Thanksgiving continues and Christmas begins.

November 29, 2020 • Filed under:

Oh, how I hope God met each of you in your specific circumstances on Thanksgiving day in a way that made you feel seen by your Creator. I cooked a full meal for the family last weekend and my son and I drove to have dinner with our daughter on Thursday.

Two Thanksgiving meals.

At my age, two large meals isn’t good news (wink), but my heart was filled with gratitude for how God has loved me specifically in 2020. There are general blessings so commonly shared between us like faith, family and health. Those are magnificent blessings and evidence of God’s love, but what about the blessings specific to each each of us? There are blessings that let you go to bed feeling like God had a special eye on you that day. There are blessings that fulfill the desires of our hearts deep down in secret places that others don’t know about.

Thanksgiving that refuses to end.

The #1 specific thing I am most thankful for this year is diversity in my friend group. During a year of high racial tension our country, having conversations about things like racism, white privilege, critical race theory and lament made me realize that though I do not perceive racism in my heart, I had no close friends with skin color different than my own. I wanted that to change.

In June I took a leap of faith and piloted a video study during the quarantine via Zoom. The online format meant anyone in the world could register. People signed up that had not typically been in my social circles. I not only made new friends, but new close friends. I was intentional, yes, but also completely sincere. I love my new friends and am thankful for each one. Thanksgiving is not over for me. These ladies are going to hang around in my life for a while!

The #2 specific thing is piloting that study during COVID, One Gritty Blink. It took every ounce of faith I had to show up on Zoom calls from my dining room table. I made room for God to show up, and He did. Of course, He did! The June study has spawned other studies around the globe. Folks, what is occurring is a reminder to both you and me that God can’t use us if we aren’t making any space for Him to operate — not bringing up His name, not in relationship with anyone, not putting His message out there somehow, not associating our lives with Jesus. Let’s do stuff by faith that scares us. Let’s make room.

Christmas begins.

I have read through the Bible for the second year in a row and I am going to for the third time in 2021. My first year was THIS bible reading plan covering a little Old and New Testament each day. This year was THIS chronological bible plan. At first I was put off by the long stretches of Old Testament law with repeated stories. If two books of the OT tell the same story, then those stories are joined together to be read one right after the other for comparison.

About midway through the year I gained a new appreciation for the repetitiveness. Jen Wilkin teaches that the bible is one of “thrift.” There are only so many words that could have been used to form a bible, so if God kept the words, then each is there for a reason. That principle got me thinking; If a story is told three times in a book of thrift, then it must be really important for me to know. I started to pay attention to the multiple accounts and often paused to compare one account with another. I am going to give the chronological bible plan another spin in 2021 and appreciate it more from day one.

Bible Giveaway: THREE FULFILLED, 11.29/2020 The first three people to respond to this post with a request for a FREE One Year Bible Plan, or One Year Chronological Bible, will receive one from me! I will contact you separately about where to send your gift. With the gift, I commit to pray for you regularly for all of 2021. I hope the three recipients from last year enjoyed their year in God’s word in 2020. None of us knew what 2020 was going to look like!

May God’s grace and mercy follow you all the days of your life.


Picture Explanation: 14 years ago today we walked into a courthouse with a little boy and came out of the courthouse with a son! He is the most amazing son a family could ask for. Each year he gets to do something fun with a friend on this very special day. This year we spent some time with monkeys.

© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.


  • Jennifer Cole says:

    I would LOVE to have the Chronological Bible! 💛

  • Ethel Romig says:

    Hey Laurie,
    I was thinking about what you said about getting bogged down by the law in the Old Testament then immediately it came to me how Christ paid for every law I have broken. Yes, even those laws I skip through when I am reading through them.

    • Laurie says:

      I agree! By the time we get to the New Testament we are starving for the good news of Christ. In this week’s reading: …for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.The law simply shows us how sinful we are. (Romans 3:20) and …In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. (Romans 7:7)

  • April Baker says:

    Thank you for all the inspirational words that you give. Your blog on Sunday morning is my first “devotional ” of the day. You are a true blessing in my life my friend!

  • Laurie,
    I couldn’t help but assume MYSELF as one of your new, close, long-time friends. Oh, what JOY!
    Coincidentally, I am also reading the chronological Bible this year, and also reading it again next year, and suggesting (mandating) my children all read it as well. Crawford said in a message that he has been reading the Bible through since his teen years, so my previous thought that my kids were too young to read the entire Bible was upended.
    Praise God for wise friends and wise teachers.
    I would LOVE a copy of the One Year Bible (the one covering Old and New each day).

    • Laurie says:

      You are the third and final recipient! I will get it to you by the end of the year. I, too, am hoping to read the Bible annually as well. I, too, heard that sermon.

      And, yes. You are one of the treasures I wrote about this week. My #1 thanksgiving. Can’t believe God did it during COVID. It seemed impossible when I prayed it.

  • Carol says:

    You are the fifth messenger within about three weeks (the second one this morning) that the Lord has used in prompting me to read the Bible all the way through. It is coming at me from every angle and there is no ignoring it, I will be joining all of you! Giving you permission to check in on my journey!

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