Thank You, God, for my wife, Shawna. I'm more thankful for her today than I've ever been. She has taught me the meaning of true love. Trust me; we've been married nearly ten years, which is approximately 9 3/4 years longer than I would have stayed married to me.
Thank You, God, for Alexis & Gentry. They are the most precious gifts imaginable. Their unconditional love humbles me. As their father, I've finally begun to understand the depths of Your love for me.
Thank You, God, for my family--parents, sister, brother's in law, nieces and nephews, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I've come to realize that You placed them in my life to help shape me into a better man. Some have taught me by being a stellar example; others have shaped me by forcing me to learn patience (remember the hole in the bathroom wall, Nan?) ;-), but anything I am, anything I become, will be shaded by their continued influences.
Thank You, God, for an incredible network of friends, people who care about me--not about the things I can do, or the good that I can bring to their life, but about me. That's the deepest sort of friendship, a friendship that I've not known much of. But You suddenly dropped a handful of true friends into my life; thank You for that.
And thank You, God, for You. I continue to be amazed that You haven't simply said, "Enough" about me, and sent down a bolt of lightning to rid the world of me.
Other stuff, too, God. Houses and cars; jobs and clothes; abilities and talents; money and reputation; thank you for all of them. They all mean so much. But when I sit down to begin to list out the things I'm thankful for, those things all pale in comparison to the really important things You've blessed me with.
The stuff can be replaced; I know--I've had and lost quite a bit of stuff. But I could never replace the family and friends that You've blessed me with, and I could never replace You. So thank You again.
Happy Thanksgiving, family and friends! You too, mean people who periodically send me nasty emails!