By Marisa Deshaies
Since 1621 Americans have celebrated our ability to live, love, work, and play in a land of plenty. Nearly four hundred years ago those brave pilgrims and religious separatists would have imagined the bounty and success Americans experience today. Through frightening and unsafe conditions, those pilgrims fought and worked diligently to make better lives for themselves, their friends, and their families. I am thankful those pilgrims stood for their beliefs because as I continue to learn about the countries and lands where people cannot practice their beliefs, I become more and more thankful for the freedom Americans can proudly claim as our own.
I could not be more thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My life is so good, and I have only Him to thank for the bountiful blessings He has bestowed upon me. Through Him, I find the joys of blessings and am able to pass through the difficulties and challenges without despair. I am also thankful to serve and love God, the Father whose love, redemption, and mercy are unending. The lessons I have learned from His Word are the most meaningful and inspiring teachings I could ever aspire to follow. I am also thankful to be a Catholic, a religion that provides a solid foundation upon which I base my faith.
God’s Word comes in the form of a book and His son, Jesus, taught lessons through parables and stories. Five years ago God shared with me His calling for my life—to serve Him and teach others about the Christian faith through inspirational fiction. I am incredibly thankful that God has provided a calling that I love so much I cannot imagine my life without it. I love editing so much my heart and mind ache for stories to read and for the chance to open Track Changes or pick up a red pen. My “to be read-and-reviewed” pile contains over sixty-five books. I create, reimagine, and rewrite blog posts as I drive, when I sleep, and as I watch movies. Thank you, God, for this most beautiful of blessings a wordsmith could ask for.
My editing and writing would be nothing without the group of people who listen, encourage, and support everything I do, day in and day out without fail. Thanks be to God for this most precious gift of family and friends. To my parents and brothers—thank you for being there every day while I struggled with math homework, exclaimed over writing projects, and watched Pride and Prejudice too many times to count. To my best friends–you girls mean the world to me…so much. Thank you for being my “sisters;” God has blessed me infinitely through you. To the ACFW—my professional outlook would look vastly different with this organization. Thank you for providing opportunities through which I can share my gifts.
I am relatively new to cooking, so this year in particular I am thankful to have the chance to cook my first Thanksgiving meal! No recipes to share as of yet…but I’ll take any suggestions. Is anyone willing to share some secret family recipes with me? Happy early Thanksgiving!