This post will be a little different than ones I usually write. I enjoy writing about inspirational and ordinary people I meet along the way and convey their messages of hope. For me, it’s more than a hobby.
But I want to take a few moments and reflect back on the year I have experienced with gratitude and awe in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I am not boastful — I am thankful.
What a year it has been since my first book contract about 12 months ago.
Buckeye Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Ohio State Faithful was released in April and is doing well.
In a few weeks, Bengal Believer: 40 Who-Dey-Votions for the Cincinnati Faithful, will hit the market with many more in a series of Ohio sports to come.
And I’m excited to announce that Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best will be released Feb. 25, 2019. This is going to be a fun book to promote.
There are many more projects on the horizon, and I am excited for the potential.
My agent Cyle tells me all the time “the favor of God is on you.” I am humbled and never want to take that for granted.
Angie and I have become part of a group called Serious Writer, Inc. which holds writing conferences all over the country. Just two weeks ago, I made my debut as a class instructor, and Angie served as the conference manager.
We have had such a blast over the past year.
But on a personal note, we welcomed another daughter-in-law into the family along with her precious daughter. And we just found out we will be grandparents again in May of 2019.
We also took a trip to New York City with our writing friends, and we took a cruise through Alaska with Angie’s family.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)
These past 12 months have been a blur. I have many things to be thankful for. Here are a few (in no particular order):
I am thankful for the heated leather seats in my car.
I am thankful for thick sliced bacon.
I am thankful for publishing contracts.
I am thankful most of our Christmas decorations are up before the holiday weekend.
I am thankful Angie does not like to shop on Black Friday.
I am thankful God saw fit to forgive me.
I am thankful my family saw fit to forgive me.
I am thankful I have been blessed with a writing ministry.
I am thankful my agent and friends believe in me.
I am thankful for all the wonderful people God has allowed me to interview over the past year.
I am thankful for coffee — good coffee.
I am thankful for sunsets.
I am thankful for Bluetooth in my car.
I am thankful for my job.
I am thankful for our health – especially after my two kidney stone attacks in May.
I am thankful for Hickie’s Hamburgers and vegetable soup.
I am thankful for our church.
I am thankful for answered and unanswered prayers.
I am thankful for our fire pit and eating s’mores with friends and family.
I am thankful for all of our new friends. They are amazing. I’d love to list them, but I’d forget someone.
I am thankful for our nation and our military.
I am thankful for our law enforcement and first responders.
I am thankful for our flag and our history.
I am thankful for my wife, Angie, and our sons, Gabe and Eli.
I am thankful for both of my daughters-in-law – Kylee and Danielle.
I am thankful for our granddaughter, Sophie, and my new grandson who is on the way.
I am thankful for vacations and time away, yet glad for my home.
I am thankful for the all-you-can-eat buffet for the media at the Cincinnati Bengals games.
I am thankful for Schwann’s popsicle sticks.
I am thankful for God’s grace.
I am thankful for Denise’s homemade bread and my mother-in-law’s Sunday dinners.
I am just thankful. And I’d still be that way even without all the blessings.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)
That is what this past year has done for me. I have developed more of a thankful heart over the past several months. God has opened up a new world for Angie and me to spend together.
Not everything has gone my way, but this is not what I focus on anymore. I look ahead and treasure the blessings the Lord has given me — and the things He has kept me from.
Nothing good will happen when you concentrate on the negative. I have experienced some setbacks in life, but these will not slow me down or hinder me. In fact, the hard times only make me stronger. I learn from challenges and use them as fuel for my fire. I refuse to glance over my shoulder to the past. John Wayne, one of my favorite actors, once said: “Looking back is a bad habit.” No more. The future is ahead and is bright.
Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me. I don’t deserve them, but I will accept and allow them to grow in my life.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Let me know your thoughts on how God has blessed you. Even if you are going through a difficult time, realize the Lord loves and wants to help you.
Do you depend on Him for happiness? You should.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving from Angie and me.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.
His first book — BUCKEYE BELIEVER - 40 Days of Devotions for The Ohio State Faithful —can be purchased on Amazon.