• Deborah Arlene

Gratitude


A few years ago, I challenged myself to do a daily gratitude post on my personal Facebook page. I was inspired by a friend who has now done 1,051 gratitude posts and counting. Wow! That’s impressive.


I did a year, faithfully, not missing a single day. And I even did 366 days since it ended on a leap year. It was a wonderful experience, and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing it again. Basically, every day for 366 days, I posted about something that I was thankful for, and it was always something different because I didn’t allow myself to duplicate any of my previous posts. It turned out to be such an uplifting experience because on the really hard days, I was forced to find something good in that day. Turns out, it was never difficult to do (1 Thessalonians 5:18).


Being thankful helps me to take my eyes off of my problems and instead, to focus on my blessings. And I have many, many blessings, as we all do, but I can too quickly forget them.


It’s one reason why I love Thanksgiving. No matter what, every year, our country collectively focuses on being thankful. Of course, we should do this far more than once a year. And I try, I truly do, but I’m far from perfect. The older I get, I find that it’s easier for me to be thankful because I can look back on my life and see God’s hand of love, mercy, grace, and goodness everywhere I look, even in what seemed like the worst of times.


As I think about Thanksgiving this year, I have a lot to be thankful for once again. I had the continued privilege of babysitting my precious granddaughter who lights up my days tremendously. I published my first novel, and I heard many positive, encouraging comments from people who read The Dream and were blessed by it. I was able to hold a couple of book signings to meet some of you, and I am learning about the book marketing process as time goes on (with much more to learn). And this month, I’ve even begun writing a follow-up to The Dream.


Also, it was exciting to hear good news about an eye condition that I’ve been struggling with for two years, and I continue to be blessed with a wonderful, supportive family. There are so many other things I could add, but you get the picture. God is so good!


There is much to be grateful for on the pro-life front as well. Our country held several national days of mourning to repent for abortion: February 23 in New York, April 6 in Virginia, and August 30-31 with a caravan from Richmond, VA to Birmingham, AL, to specifically mourn the 20 million black lives lost to abortion. While these were somber days of mourning and repentance, I am so grateful that these events were held because I know that God is hearing the heart cries of the people of our nation, and I believe we will see His response.


In addition, the release of two powerful pro-life movies this past year, Gosnell and Unplanned, has created a noticeable impact for life. I’ll mention just a couple of examples. CBN reported on April 13 that Abby Johnson’s organization, And Then There Were None, experienced a dramatic increase in abortion clinic workers leaving the industry and coming to her organization for help after the movie Unplanned (a documentary of her conversion from Planned Parenthood director to pro-life activist) was released. In addition, LifeSite News reported on September 25 that 40 Days for Life announced its largest number of participants to date in their fasting and prayer ministry outside of abortion clinics (40 Days for Life was featured in the movie Unplanned). According to the 40 Days for Life website, 738 lives were saved from abortion during this most recent fall campaign.


Because of so many faithful workers on the frontlines, the lives of many babies continue to be saved, and the lives of many parents continue to be transformed as they choose life for their babies and abundant life for themselves through Jesus. It’s difficult to calculate the numbers as there are so many organizations and individuals working on behalf of life. Thankfully, Jesus knows every single one, and each one of these saved and transformed lives is worth celebrating!


Finally, numerous states have passed pro-life legislation, and many people across the nation are now talking about, and preparing for, a post-Roe era. We aren’t there yet, but with the continued prayers of many, I believe we will see the day that Roe v. Wade is overturned. When that happens, it doesn’t mean the end of abortion; it simply means that laws against, or for, abortion will be enacted in each state. Consequently, states like mine (Pennsylvania) are already preparing. Pennsylvania held its first Life Action Conference in July, and I was blessed to be able to attend. Pennsylvania is also planning its first March for Life to be held in the state’s capital, Harrisburg, on May 18, 2020, and I plan to attend that as well.


While this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of all that we have to be thankful for in the pro-life arena, it gives us a glimpse of how the Lord has been moving this past year.


There is so much to be thankful for personally, relationally, professionally, and on the pro-life front. While Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that helps us to focus our attention on gratitude, it’s an attitude that we are called to live daily (Psalm 34:1, Ephesians 5:18-20).

May You Have A Blessed, Daily, Thanksgiving!


In Christ’s Love,

Deborah Arlene

Author of The Dream


Writer of Light #6


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© 2019 by Deborah Arlene.