I am delighted to be Dale’s guest on her blog today—and especially excited to be here on Thanksgiving! How cool is that?
Life is so much better when we cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I’m sure you’ve given some thought to what you are grateful for today, and I’d love it if people post one or two of those things.
Here’s my short list. It sounds trite, but it’s not. I’m grateful for family, for friends, for those I take for granted (and shouldn’t), and for those who have left this life and gone ahead of me. They have all enriched my life beyond what I can give in return.
I’m grateful for health, for shelter, for food, and for the resources that allow me to contribute to the communities in which I exist.
Yet even during the holidays most of us experience stress. Some of us battle depression, and everyone carries a burden that is largely or entirely unseen by others. Maybe today, and in the days to come, when the busy-ness of the season gets to be a bit much, we can take a moment to step back, take a deep breath, and just be. And remember that for which we are grateful.
In that moment, I hope to catch a glimpse of love that transcends “self”; of grace that brings quiet comfort; and hope, that gives meaning and purpose to life even in the midst of struggle.
If you’d like an uplifting story that brings love and grace to the pages, you might like to try Christmas Hope, a holiday novella and Book #4 in the Appalachian Foothills series. (A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project; you’ll understand why when you get to know Sam.) Christmas Hope is also available in a box set called Romancing Christmas—which includes Dale’s offering, Broken Protocols 3.5, a fun futuristic story about a culture which had lost Christmas.
Sam Bledsoe prefers his reclusive existence. A one-man landscape business keeps a roof over his head and food on the table—and keeps his badly scarred face away from curious eyes. But when a woman faints on her way from neighbor Maggie Ross’s house, he doesn’t hesitate. He rushes to help while grappling with memories of the incident that burned him so badly.
The father of her unborn baby showed his true colors when he showed her the door. The apartment she has lined up isn’t available until the first of the year, and with Christmas and a storm on the way, living in her car is no longer an option. Becca appeals to her no-nonsense sister for help, but Maggie, unaware of Becca’s pregnancy, chooses that moment to dish out some tough love.
When Sam comes to Becca’s rescue, their battered hearts collide. In a moment of holiday magic, they discover that Christmas hope applies to all, even to them. And will hope lead to love, the most precious Christmas gift of all?
Like Sam and Becca, I hope you take a moment to seek out the “greater than” of your life. Consider starting a journal of gratitude, whether privately on paper or publicly via social media. When I come across online posts of gratitude, my spirits are invariably uplifted. Gratitude is contagious! Maybe we can collectively make the world a better place this holiday season.