By Gelene Simpson
Corsicana Daily Sun
I have so much to be thankful for. And every year the number grows. I spent a great deal of time in research, especially family history. So I think it is natural for me to begin with being thankful for my ancestors, although I must remember that God gave them to me or me to them, however you want to say it.
God has always been with us with a mind full of wonders and a heart full of love and grace. I am thankful for a Savior who is the same in character and whose example of sacrifice and suffering encourages me in facing the trials of life and whose joy is overflowing.
I am also encouraged by the prophets of old and the ministers of today who spread the gospel of God’s love to humankind. I have been blessed to hear it and wish this same blessing for all who have yet to receive it.
Much love and thankfulness go to God for choosing my parents for me — hardworking people whose delight was in the opportunity to instill in their children a desire to learn and a will to undertake a difficult task, trusting in God’s help to see them through. I have always had the greatest confidence that whatever good thing I tried to do, my parents were behind me 100 percent. And everyone knows how much my brother and sister have gone out of their way to help me in all my endeavors. Of course no one was more of a helpmate than my late husband Harrell. Anything that I wanted to try to accomplish, he was ready to assist me.
I have always loved children and thank God for my son and daughter. The memory of their faces when they were little and their antics will always bring a smile. I am amazed when I look back at their little clothes that I sewed on my old sewing machine and remember their expressions — the way they grinned that great big grin to show that they had lost their front teeth.
I love to hear children sing or say a prayer or a table grace. I am thankful for every precious hug from a little one and love to hear from my former students, all grown up with children and grandchildren of their own. How great it is to grow up being taught to say, “Please” and “Thank you” to one another and “Thy will be done” to God above. What a close bond we have here on earth. We feel its strength when tragedy strikes, and we circle round to share the burden. But there it is again at times of joy and thanksgiving at a new birth, a soul saved, or a life dedicated to service.
I remember a favorite song of my childhood. It said, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.” I am thankful for the truth of those words. When those we have known all our lives begin to drop away, we realize suddenly how much they mean to us. Somehow we had thought they would always be there within reach by letter or phone call. There were so many memories we had meant to share and much news to tell, not to mention the many photographs to show. One moment we are talking to them, and the next moment they are gone.
Then, how surprising it is when we meet a new friend — one with whom we immediately identify and with whom we feel a closeness as if we had always known this soul somewhere. It is not difficult to believe that God above knew our need and placed us within reach of one another.
A great deal of joy of living for me comes from the animals I see and hear every day at the farms close by. I love to hear the call of the mourning doves. It is such a lonesome, plaintive song that I always have to stop whatever I am doing and listen. The bird call I have the most fun listening for is “Bobwhite!” When I hear the crisp chirp of the cardinal, I scan the tree-tops for a glint of red feathers among the green leaves or a bright flash of color as the male darts from tree to tree.
But I might as well change the name of the bird feeder to “squirrel feeder.” No matter what kind of contraption a person rigs up to keep the squirrels from robbing it, they always manage to outwit the plan. In fact, I think I have some of the most acrobatic squirrels in the county.
I’m glad that God saw fit to save the animals from the Great Flood. So for the world and the people and animals in it — I say, “Thanks be to God!”
Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org