My 2010 Thanksgiving List

First Fun Thanksgiving, after J.L.G. Ferrisphoto © 2008 Mike Licht | more info (via: Wylio)
I don't always do a Thanksgiving post. For me (and a lot of other church tech guys), Thanksgiving is a fly-over holiday. It's often an inconvenient roadblock on the road to a really busy December filled with Christmas productions and extra (and extra-complicated) services. In fact, I would be OK if we moved Thanksgiving to a less hectic month like October or August.

Still, it's good to take a few days off, even if forced to, and smell the roses or consider the things we should be thankful for. And the truth is, I do have a lot to be thankful for. So here is my list for 2010, in only a semblance of order, of things I give thanks for.

My Wife

The truth is, I don't give her enough credit, nor do I thank her enough. It's hard to be a TD's wife; our hours are long, the pay low, the schedule unpredictable. If something, anything, is happening at church we need to be there long before it starts and will be there well after it finishes. We miss every major holiday and most minor ones. My wife rarely, if ever, complains about any of that, knowing that it's part of the calling. In a few weeks we'll celebrate 20 years of marriage. I'm truly blessed to know that she has my back and supports me and our girls so well. Speaking of my girls...

My Girls

My wife and I have two great girls. They have been a joy to parent and are maturing into wonderful women of God. It's not easy to be a daughter of a TD, for most of the reasons listed above. Still, they love God and support what I do, often times doing it right along side me. I love watching them grow and continue to become more involved with our church family. Speaking of our church...

My Church

Last night we did a family Thanksgiving service, which included an open mic sharing time. I have known for a while that I work at a great church, but that point was really driven home last night. It's been so cool to see our church truly become a church family, even over the last 16 months I've been here. In fact, it feels like a lot longer, which is indicative of how much this feels like home. I know a lot of TDs who are struggling in their roles right now, and I'm blessed to work at a church where I'm comfortable, doing what I enjoy with people I love. Speaking of people I love...

My Friends

The last 24 months have been a watershed of friendship development. Just a few years ago, I didn't know there were other TDs; today I count dozens of them as good, even great, friends. A handful have become like brothers. I'm so thankful for those guys; people I can call on for support and encouragement, and for the fact that they call on me for the same thing. Some of these friends are close, others are scattered across the country. But we use technology to stay in touch, and that's pretty cool. Speaking of technology...

My Tech

Though being overly dependent on technology does have it's downsides, I'm willing to put up with them to take advantage of the upsides. From the "old school" tech like cell phones and text messaging to "new school" like Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Skype, HeyTell and TokBox, my friends and I have been able to leverage these tools to stay in touch, and deepen our friendships. It's amazing how well you can get to know someone on the other side of the country when you spend a few hours on a Skype call with them every month. And I like that. I even find my faith is stretched and deepened in these conversations. Speaking of faith...

The Father , Son and Holy Spirit

No list of Thanksgiving would be complete without this inclusion. I can honestly say if it weren't for my relationship with Jesus, I would be angry, alone and probably divorced (and perhaps re-married and divorced again) by now. Not only is my eternity secure, but my life today is much richer and more complete than I deserve it to be. Without God's presence in my life, nothing else in this list would exist.

So there you go. Of course there are a host of other things to be thankful for: The fact that I'm in the 89% of Californians who has a job. We have a comfortable house to live in, plenty of food to eat and clean water to drink. I have good music to listen to, and enjoy some of the best weather in the country (Sorry Minneapolis, I heard it was 7 there today...65 and sunny here). Last night someone said if you start to make a list it might take a few minutes to come up with the first five things, but if you keep going, after a while, you have a few pages. That's how I feel. I could keep going, but I won't. Not because I'm not thankful, but because I have to get my chestnuts in the oven. Have a great Thanksgiving!