Grateful for My Life, Family and Friends

We recently celebrated Thanksgiving. Though there were only six of us, we were grateful for the time together. My husband, myself, two sons and a couple who are sort of related to us were the members of our little party. They are the in-laws of one of my daughters. We had a lovely time of catching up, sharing our hearts and enjoying the day.

To celebrate what we are grateful for is bittersweet this year. And today is the first anniversary of my son’s departure from this earth. He is missed by friends and family alike. It is hard to lose someone you love dearly, and we all struggle with this loss. Some may wonder how we can celebrate when the loss is so great.

grateful for Stephen

If all I thought about was how much I missed my son, I would be miserable indeed. If my happiness is based on a person or thing on this earth, I will often be disappointed. Our circumstances can change unexpectedly, and what we once had is now gone from our sight. If I only look at these things that change so fast, it would be hard to keep a grateful heart.


But when I keep my eyes on God and trust Him through all the trials and the good times, I will find much to be grateful for. He never changes but is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can be counted on to keep His word, for He is always faithful. People can try to thwart God’s plans, but in the end they will fail. No one can stop whatever He has purposed to do.

A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (Christian Standard Bible)

On the other hand, God can thwart the plans of man. He can change the hearts of kings. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make plans. It is good to plan out our days and the projects we take on. But to me, it is comforting to know that even though I make the plans, God will change them if I am headed in the wrong direction.


I am grateful that He cares so much for me and will never leave. Because I put my eyes on Jesus and what He has done and is doing for me, I can be grateful throughout my days. Even when circumstances say otherwise, I can still thank God for the life He has given me. Things may be hard and I may grieve, but I can still praise my God.

I am grateful for sunshine, rain, my 7 beautiful children and 14 grandchildren. We celebrate the love we have for each other which is stronger than any differences we might have. And, of course, I am grateful for my husband of 46 years and counting. Add to that my daughter-in-law and sons-in-law and all my wonderful friends. When I think on all I have to be grateful for, I realize I am truly blessed.


There is much more than could be written about these thoughts, but my time is up, as this is a Five Minute Friday post, and I may have gone shortly over time. I’m a little late to join in, but better late than never. The word for the week is grateful.

I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #InspireMeMonday. #HeartEncouragement

15 thoughts on “Grateful for My Life, Family and Friends

  1. Dear Gayl,
    I am so thankful for the loving encouragement and honesty that you share with us. You remain in my prayers as you feel the loss of your dearly loved son. But I am so grateful that God keeps showing you how faithful His promises and love for you are. Sending you hugs and love across the miles today. Xoxo

    1. Thank you, dear Bettie, for your love and your prayers. Yes, God is truly faithful as He loves and cares. I appreciate your prayers and love and hugs, dear sister. Blessings and love to you! xoxo

  2. For you, dear friend…

    We have to mourn what we have lost,
    and cannot try to hide
    from the pain and from the cost
    of the cold and dark inside
    that once was lit by love’s warm light,
    once brightene by their smiles;
    now, in dark of bitter night,
    separation’s more than miles,
    but if we’re true to memory,
    for them, walk in the world,
    then death, that last grim enemy
    will see its dun flag furled
    by our wistful sad reflection
    and the hope of resurrection.

    1. Oh, dear Andrew, thank you so much for your thoughts. I know you and Barb are struggling now and I appreciate so much that you took the time to comment here. Blessings and love to you both!

    1. Suzette, I am always blessed to know I have inspired someone else. May God give you strength and courage as you seek His will. Thank you for your prayers and hugs. They are much appreciated. Blessings to you!

  3. You hit the nail on the head when you said we have to keep our eyes on God. If we look at what we have lost or didn’t work out, it would be hard to go on. Of course, we are human and will think of these things! But if we redirect our thinking back to Him, I believe He will help us.

    May you feel His presence and comfort every time you think of your son. Praying for you.

    1. I have to keep reminding myself to keep my eyes on God. I know He helps us when we veer off course and brings us back. Thank you for your prayers. I do feel God’s presence and comfort. So many have reached out and offered prayers and comfort. Blessings to you!

  4. Gayl, it is so true that when we keep our eyes on Jesus and look for the blessings, we discover we are more blessed than we thought. Blessings to you and may He comfort your heart!

    1. Dear Joanne, sorry to be so long in replying. Yes, it’s not always easy, but as we look to Him and the blessings we will realize how blessed we really are. Thank you so much for your comments! Blessings to you!

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