Thanks...Giving (Ozarks November 2012)

"Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High." Psalm 50:14

I am blessed. I am thankful. I would like to run down the list of all the things I am thankful a heartbeat, air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and rest...then the things I'm provided shelter, protection, warmth...then family, my beautiful wife, my silly kids, my mom and dad, and so forth...then there's friends, relationships, and everyone else that I know. I am thankful for all these things and much, much more!!!

But this year...what I am most thankful for is Grace, Mercy, and Love. In 2012, God has revealed to me more than ever that my life is not my own. I feel like I understand (maybe if it's even a small glimpse) that everything I do hinges on something Greater than I. I can't quite define it, or explain I wont' try to sound smart...but every breath that goes in and out, every heartbeat I take, and every moment is an act of giving...a constant gift. So, here I am...

Given Grace...given an unmerited hand in life; out of pure kindness to me, though I continually suck in most areas.

Given Mercy...given a continous pouring of compassion in my life, though I am often a repeat offender...a selfish moron who keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.

Given Love...given Jesus Christ. Given the ultimate expression of love...that is Jesus redeeming me so I can have an intimate relationship with my Father. I can't do it on my own...nor do I deserve to...but with Jesus, Grace and Mercy follows...

So this year, and hopefully every year...I will give thanks to giving. For God giving me the greatest gift of all..his Son!

Where: Ozarks of Arkansas, Buffalo National River Wilderness
What: Family vacation, Lost Valley State Park, Horseshoe Canyon (climbing)
Who: The Moore family (Jen, Sean, Major, Addy, and Beckett) and Pasquels (Sarah, Hannah, Pia, and me)
When: 11/23-11/26/12
***This isn't a trip report***I have visited these areas and a trip report was documented in previous posts. Your welcome to check them out under December 2011 trip reports. So from this point on, it's just pics (with a few notes) from this long holiday weekend. Hopefully they will tell the story...hope you enjoy!
(Pia showed her courage, grit, and determination more than ever on this trip. I mentioned to Sarah that I have never seen her so confident and bold. There was no fear in her...I loved it. She grew up a little bit this trip and was holding her own with the bigger kids.)
(The kids got to see bats, elk, deer, horses, cows, pigs, mountain goats, birds, peacock, a lamb, and two of the kids spotted a rat snake on this trip)
(Yes, those are bats...)


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