October 10, 2017

Giving Thanks for Faith, Family, Friends by Sharon Espeseth

In our front entry, over the door, we have a wooden sign that says, "Faith, Family and Friend." I liked this when I got it at a gift exchange, because it is emblematic of what is important in life and in our household. And I display it with appreciation.


"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." (Psalm 126:3 NIV) From creation to salvation to watching over us to his unfailing love and patience . . . the realm of what God has done and is doing for us is endless. I cannot contain my faith in the brevity of a blog, but "I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth (and my writing and my living), I will make your faithfulness known through all generations." (Psalm 89:1 NIV)

I am thankful for the faith I learned from my elders and accepted as my own. I am thankful for God's Word that teaches how to serve the living God and how to live as Christ taught us. God's Word-- written by prophets, teachers, kings, and  apostles called from ordinary walks of life--informs my day-to-day life and my writing. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

Many good books have been written and many excellent resources are available, but today I am giving thanks for the Holy Bible, the foundation of our faith.


Like most of you, our family got together this past weekend and celebrated our thankfulness for each other and for the many other blessings in our lives. To me, our family is an earthly symbol of God's caring for us. How would shy Hank and quiet Sharon have managed to find each other in this noisy world, had it not been for the the Good Lord's leading, guidance, and wisdom? Yes, I was wise to marry Hank--not that I am perfect nor that he is perfect, but we are perfect for each other. And 42 years later, here we still are looking after and loving one another.

We wanted a family and God saw that we would have a family. Our first child, a baby boy, arrived 5 1/2 months after we submitted our adoption application. The second child, a baby girl, arrived 13 months later. The third child, another girl arrived on Valentine's Day the following year. Within 37 months, we had three children and life was in full gear.

God is great.
God is good.
But let us not thank him
just for the food.

Our family continues to grow by sons-in-law and grandchildren. We now are a family of 13 and we have much to be thankful for. When Hank and I were young, strong and full of energy, we didn't see the road ahead. As we have aged, health problems and waning energy can hold us captive. When we need help, however, the kids come. The kids are a source of help and support: a resource of sorts, but much more!

Our Original Family of Five

I always have been, and still am, close to the members of my birth family. Although some of our family have left this earthly realm, I am thankful for their loving influence on my life. I am thankful for my sisters and their families, who are also an important part of our lives.

None of us is perfect, but God has a way of working with broken vessels. He takes us where and as we are and leads us, if we are willing, to the place he knows is best for us.


We who have good friends are blessed. We can get busy in our lives and forget to show our appreciation for their friendships. A friend is a resource who can bring a well-spring of joy and blessing to our lives, and hopefully we can bring blessing to their lives as well.

Writing this blog seems an appropriate time to say thanks to the friends I have gained through my writing years. I think of the Women Word Weavers in our hometown. Some of our founding members, including me, are still around for the meetings, for keeping in touch, exchanging ideas, and encouraging one another. How thankful I am for their faithfulness and loyalty.

InScribe Christian Writer's Fellowship has been another boon to my continued growth and confidence in myself as a writer. I am thankful for the group as a whole, for our dedicated executive and volunteer workers, for Connie Inglis and Jack Popjes as spiritual advisors, and for the members of the prayer group, who offer prayer support for our members when it is needed.

As Paul said to the Philippians,

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel . . ." (Philippians 1:3-5a NIV)


  1. Sharon, thank you for the reminder to be grateful for faith, family, and friends. I especially needed to be reminded not to take my friends for granted. We CAN get so busy that friendship seems to take a back seat. I appreciated this post. Thank you!

  2. what a lovely post, Sharon! Indeed, these three are the best resources of all!

  3. Thanks, Joylene and Tracy, for your comments. With my blog being so close to Thanksgiving, this is what was on my heart. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. I do like the ideas and the resources mentioned in other blogs and I am taking note of them as well.

  4. Sharon,
    Thanks for sharing some thoughts about the things you are thankful for - not only at Thanksgiving, but also throughout the year. I agree that faith, family, and friends are key ingredients in life and I'm also grateful. Thank you for being a friend to me, and for encouraging me so often!

  5. Thanks for you comment. I appreciate your friendship too, Ruth, and also your encouragement to me. We are fortunate indeed to meet kindred spirits and fellow believers through InScribe. Thank you for your quiet, sincere, and strong leadership of ICWF. Blessings.


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