Thanksgiving prayer



FREEBIE! FREEBIE! I’m giving away a Christmas edition of Chicken Soup for the Soup. And my first Chicken Soup for the Soul story is in it! You have a chance to win. All you have to do is (1) be a subscriber to this blog and (2) leave a comment. What are you thankful for? You have until November 30 to add your comment. I’ll post the winner’s name in the December 1 blog. I’m thankful that you’re willing to take time to visit my blog.

It’s well after 2 A.M., so technically Thanksgiving has arrived. Of course, it’s never to early to give thanks. Most of us give thanks daily for the blessings in our lives, our family, friends, our jobs, our talents, etc.

But tonight—this morning—what I’m most thankful for is what I have never seen—what’s on the other side of “the” line. I have no doubt that in my lifetime I’ve teetered on “the” line. We all have. I just don’t know what to call that line.

It’s the line that separates “all is well” from “nothing will ever be the same.”

The first near disaster I can remember was when I was in elementary school. Only one other person in the world knows this story, and I’m ashamed I have this story to tell.

I grew up with no brothers or sisters, and the little boy who lived across the street from me was the closest thing I had to a brother. One day we were snooping around a neighbor’s garage and found these odd bottles that had been hidden away. Nobody knew we had found these bottles. I had never seen bottles like these. We didn’t have anything like them at my house.

The funny thing about these bottles is that most of them were empty, but a few of them still had a liquid in them, and this liquid smelled funny and strong. Very strong. I’m pretty sure these bottles had a man’s name on the front. Jack, maybe. Or George.

We took these bottles to my garage, which was detached from the house, and we decided to perform a chemistry experiment, not that we knew what chemistry was back then. We were probably around six or seven years old at the time.

We put these bottles in a garbage can and dropped matches in them. WHOOSH! The more liquid in the bottle, the bigger the flame. And what pretty colors. (I’ve always had this thing about fire.)

It wasn’t until I was grown that I realized just how close we probably were to burning down the garage. My dad always kept his gas for the lawn mower in a round can just above the old garbage can where we were shooting flames. And turpentine. And probably a dozen other flammable liquids.

The only thing that stopped us is we spotted the fire marshal, driving by in his red car. We were sure he was out to get us, so we hid out the rest of the day.

Oh, how thankful I am that I don’t know how close I’ve come to going over “the” line.

Last year my family and I were returning home from Franklin one night, and our truck hit a patch of black ice on the interstate. Without warning, our truck went totally out of control and started sliding sideways toward the median. We came so close. If we had driven off the road, I have no doubt we would have flipped and landed in on-coming traffic. But we’ll never know how close we came to crossing “the” line. I’m so thankful.

A few years ago we traveled out west and crossed the border into Juarez. We stepped off the bus at the wrong stop and found ourselves wandering around clueless that the city was notorious for its drug wars and murders. We were happy go lucky, admiring the sites. But God sent a young man name Chuy to take us where we needed to be. We naively hopped in his van, and off we went.

Was he really honest? Did he have ulterior motives? Did something change his plans? Were we ever in danger? We’ll never know. I’m so thankful. (And just as we were returning to El Paso, they closed the bridge, and we were detained due to a terrorist threat. What might have happened had we boarded the bus? We’ll never know.)

I carry a chilling memory from my college days. I remember heading for the campus bookstore, not a care in the world. Just as I was about to enter, a boy called me by name. I approached him, and we talked. I had never seen him before in my life. But he seemed to know everything about me—my family, my interests, all sorts of unusual things a person wouldn’t expect a stranger to know. I asked the boy to identify himself, but I didn’t recognize his name as a friend or acquaintance.

It wasn’t very long after our strange encounter that I heard this boy’s name in the news. He was a perpetrator in a homicide-suicide, involving a young woman. How did this boy know my name? Why did he stop me as I was walking in the bookstore? I will never know. I’m so thankful I don’t know.

So often we are delayed in traffic. A phone call keeps us from walking out the door. Why? We may never know. Perhaps we entertain angels unaware. Or perhaps God sends his angels to snatch us back to safety as we put one foot over the line.

Several years ago my mother became very, very ill at Thanksgiving. I don’t know how close we came to losing her. She spent some time on a breathing machine. All I know is that I’m glad Jesus spared us from crossing that line.

Holidays can be very difficult, especially for those who have recently lost love ones or who have suffered life-changing events. Let us remember to give thanks both for giving us blessings and for sparing us from unseen sorrows and evils. Are there people in your life who need your prayers?  Are they close to crossing “the” line and not even aware? We may never know.

Dear Lord, it is my prayer that you will put a hedge of protection around all the readers who visit this blog. Please bless them and keep them safe throughout the holidays. I thank you for sending Jesus to save us from our sins. It is in His name, I pray. Amen.

38 thoughts on “Thanksgiving prayer

  1. What I’m thankful for at this very moment:

    The sound of my son’s breathing while he sleeps

    A safe trip to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with my family

    Antibiotics…even ones that cause insomnia

    God’s saving grace

    My friend Teresa who is using a special gift that God has given her to touch the lives of others 🙂

    • Thank you Jennifer. You are a blessing. It seems this week God has just pounded upon my heart why I want to write and whom I want to reach. Please pray that I keep Him the focus and not me.

    • Cade, it’s supposed to be, one in Walmart and one at Barnes and Noble. I haven’t seen them yet. I don’t know if it’s select stores or what. If I didn’t have my own copies, I would have thought someone were pulling me leg. 🙂

  2. My dad once burned down a garage when he was around that age. He didn’t use the materials you used, though. He caught leaves on fire and stuck them in a cardboard box in hopes that it would “hide” them. And, that resulted in the entire garage burning to the ground. Your science experiment made think of that.

    I am thankful that some of my family is coming to eat with us today, and I pray for safe travels for the rest of my family.

    • Oh, my goodness. I’m glad we didn’t have similar results. I just can’t imagine your dad doing that. You have a precious family. I hope you’ve had time to enjoy them this week.

  3. Amazing testimony of God’s protection. I wonder, when we get to heaven, if God will show us all of the times he protected us? I’m sure there are many stories to tell!

    I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and my daughter, for my dad who traveled to be with us this year, and for the friends God has given to me. He truly has blessed us! Happy Thanksgiving, girl!

    • Thank you so much for being so kind to read my blog. I get really nervous about posting info about it on Facebook, but then I think this what I’ve wanted to do all my life–write. You are so gracious to take time to read.

  4. I am thankful for the people I care for whether you just met me or you’ve known me for a lifetime. I am glad God has kept them from harm’s way, and I wish you safety throughout the holidays, especially if you are going shopping on Black Friday.

    • You are one of the special people God has placed in my life. Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, I go back and I look through my scrapbook and find pieces of my life that have blessed me so much. You are one of those pieces. This week has been a good, relaxing week. I do dread going back to school because I have to conform to the standard 7-3, not 3-7. I have gone back to staying up all hours, writing. I just can’t get it out of my system. Maybe school should have a second or third shift. 🙂

  5. I’m thankful for the “blessed download from God” that happens to every Christian writer. I’m thankful that God was able to use yours in this book. I’m also thankful that I have been able to experience it this week as well. Somehow he speaks to me twice as strongly when I write as when I read. Thanks for the Chicken Soup! If I don’t win it, I’ll buy one. I can’t wait to read your contribution.

    • Robin, I love the comment “blessed download.” 🙂 You know, I wrote the Chicken Soup entry in 15 minutes. I emailed it fast so that I wouldn’t back out. It was 100% all God that it even made it into the book. I think He just wanted to give me a special gift this Christmas, despite who and what I am. Thank you so much for just being you. You always make me feel better when we talk. 🙂

  6. I’m thankful for my and my family’s health. I used to hear people say that at thanksgiving and I’d think, “That’s a dumb thing to be thankful for.” That’s when I was young and my life had yet to have been affected by cancer. After all my best friend (my same age) has gone through just this year, I won’t ever take good health for granted again!

    • Jen, I don’t know Patty, but I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about her and pray for her. You are such a good friend. I can honestly say you have changed my life in a mighty way, and I am so thankful for you.

  7. Love your blog but hadn’t subscribed till now!

    What am I thankful for? I have so many reasons to let the holidays go by unnoticed (you know what I’m talking about, Teresa, I have seen “the” line) but I am all the same thankful! I am thankful for David, who stood by me and helped me through the roughest time in my life–a time when I didn’t want to continue to be. I am thankful for my son, Kevin, who was the bright spot in a otherwise dark existance; and now that he is “grown up” (at the ripe old age of 20) he is not only a good son, but a friend, too. I am thankful for my extended family, not only biological, but the church, work, and friends I call family. AND I am thankful you share your faith and life through this blog 🙂

    • Edwina, you are simply precious. God placed you at our school for a very important reason. Every time I see you in the hall my spirits just lift even when I’m having a bad day. I admire you so much. You are a gift to so many people.

  8. Wow, what a great post. I really enjoyed it. Back in the late 60’s I ran away from home and hitchhiked around the country. I returned unscathed! I’m thankful for so many things, my son, my wonderful husband and mostly how God took things in my life meant for bad and turned them to good.
    Romans 8:28 NIV
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
    And while I’m on this subject, I remember as a new Christian (converted Jew) reading “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” and I remember thinking, “Where can I find a righteous man?” Now after many years and God’s Wisdom, I understand that we are all righteous through Jesus! Thank you for the opportunity to share this.

    • What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. God amazes me the way He weaves people in and out of one another’s lives. I just want to thank you so much for reading my blog and for commenting. You have truly blessed me.

  9. I’m thankful for time with family, especially since I am away from home most of the time. I’m also thankful for the people who hold me up in prayer when I’m at my weakest.

    • Oh, my goodness. You are so right. We should never forget our prayer warriors. I know prayers have made a significant difference in mind. I can only imagine the impact.

  10. I read your ‘line’ stories. Wow. God is gracious indeed. I’m thankful for Jesus, my family, my beautiful kids, my husband and that every month, ends meet. We are so blessed in the US, may we fight for freedom and never forget the cost. Hugs, Brenda

  11. We are so blessed, but it’s so easy to take it all for granted. Thank you so much for your kindness, for reading my blog, for leaving a comment. I pray that God will continue to bless you and show you ways you can bless others.

  12. Tee~
    I am thankful for all the many blessings God has bestowed upon my life. I am grateful that he gave me will, courage, and determination. I am grateful he gave me a wonderful and supporting family in my husband and my mother in law. I am grateful he gave me you as a teacher who encourages and inspires me to this day, I am grateful for the wonderful children he gave me, even if at times I would like to strangle them.. and I am grateful most of all for his forgiveness. You are such a blessing to me, Teresa. When I am feeling down, all I have to do is come to this sight, and you pick me up. That is a gift, Teresa, and I am grateful that God is doing blessed work through you. You continue to inspire me.

  13. Kenny and I were just talking about you Sunday. Were your ears burning? 🙂 Don’t worry…it was all good. you are a blessing and an inspiration. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. It means a lot to me that you take time to read this blog!

  14. I am thankful as I look back over this past year of all the “new” friends (one in particular that has turned out to be more like a sister) God has given me. My daddy passed away in April 2009 and even though we went through the holidays last year without him, it seems that this year is harder. God just never ceases to amaze me at how He prepares us for the things He knows we will face later. I am just so thankful for my family, friends and that God is in control of every situation. We don’t have to worry…we know He has it in control!

  15. There is nothing like the PEACE He brings us. This life will never give us peace. Only He can do that. I think holidays are harder when we lose someon because there is a emptiness there that our spirit sees even when we aren’t conscious of it. But He does have it all in control, and He will make it right. 🙂

  16. I am thankful for a saving God who loves me unconditionally. An amazing family who loves me the same way. Two beautiful grandchildren who believe that “Gram” can do anything! (I wish that were true). I am thankful for the strength and abilities from God to do many things, and some days wish I could do things I used to. Also, for more friends than I think I deserve. The courage to face each new day because of all the love and my faith in Jesus Christ. God bless you!

  17. I am very thankful that my family is able to live in a free country and that I have a job that I love to go to everyday! There are so many blessings that God has given me that I sometimes forget that they are blessings so I try to take time each day to think about all I have!

  18. My brother and I had just set up a booth at a trade show in downtown Atlanta, GA. Afterwards, we needed somewhere to eat late at night and I remember my wife telling me about an underground mall near the Coca Cola factory. We headed to the mall, which at night is located in a dangerous part of town, thinking that there are always restaurants located around shopping malls. A “homeless” man with a positive T-Shirt about Jesus came out of the mall and told us that we shouldn’t be in that part of town at that time of night. He asked us if we were looking for somewhere to eat (how would he know that was why we were there), and told us to follow him to the only restaurant near there. When he took us to a restaurant a little better than a soup kitchen, we decided to keep walking the six more blocks to the safer part of downtown. He then asked us for $7 to be able to spend the night in a homeless shelter and I gladly gave him $20. If I’ve ever met an angel, it was this guy!!!

    Anyway, I google image searched “tough angel” so I could find a picture of an angel for my six year old son who was having trouble falling asleep. Thanks for the blog! After reading your stories, it was great to remember one of my own!

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