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To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything 
He has given us — and He has given us everything. 
Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, 
every moment of existence is a grace, 
for it brings with it immense graces from Him.” 
–Thomas Merton

I last wrote on the last day of summer. On the first day of autumn my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. The two months since have seen trial upon trial. The two months since have also seen grace upon grace. And as I’ve always suspected, His grace is sufficient.

The lavish abundance of my material blessings do not escape me. I am grateful, as always, for food we’ve grown ourselves, 

for animals living as God intended on our farm, 

and for the shelter of a warm, dry home, (as well as the comfort of a hot cup of tea after a long day’s work).

However, I well know that men and women cannot live on bread alone. We are body and soul. So this Thanksgiving as we celebrate and give thanks for our literal harvest, a harvest that sustains our physical bodies, I am also pausing to give thanks for a spiritual harvest, which is sustaining my soul. 

When life is tranquil and I walk with God, I may not even be aware that I am planting seeds and nourishing soil that will sustain me in times of trial. But those words of His that I hid in my heart during times of plenty and the good things He blessed me with in times of ease are allowing me to now trust Him and lean on Him as winter comes. Uncertainties, challenges, and uncomfortable stretching are authenticating my faith. 

Some spiritual blessings I’m thankful for:

a mother showing me courage, faith, trust, and gratitude in the midst of a battle for her life. Despite what she is facing, she is more thankful than ever; 
the beauty of a world ablaze and the senses that allow me to take it all in and appreciate it and the balm it gives to the soul;

fog that rises off the river and shrouds us and doesn’t allow us to look too far beyond what is right before us – a reminder of grace for today;
a household teeming with life (so much life!), and love, and imperfection, and forgiveness.

Most of all I am thankful that the sun always rises, no matter what the day prior held, that His mercies are new every morning, and that He will sustain us no matter what the new day holds.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
His mercies never come to an end. 
They are new every morning. 
Great is thy Faithfulness.
~Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
   Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
  his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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