Not long after we got a new puppy, Parker sat on the floor beside our two dogs. One old. One young. From an overflowing of his heart, he declared “I feel surrounded by joy!”

Such simple words, but impactful. What would it take to feel surrounded by joy? To have an overflowing of “wonder?” A heart bursting with gratitude?

I felt the same way this week when returning Parker to scout camp after soccer practice. I stood by the campfire and looked at the stars in awe. Seeing the night sky from the quietness of the woods does that to me. I could have watched for hours, reflecting on our incredible God, the creator of the universe.

How can someone see the expanse of the sky or witness the birth of a child and not believe in a creator God?

Misguided beliefs produce a lack of hope

There are many who do not. This week, a Facebook headline drew me in. I’m not one to click on links on the platform, but this one gave a list of famous people who are known to be atheists. My curiosity got the better of me. Soon after, my heart broke because of their lack of hope for a future beyond this life and missing heaven because of misguided beliefs.

The assurance that one day I will spend eternity in the presence of Jesus tops my gratitude list. That alone gives me peace and joy.

This Thanksgiving let’s allow ourselves to be surrounded by joy. There are plenty of things to focus on – the beauty and innocence of our children, an encouraging word, a visit from a loved one, a surprise phone call with good news, a meal, a beautiful sunset, a good checkup, a new beginning, an opportunity presented, a restored relationship, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and many more.

Truth is, giving thanks in all circumstances is the will of God.

Today, take the time to rest and reflect . . . and fill in the “many more” on your own gratitude list.


Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28