Zechariah’s Song: For This I am Thankful | By Marie Sumerel
Week 3, Day 18  |  December 16

I am thankful for so many things. I have been blessed with a loving family,
satisfying career, and strong faith. I imagine that you may be thankful
for many of the things I mention here.

For me thankfulness revolves around family and friends.
My parents taught me that kindness and forgiveness are at the heart of strong relationships. Although we were not a wealthy family with unlimited resources, we had what was needed to be comfortable. We gave what we could to those less fortunate often through church and community organizations.

I believe a deep sense of gratitude calls us to support, care and come alongside others. Seeking the opportunity to be of service to others requires a willingness to get my hands dirty, to be ready for the unexpected, open to new ideas and ways of living, and accepting of people’s differences. It is a risk to open myself in this way to others but always worth the return.

I think I feel the most gratitude toward God in experiencing the beautiful world of God’s creation. My family and I enjoy being outdoors together. We find peace, beauty and respite from rafting on rivers, visiting parks, and hiking through the rolling hills and mountains. We are aware of the presence of God from the songs of the birds, flight of butterflies, and wind through the trees. We feel the peacefulness of God’s creation.

Thankfulness opens my heart and soul to all the wonders of God’s creation. There are times when nature’s silence is overwhelming. It gives me a chance to reflect on what is good in this world. It is often through the silence that I am able to discern the will of God.

I am thankful for the never-ceasing love and sense of hope for all who follow God.

PRAYER:  Dear Lord, You bless us in so many ways. May we show you our gratitude as we seek to share with others the love you so freely give to us. Amen

Steve and Marie Sumerel are the proud parents of John Luke, a senior at NCSU. They love hiking and taking care of their dog, Darwin. Marie teaches in the Happy Hearts class; Steve serves on the pastoral staff of the church.