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Defining Thankful by Sue A. Fairchild


By Sue A. Fairchild

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes “thankful” as being “conscious of benefit received.” For me, the definition doesn’t seem to say enough about this word. Being conscious of a benefit we have received is a good thing. It helps us to say “Thank you” and to show appreciation. It helps us not to dismiss important events in our life and assists us in seeing the good when sometimes life is just too hard. But simply being aware of the benefits in our life doesn’t seem to truly define the emotions behind the word.

When I think about all the things I’m thankful for in my life—my husband, my health, the health of my loved ones, God’s never ending blessings and His ever present care in my life—it simply is not enough to say I’m “conscious of the benefits” of each. Each thing I’m thankful for in my life affects me deeply and I want to express my joy for each of those things in the right way.

My husband loved me at my most broken stage and has helped me become the strong entrepreneur I am today with his love and never-ending support. Simply being aware of all he has done for me doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about him. Joy fills my soul when I think of him. My heart sings when I consider his sacrifices, the parents who made him who he is and the God who placed him into my life. In turn, I seek to show him how thankful I am for all he’s done, by doing things for him, verbally thanking him, and loving him in a tangible way.

When I think of my health and the health of my loved ones, I marvel at a mother who has persevered through years of debilitating illness, admire a father who worked two jobs to make ends meet despite heart issues and am proud of how I’ve battled weight loss and depression problems. Being thankful means understanding how hard it has been and yet still finding joy—being grateful—for every minute of the process. (Check out my post here about how thankful I am that my mom recently turned seventy-five!) In addition, I need to remain aware that God has placed each moment in my life as a means to grow, learn and achieve.

It’s good to be aware of our blessings. It’s right and positive to say “Thank you” at the appropriate time. But it’s so much more. It’s a feeling, deep down, that life could have possibly been better, but without the hard things, it’s difficult to recognize the good. We must not only be aware of the benefits of our life, but also seek to extend thankfulness, graciousness and admiration for everything God has placed in our lives.

 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-14 NIV)

Sue A. Fairchild is a freelance editor who specializes in substantial edits and Christian writing. Her editing credits have included a suspense/thriller series, a fantasy series and numerous other genres. In addition, Sue is also a writer who has been published in Christian devotion magazines, two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, as well as self-published two novels currently available on Amazon (“What You Think You Know” and “Summer’s Refrain”) and is currently working on a third.

Sue’s attention to detail and passion for good writing assists her clients in making their work shine. She’d love to talk with you about editing your next big project! Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email her ( for a free consultation and estimate (max. 2 pages).

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Saturday Confession: Thankful Series Wrap-Up

Posted by Julie on November 30, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Thankful November guest blogger |

I can’t believe November is over. It was fast for me. While you read the thankful posts, I cranked out over 13K for my rough draft,  To Be Determined and revised a chapter or two with Untangled. Oh, and then there was the wrist pain I didn’t count on. So far they think that’s tendinitis. See? With things like that, the month goes fast.

And if you’re like me, when the days fly by, sometimes we miss things. I thought I’d share links to each thankful post that published. I heard great feedback from many of you on these, but I’d love for you to take the time to leave comments. I’ll make sure each guest blogger receives the kind comments you post.


Thankful for Life by Connie Arnold

A Writer’s Thanks by Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers

Unexpected Opportunities by Dr. Richard Mabry

I Just Couldn’t Do It by Deborah Engle

Angels with Flashlights by Kathy Dippolito

Thankful for Health by Beth Ann Farley

Year Round Thanks by Marijo Phelps

Cold Turkey by Pam Ford Davis

Thankful for God’s Timing by Elizabeth Maddrey

Getting Through My Story by Chef Mike Darracott

Side by Side in God’s Battle by Holly Hrywnak

The Ordinary Life by Leslie Umstattd

Angel at Midnight by Diane Dean White

Thankful For No Goodbyes by Lori Dixon

Thankful for Life by Eleanor Gustafson

Today, I’m Thankful by Carole Brown

Giving Thanks by Teresa Pollard

His Best by Teresa Pollard

And, as a bonus, you can read Susan Aken and Jennifer Slattery’s posts on why they are thankful. Those will be available in December.




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The Thankful Series

As October winds down, I admit, it’s hard for me to get excited. I’m a visual person and October is always a stand out. The bright leaves and beautiful harvest colors are the antidote to colder weather. November is tough for me. Where I live isn’t known for sunlight. November is one of the hardest months that way and it can take a toll.

November also is a kickoff for the holiday season. Each year it feels more about shopping and less about Jesus. Family. Traditions. Things I don’t want to take for granted.

A few years ago I started a thankful series for November. It was my plan to use my own blessings each day to make me intentional about thankfulness, and also fill my blog for the blog every day in November challenge. People started asking if they could submit their thanks, and then I started the write a novel in a month challenge through NaNoWriMo. So to cover my blog while I was writing a novel, I used guest bloggers and their thankful posts.


The tradition continues.

During November I’ll be working on my first draft for my third contemporary romance set in the Adirondack Mountains. To Be Determined is Trish Maxwell’s story, and although I doubt I’ll hit 50k, I’m excited to get started.

While I’m doing that, you are going to be blessed with the caliber of posts on thankfulness that have come in.

They have come in from executives, grandparents, authors, a chef, and sisters, to name a few. They have come from all over the USA, England and Canada. They are diverse in why they are thankful, yet I was able to relate to each one. I think you will, too.

Do me a favor? This series is too special to keep to ourselves. I’d love for you to spread the word, not to boost my numbers, but to encourage someone hurting. In need of a pick up. A little hope. Subscribing is the best option, because then it goes right to your mailbox. If you’re on other forms of social media–Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Instagram, share away. You never know who needs that uplifting post to make all the difference.

I can’t wait to hear what you think.

And friends, I’m thankful for you.

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