Being Extra Thankful This Year!

by Lee Ann Mancini

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11: NIV

My husband and I recently went on a road trip from Florida to Georgia and all the way up the East Coast to Boston, to visit our dear friends. Then we traveled to Ohio and Michigan to visit family.

It was such a beautiful trip. We left Florida’s ocean breezes, the swaying palm trees and the warm sandy beaches, and headed for the red clay of Georgia and onto the to the ever-breathtaking view of the fall colors that lined most of the highways we traveled. This fall treat to the eye made me recall Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV): “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  

As I listened to the music and viewed the scenery, I became aware of how much our great God has blessed my husband, me, and our family. We raised two children who chose to follow Christ. We survived and continue to survive the bumpy road called marriage (33 years this November). We overcame difficulties such as the death of loved ones and friends. We have celebrated weddings, birth of babies, anniversaries, birthdays and so much more.

With Thanksgiving on its way, memories of all the years we have celebrated this holiday with family and friends we love dearly, as well as all the traditional foods we have shared, I was reminded that we need to be thankful every day. But this year has made me aware that there are many who will not be able to celebrate because of great losses due to this extraordinary, unprecedented, catastrophic Covid 19.

As we were traveling, I thought of ways we could show our appreciation to the Lord for all he has done for us and all he continues to do. Every year we give to those who are less fortunate; however, this year, we want to give a little extra because many are suffering great personal and financial losses. Because of all the fear, less income, and uncertainty this year has brought, people need encouragement, hope, and truth. And it came to me that I could help. I would like to donate 200 of my Christian children’s books to children in need. And I have prayed, and will continue praying, that God would give me other opportunities to help others, to give a meaningful sacrifice for me and my family.

The widow who have all she had – sacrificially – has inspired me. Luke tells her story, “As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:1-4 NIV).

How will you show your gratitude for all God has given you? Don’t be afraid to give in any way that you are able, for after all, God has given you all you have and will surely give you all you need.

Thank you, Father, for all you have done, all you will ever do, and most of all thank you for sending your Son to die for our sins!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author:  Lee Ann Mancini is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is the executive producer of the Sea Kids animation series that helps children to build a strong foundation in Jesus.

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Lee Ann’s books, The Sea Kids series, has won over 25 awards, and is a favorite among teachers, parents, and especially children! In I’m Not Afraid!, Susie and her friend go to the Undersea Amusement Park. After  saying a prayer to Jesus, she rides the roller coaster and her fear turns into faith! She learns that praying to Jesus during difficult times and having faith are all she needs to overcome her fears!

Join the conversation: How will you show your gratitude to God?