I enjoy writing about inspirational and ordinary people I meet along the way and convey their message 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 in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I am not boastful — I am thankful.
What a ride it has been since my first blog about four years ago. To date, I’ve written 224 blogs.
My most viewed post on my website was on Aug. 8, 2017 when I wrote about Braxton, a young boy who was presumed dead after he drowned in the family swimming pool. But God had other plans. That post had more than 7,000 hits on my website alone in one day and was viewed by more than 3.4 million people.
But fast forward to today. What a year 2020 has been, in more ways than one.
You may have heard about an obscure virus floating around the world, but I won’t go into detail about that, or the less-covered presidential election.
This year I was blessed to have three book-launches. Yes, three.
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. Together, we wrote and released Michigan Motivations: A Year of Motivations with the University of Michigan Wolverines by Indiana University Press.
We had some big promotions plans but they had the kibosh put on them from the pandemic sweeping the globe. A few weeks later, I released Bama Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Roll Tide Faithful and Auburn Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Tiger Faithful from Iron Stream Media.
Again, we had some big promotional ideas percolating, but had to turn off the burner once again.
For a few months this year, my oldest son and his wife and kids lived with us until their home was ready.
Angie and I enjoyed getting close with our grandkids. We liked our new grandson waking up with a smile and our granddaughter enjoyed cooking and playing in my office.
I became a junior literary agent under Cyle and have been blessed to have some of my clients sign contracts to become authors.
I even taught classes at the Florida Christian Writers Conference this year — the same conference where my journey started three years ago.
Each year I say this, but this year has been a blur even when confined to home.
In addition, here are some everyday items I am thankful for as we enter the Holiday season.
I am thankful for heated leather seats in my car.
I am thankful for bacon.
I am thankful people want me to autograph my books.
I am thankful for my publishing contracts — four releases planned in 2021.
I am thankful most of our Christmas decorations are up before this 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 I have been blessed with a writing ministry.
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.
I am thankful for our church.
I am thankful for answered, and unanswered prayers.
I am thankful for our firepit and eating s’mores with friends and family.
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, sons and daughters-in-law.
I am thankful for my adorable grandkids.
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 thankful for all the milk duds my clients have sent to me.
I am just thankful. And I’d still be that way even without all the blessings.
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” II Corinthians 9:15
Not everything has gone my way, but that is not what I focus on anymore. I look ahead and treasure the blessings the Lord has given me.
Nothing good will happen when you concentrate on the negative. I have experienced some, but this 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.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
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.