Day 9: Daily Support

MARILYN MILLER

First, I am alive and pretty well at 91.  It seems like a miracle to me and I am thankful. To go beyond that, my fine family, my steadfast and present church folks, along with the many good people here at the Heritage are all supportive for which I am grateful.  Sending prayers to our good Lord,  for all of us—and love.

Day 8: Miracles

TIM STEIN

Plants emerge though asphalt, symbol for bright hope of life and success.

My perspective of this question is slightly different having dealt with the disease of addiction for over 10 years. I got clean in 2012 through my pastor in Pittsburgh and with the support of my wife – this experience was so transformative that faith as I know it is now a tangible element in my life. The addiction led to an accidental overdose and death – it’s a miracle that I am alive today.

That said, what am I grateful for?

  • Grateful that God never gave up on me through my addiction – I surrendered to God over 4k days in a row and God eventually delivered in 2012.
  • Grateful that God has paved a path of recovery where I can give back to those in need.
  • Grateful for my wife and family and their ability to forgive.
  • Grateful that our sins are forgiven.
  • Grateful for my brother Josh who showed up at the house where I accidentally overdosed – otherwise I would have been by myself and there would have been no one to call 911.
  • Grateful to be alive and healthy.

Day 7: Continued Education

BARBARA ANDERSON

As I reflect upon the difficulties of 2020, I realize I have many things for which I am grateful.  None of my friends or family have contracted coved 19.  I am so thankful my daughter and her family moved to Franklin.  My husband and I were able to take care of our grandson so my daughter and husband could work from home.  During the spring when schools were closed, we were able to continue his education through many activities.  We made crystals, erupted a volcano, made leaf, wildflower, and constellation notebooks, and collected rocks and minerals.  Our daughter expressed her gratitude to us every day.  

We were so thankful to still enjoy church services online and especially the outdoor services held during the summer.  Today’s technology was so helpful when our country was basically “shut down” during the spring. Many people were still able to work from home through the use of technology.   I can only imagine the isolation and despair people felt during the pandemic of 1918 without the modern conveniences we have today.  

Although I hope 2021 will bring happier times, I am truly grateful God has kept my family and friends safe during these difficult days and hope we will all be able to worship together again soon.

Day 5: Resilience

MARK RAINES

I’m grateful for the resilience of our communities to adapt to the pandemic.  From masks to our favorite virtual meeting platforms, we have all learned to use new tools to connect, play, work, worship, and socialize.  Our new challenges have forced us to grow in ways we weren’t expecting. Ways we didn’t know were possible. We just needed the inspiration to take advantage of what God has made possible.  I’m grateful for the resilience we have all found within ourselves.  The resilience to not only deal with the challenges of today, but to build a better future!

Day 4: God’s Love for Us

PAT HORVAT

When I find myself alone and think of all that is going on in our world with Covid, the presidential election, financial problems, and family matters, it would be easy to become depressed. We have a son, Rob, who has fought leukemia twice in the last ten years. He was given a poor prognosis from his doctors the first time, but he continued to fight hard. He has withstood more pain in his life than most of us could ever imagine. His first words to me after being diagnosed the first time were “Don’t cry Mom, I’m not afraid. I know where I am going if I don’t make it and we will be back together one day. Those words have remained in my heart every day.

When I go to bed, I lay there thinking about him. I pray that God will continue to watch over him. When he found out he had leukemia the second time, had a bone marrow transplant from Germany and a change in blood type, I continued to pray. He had to receive all his immunizations again. He suffered again….and so did I. Rob knows God….he is such a good person.

At night, when the tears form in my eyes, I am reminded that “I” do not have the control to help him….and I am reminded that that is God’s work. Grateful…..I am so grateful for a God that watches over us every second of each day. What is more important than God and His love for us?

Day 3: Mom & Music

VIVI & MAGGIE GARAFOLA

In this world, there are many things we are grateful for. A few examples are our mother, who takes care of us, and our church who welcomes everybody no matter their differences. Another example would be music. Music is a pretty easy way to think about your feelings and to be able to reflect…punk rock included. To be honest, 2020 has been terrible. We all can look back on this year and think that there was nothing good in it, but that’s not true. You just need a little faith and to look for something in your life to be grateful for.

Day 2: Memories

CHARLES HIGLEY

In this time of pandemic fear and enforced loneliness, I have much to be thankful.  I still grieve the loss of Carlene earlier this year, but she took such joy in living and taught me so much about being happy in all things.  Since she decorated every available spot in our house, I can look and see so many memories, great memories, of her.  I am so grateful for the extended family I enjoy through her five children. I am thankful for the phone conversations with others from FPC.  Interestingly, I have gotten to know several people better.  When we are all back together at services again, I will be able to visit with a larger group of friends.

Day 1: A Grateful Heart

BARBARA AND CHARLEY WINGER

View from the deck in North Carolina

We try to live each day with a grateful heart.  Some might think this strange and unpredictable time in which we live would make that even harder to accomplish.  However, we’ve found quite the opposite is true.  We have always found joy in the little things in life, and these isolated days, weeks, and months have provided us more opportunities to search out those many things for which we are grateful.  Additionally, the multiple calls we have received from members of our church family to check on us and see if we needed anything have helped us continue to feel connected – to God and to each other. 

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