Western Christian subculture, and the rest of the western world, has traditionally measured people according to what they can do. More and more, we define people by how different they are and how uniquely they express their individuality. But our identity is not in what we own, what we do or what we can accomplish, or in what others think of us.
Who is God, and what is he like? How should we look for his image in children and young adults? What does that mean for our parenting, our teaching, and our interactions with kids in our neighborhoods and congregations, whether those kids are well known to us or unfamiliar faces?
No matter what is going on in your story at the moment…no matter the pain, the sorrow, and the hurt, there is always something to be grateful for.
I desire to live in true thankfulness and gratitude—for every piece of the woman whom God created me to be. Yet it is counted false if the successes of those around me cause me to doubt my own identity.
This year, 1,100 miles separate me from the people with whom I have spent every Thanksgiving. Rather than holding to tradition, my plans involve waiting: waiting for the phone to be passed around to each loved one, waiting for the day to pass, waiting for Christmas so I can join them.
While that spider and my mild arachnophobia did give me chronic discomfort, my discomfort also made me hyper-aware of my surroundings. And, strangely, that’s where my gratitude for spiders comes in.