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Thankfulness – in ALL Things!

As we sat around the Thanksgiving table, my husband Don asked that we each express thanks for one thing. In my turn, I reflected that nine years ago, Thanksgiving 2005, I was in intensive care with my very ill first husband. God had surrounded us with new friends 3000 miles from home, and some had invited another hospital patient’s wife and me to a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Although hesitant to leave Jerry, I felt I needed to go as the other woman didn’t know these new friends of mine. After dinner I returned to the hospital to find my husband in crisis with a large pool of clotted blood at his side–one the nurses hadn’t yet seen. After I yelled for help, the room filled with doctors. I stayed in the room until Jerry was stabilized about 2 am, then finally went to get a few hours’ sleep before returning to the hospital later that morning.

Three days later, after a surgery to remove a difficult-to-locate aneurysm, my lovely husband passed into the arms of Jesus.

I had no idea at the time what God had in store for my future, but a few years later He brought a new love into my life. Don is an enormous blessing and gift to me–one totally unexpected.

Life is sometimes filled with pain; but we don’t know what God holds in store further down the road.

new love, new life

new love, new life

So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I praise God for the following:

1. His great, unconditional love and forgiveness.
2. His gift of Presence.
3. His promise never to leave nor forsake us–no matter what!
4. That the life beyond this one is eternal, and will far surpass the one we now know and love–full of awesome surprises, the best of which will be meeting Jesus face to face.
5. That even after loss He can bless us in unexpected ways, and joy can return.

Sarah Young says “Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.” (bold = mine) JESUS CALLING, November 22, p. 341.

I have experienced His help in trouble. I have experienced His joy. And I am deeply thankful.


  1. Columba Lisa Smith says:

    What a beautiful post, Carol! I love that you point us to eternity, where we will be blessed beyond what we can imagine here. Sometimes, we need to hold onto that. And thank you for reminding us that joy returns in the morning.
    Lovely picture, too!

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you, Lisa. I always appreciate your perspective and view of eternity.

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    What an inspiring and beautiful post, Carol. You’ve lifted my spirit, especially during this time of uncertainty in my life. I love you, my friend. And I agree that your lovely Don is a true gift to you and to all who know him.

    1. carolnl says:

      Karen, I’m so thankful. You and Charles continue to walk in faith and we love you; and I’m so glad you also know and love my Don. Hugs!

  3. Lisa Hamil says:

    So Beautiful Carol. Thank you for bringing this forward! Many blessings and I am so greatful fo YOU!

    1. carolnl says:

      Thanks, Lisa. Hope to see you Monday.

  4. Kathy Wysocki says:

    Lovely words, Carol. I’m so very sorry for your loss all the while so happy for the joyful life you live now. God knew what you needed to heal your broken heart. It was in his plan long before Jerry became ill. Your words certainly bring back painful memories for me. However, I am so very thankful that God allowed me the pleasure of my kind and loving Daddy as long as he did. And now my little grandson will be his namesake. Harvey Blue Miller – Daddy is surely smiling down on on us. And I know that was already in His plan. He never fails us. Love you.

    1. carolnl says:

      Bless you, Kathy. What a thrill to know your grandson will be your father’s namesake. I so wish I had known him before he became ill; but I know from your life, Lisa’s, Wayne’s and your Mama’s that he was a very precious man and hero in your lives. I love you too.

  5. Robin says:

    Thank you for sharing a generous slice of your exceptionally beautiful mind. You and Don are superb examples of Heaven-sent angels that appeared in my life at precisely the right time. I am most grateful.

    1. carolnl says:

      I’m touched by your comment, Robin. Thank you, bless you.

  6. Karen Kleinberg says:

    Perfectly stated by the heart of one who knows her God so well. I was shocked to realize it has been 9 years since Jerry celebrated eternal life with Jesus. God is so good and you have been a beautiful reminder of His grace and blessings. Love you,

    1. carolnl says:

      Bless you, Karen. I love you right back.

  7. laurabennet says:

    Lovely post, Carol. And I didn’t know your story before so it’s nice to know a little more now. It sounds like you have been truly blessed to have Don now. What a beautiful testimony to God’s great goodness. I love your picture!

    1. carolnl says:

      Thanks, Laura. Yes, all glory to God!

  8. Edie Peters says:

    Carol, I can relate to finding joy again, even in spite of all trials. I would have never thought that I could experience a new life, and am grateful to God for His goodness. it is beyond belief, and I should be thanking God every day for the new life I now have! God is so good!

    1. carolnl says:

      Edie, I too am grateful God brought Brian into your life and has given you new joy. Love you!!

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