I admit that I was trying to get some Christmas shopping done early this week. I was searching for some things to get the kids. However, everything that I looked at seemed to be so expensive. I thought, “They’re not getting that!” During my online shopping spree, something hit me that I had never thought about … a memory that was long-buried in my childhood.

I suddenly remembered one of my Christmas requests I made of my mom one year. I asked for a waterbed. Seriously. As a kid, I thought they were the coolest things (still do). What really amazed me this week was that my mom got it for me! I guess I took it for granted as a kid. I must have thought they just grew on trees. However, looking back, I’m sure that must have put mom out of a good deal of cash. Honestly, I don’t know how she paid for it. Mom worked a full-time job, sometimes a part-time job, finished a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree, and raised two kids.

She must have been stretched thin in just about every way. Despite that, she made sure that I got my one Christmas wish. Thinking back on that, my thankfulness for my mom has deepened. One way or another, she always made the holidays as happy and special as they could be.

It’s funny how sometimes we have to find things to be thankful for and sometimes they just find us in everyday life. Either way, I can honestly look back on my life and be truly thankful. I’m thankful for all that my mom did for me. I am thankful that I had a dad who did his level best to show us love. I’m thankful that I had truly wonderful grandparents, who guided my life and showed me the depth of God’s love. I’m thankful that God has allowed me to be a minister and pursue my passion. I’m thankful to serve a church that overlooks my shortcomings and celebrates my gifts. I’m thankful for a gracious wife and two beautiful little girls.

I’m thankful. No complaining today. Maybe tomorrow. Probably tomorrow … it’s a bad habit I need to work on some more. However, today, I find myself thankful. I pray the same for you.