Having come through a year of intense work, I am ready to list the things for which I am most grateful in 2017:
1. Hillary Clinton is not president. Yes, I know the GOP is doing a lousy job. I also know that if they don't get their act together in a big way, next year the elections are going to be dramatically different than they were last year (last night's elections proved that.) But for today, I am grateful that while the GOP hasn't managed to get anything done, we are not at the mercy of Nancy Pelosi and company who always manage to get their agenda through regardless of how unpopular with the public or destructive to the future of a nation. (It's really hard to stop a woman who will pole-vault over a wall if necessary just to pass a hugely disliked bill so that we can find out what's in it.)
2. The housing market has rebounded. Here in DFW, housing prices are 40% higher than they were before the 2008 crash. That is a great thing for property owners. For buyers entering the market it creates some daunting challenges, but overall having housing prices and values rebound is a good thing. (And the market is cooling off as buyers are now refusing to pay too much for properties--also a good thing.)
3. I spent this year working with a great group of people in a great environment. Even though the hours were long and the work was intense, I could not have asked for a better team.
4. Proposition 2 passed last night in Texas. This badly needed change to the Texas Constitution will allow more Texans to borrow against the equity in their homes while still keeping the protections that preserved Texas through the last housing bubble. This update to the law has been long in coming and we finally got it.
6. Frontier 2000 Media Group has produced three new books in the last 12 months. Last year we launched the Kinsman series by publishing The Invitation on Christmas Eve. This year we have two more releases: Precisely at Midnight, which is Book 2 of Kinsman, and N: Plain Sight, which is the third installment of N. I am very excited to see our company growing and to have new releases for the start of the holiday season.
7. God hears us. No matter how dire our circumstances may appear or how desperate we may feel at times, we are never alone when we know the Lord. I went through years of extreme sadness, loss and stress and to not be in that place any more is a huge gift. I spent much of this year--as I have spent the past decades, praying and working. Much of what I prayed for and worked for is still left undone. But I trust that God has this and that He hears us when we call out to Him for help. So I will continue to pray for America and ask Him to save this nation. And I will continue to trust that He sees both the big circumstances facing our nation and the individual circumstances of our lives and that He cares equally about both. "Don't worry about things--food, drink and clothes. For you already have life and a body--and they are more important than what to eat and what to wear. Look at the birds! They don't worry about what to eat--they don't need to sow or reap or store up food--for your heavenly Father feeds them...And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies! They don't worry about theirs. Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you....So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time." (Matthew 6: 25-34 TLB)
Now that's something we can be thankful for every day! Happy Thanksgiving.
Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her holiday series, Kinsman, is available in paperback and on Kindle. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.