to school for Julie, and a time for both of us to reconnect. Because of all of this, the longing to stay connected to everyone becomes a major priority because time is so fleeting.

As I go through these ruminations, I become deeply grateful and full of thanksgiving over these relationships in my life. I think about my friends and extended family, and that grateful feeling drifts over to them as well.

When that gratitude takes root, it becomes easier to notice and focus on the positives around me. Slights and offenses just fade away and become less significant. When I am busy enjoying the moment and the people, who has time for offense? The lens I view life through changes, and it becomes less bitter and more sweet.

It makes me so grateful for so many little things. I have been seeing God in the plainest of things. From the wonder of nature in everyday settings to the goodness and pleasure of the food I eat. I am thankful that the Lord is always wanting to show us how much He loves us through other people and His creation. You will see Him and His goodness everywhere—if you just take the time to look!

1 Timothy 4:4 (NLT)
"Since everything God created is good,
we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks."

I didn’t always have such a thoughtful outlook on family. What I took for granted and tossed aside in my youth is now reclaimed and restored as I age. I am grateful that His mercy and forgiveness are longsuffering. The foolishness of youth matures into the wisdom of age. It is humbling.

This Thanksgiving, I am purposing to let gratitude rule the day! I am determined to cherish the time I spend with family and friends and continue to look at God’s creation with an ever-increasing sense of awe and wonder.

This year, I have no deep thoughts or revelatory ideas. Just a simpler reflection of Him and His goodness. And for that, I am grateful.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with the unbounded grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:14-15 (NLT)
"Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful."


Jon Larson
cfaith staff
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Author Biography

Jon Larson
Web site: cfaith
I am a father of four and husband to an awesome wife. I have been called to work in the Information Technology department for Living Word Christian Center and cfaith in Minneapolis, MN since 2001, and I oversee them both. My goal is to use technology to make real connections between people.

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