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About the Writer:

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.




By Joanne Sampl

It’s more than a parade on TV. It’s more than a rare opportunity to pull out the good dishes and check to see if your flatware doesn’t have water spots on it. It’s more than the volume of household contraptions raising a decibel or two. How many times will I set off the smoke alarm this year?

Yes, Thanksgiving is almost here. I have so much to do, so little time, yet so many things to be thankful for.

Recently, I was driving the minivan while making my mental list of things to do for the holiday. Driving is not a good time to actually write the to-do list, I’ve learned, so I busied my head with a lengthy “don’t forget” list.

  • Check in with family members we will be seeing for the holiday.
  • Send regrets to the family members we won’t be seeing.
  • Think through how many seasonings I really need to buy at the grocery.
  • Estimate how many back-up jars of gravy I will need in case my attempt at real gravy backfires.

It was a long drive with lots of things on my mind. After I pulled in the garage, I headed straight to my desk to organize my thoughts and write out my extensive list.

And there, sitting in the middle of my desk was mail my husband sorted for me. A bright yellow envelope was on the top of the stack, and I could hardly wait to open it. It was a Thanksgiving greetings card from my best friend who lives in Michigan. Immediately, I felt the ache of our long-distance friendship. We are deep spiritual sisters as well, so I cherished knowing the card she picked out for me was genuinely from her heart and filled with details she knew would touch my heart.

Right below her signature was a bible verse that just clicked for me. I’ve read it a dozen or more times in my life, but how I just needed it now.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” - Psalm 118:1 (NIV)

As much as I have to be thankful for in this world – my family and friends, my health, my business, my ministry, my home and all the needs and wants I have met – I realized I just need to focus on what I real have to be thankful for: God’s Love. I mean, of all things I have, God’s love is the only thing that is eternal. It will never run out. It will never empty. It was never decline. It will never need a refill or a back-up. It will never end.

Can I ever thank God enough for the way He loves me – with the forever and ever and ever kind of love that only comes from the One who created Love in the first place?

Happy Thanksgiving to you All!


Copyright © November 18, 2006– Joanne Sampl. All rights reserved.


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