From the Executive Director
Empty-nesting – an opportunity to reimagine and rediscover

Grateful …

I am always keenly aware of thankfulness during this time every year. We see the word “thankful” in printed articles, sermon titles and greeting cards – all leading to that special day in November we put aside to thank God for his blessings to our families and our country.

Thankfulness is something I’ve been trying to develop in my life year round. It starts with my prayer life. Have you ever spent one-on-one time with God focused only on thanking him for who he is and what he has done without asking for anything? It’s hard! I am so consumed with my hurts and needs that it is difficult to pay adequate attention to the incredible blessings he gives me every day. As I have developed the skill of spending special periods of prayer just giving thanks to God, my perspective on life has changed dramatically in good ways. I am a more positive person – better able to be grateful to others and better able to see the hurts and challenges of life against the landscape of God’s blessings. If it sounds like I have mastered this, know that I have not. It’s still a work in progress, and probably will be while I live on this side of heaven.

So … I guess this is my challenge to you to make Thanksgiving a part of your life every day – not just in November. Even though we might be in a time of illness, job losses, belt-tightening, and down-sizing, we have much to be grateful for. Just to start off the list, we can be thankful for our families, our freedom (which includes the freedom to worship God in the open and the freedom to hold and voice our own opinions among a sea of opinions), and the wealth and opportunity of our nation.

As your sons and daughters at George Fox University come home to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family, I hope you have a special time together.

Best regards,

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations