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The potatos and salad are ready to be taken to dinner with friends tomorrow… a loud, rambunctious family of 5 who have opened their arms each year I’ve been away from family and asked me to join them for the day.  My own family is spread miles away in two different directions, but we’ll be connected at some point during the day with phone calls full of “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s”.

It would be easy to let the “woe is me’s” creep into life, especially at this time of the year… I’m by myself, struggling each day to make a living and a life for myself in a world that is not often easy.

But I’m blessed!

With the love of a daughter who is the most beautiful young woman I’ve ever known, inside and out.  With the unconditional love and support of my family.  With friends who care about me and are there through thick and thin, as they know I am for them.  With work that I love doing.  With a roof over my head and a four-legged companion who is my bestest buddy.  With my health.   Yes, I’m even thankful for the gray that is creeping into my hair and the “laughlines” around my eyes.

And I’m especially thankful for the love and guidance of my Father…. Lord God, thank you for all the gifts you give every single day of my life.