The Giving of Thanks

Today’s post is written by my sister, Rebekah. Her unique perspective on Thanksgiving is an encouragement to me. I think it will be a blessing to you as well.

There cannot be enough said about our generation’s lack of thankfulness. We cannot be reminded too many times of the gratitude we owe our Savior for what He has done and is doing for us. There are not enough articles on how to teach our children how to say “Thank you!” and mean it. All of these things need to be written about, but this article is about none of these. I want to share with you my journey to a thankful heart.

I began a tradition my junior year of college around Thanksgiving time. I had lived on campus since the summer before my freshman year and through all the summers in between! Like most college students at the beginning of the Holidays, I was severely homesick. I wanted to hang out with my best friend, my mother. The thoughts of all the things my mother has taught me; all she has done for me; and her enduring love, patience and friendship; flooded my mind. In a few moments, I opened a new email message and began my first gift of thanks. Then the following week I wrote one to my daddy.

We usually think of giving gifts at Christmas time but every year around Thanksgiving time I wrap a gift of thankfulness. I choose a person that has influenced me greatly and write them a thank you letter. With many tears of gratitude, I write a note of appreciation for what they have done and what they are to me. This gives back by reminding me of the love and friendships I may have taken for granted over the years. It reminds me that life is short and the person you are thankful for today may not be here tomorrow!

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This year I have chosen to thank my siblings for the impact they have had on my life. My sister, Dawne Hart, invited me to right a piece on giving thanks for her new blog. Little did she know that I would be giving her a gift of thanks on her own blog for the entire world to see!

This year give a gift of gratitude to those who mean the most to you!


Thank you for being my sister. Some would say you did not have a choice, but you could have chosen to push me away and not love, teach, and endure the millions of questions I would ask you every night before we would go to sleep. You are smart – you were the “Google Search” of my childhood. Now that I have Google and Pinterest, I don’t bug you quite as often!

You are an amazing woman with a caring heart, an awesome talent, and an immense inner strength. We have always teased you about panicking at times, but you have the fortitude to endure difficulties and hardships. You have dealt with less than ideal circumstances without complaint. Thank you for encouraging me to endure the hardships I face in my life.

Your relationship with God is an inspiration to me. You have followed the Lord’s calling through many mountains and valleys. You have kept your commitment to God for many years and continue to do the work He has called you to with dedication rarely seen in our generation. Thank you for doing what you know is right and providing an example to me.

Thank you for the French braids, the manicures, the knitting help, the piano lessons, the clothing advice, the knitted treasures, and the long conversations while N was deployed. Thank you for the colorful knitted socks you made for me to cheer me and keep my feet warm after I broke my back. I am still wearing them SIX years later! God made you the sister He knew I needed.

I am proud to call you my Sister.

Your Inquisitive Little Sister,


Creating Traditions

It’s that time of year again. You know the one I mean. The holidays! Just today I was preparing a shipment for my sister’s family in the States. A Christmas shipment filled with presents for the nephew and nieces. If I don’t send it now, it might not make it in time for Christmas day. In fact, it may already be too late. We will have to see!

Such emphasis is placed on Thanksgiving and Christmas and being with family. This emphasis makes it hard for those of us who are single and away from family. My least favorite Christmas song is ‘I’ll have a Blue Christmas’ and I LOVE Christmas songs. However, every time it comes on, I skip to the next song.

So what can we do for the Holiday Blues? (That sounds like it should be a song. A 1940’s song with a swing rhythm. Hmmm, that is an idea!)

How about creating your own traditions? One’s that take your focus off yourself and put it on someone or something else.

My brother inspired this blog post. He is a former soldier with at least two tours overseas and lives in a part of the US that is far from family. When I talked to him a short time ago I asked him, ‘What are you doing for Thanksgiving?’ He proceeded to tell me.

He will be following a tradition our family has had for many years.

This tradition started when my parents were in college. They invited single college students with no place to go for Thanksgiving. This tradition continued when we left for Portugal as missionaries. In Portugal we took in soldiers from a local air base, basketball players in a foreign country, British ex-pats, other American missionaries and anyone who needed the closeness of family.

My brother is following that tradition by starting his own.He will be inviting friends who have no family close, have no family or cannot travel to visit family. He will be creating his own ‘family’ for Thanksgiving.


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The holidays are hard for single people. Usually they are away from family and have no way to get home for the holidays. Their thoughts turn inward. ‘I am away from home.’ ‘I have no family around me.’ ‘I am by myself during the holidays.’ ‘Poor me!’ Instead, why not say, ‘That person has no family or friends and is alone on Thanksgiving (or other holiday), I will help him be less lonely on the holiday.’

If you are living in a foreign country, at least share the spirit of thankfulness. You never know who you can touch. This year, my co-workers and I are sharing our holiday with our church. We have made it a time of remembrance and thanksgiving for what the Lord has done this year.

Is this to say my brother and I are perfect and never get lonely on Thanksgiving or any other holiday? NO WAY! We are still people and people are people as the saying goes. We still feel the lack of our loved ones, but our focus is not on what we cannot have. Our focus is on what we can do for others. Having this view point takes courage and fortitude. It takes courage to turn your focus outward and fortitude to keep it outward.

So … what are you doing for Thanksgiving? What traditions are you starting? Where will your focus be during this holiday season? Remember God has placed you where you are for a specific purpose. There are people around you who need YOU! When you feel lonely or depressed at the lack of family, look around. With whom can you spend your holidays?


Serving Single

As a single missionary, I am asked a lot about my single status. Emphasis on a lot! I hear things like, ‘Why have you never married?’ ‘What are some of the challenges you face as a single missionary?’ or my favorite, ‘I have the perfect person for you to meet!’ These comments and questions mostly come from married people. What do I hear from single people? ‘Is it worth it?’

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Is it worth giving up marriage? Is it worth living in a foreign country on your own? Is it worth not having children? Is serving God really worth the price He is asking me to pay? To be honest, some days my answer would be NO! But those are the days I let my flesh win, the days I focus on myself and have a pity party.

When I was in college, one of the classes I took was called Christian Ethics. The teacher’s watchword for the year was Focus. She was so right. When our focus is on ourselves, it usually leads to a pity party. You know what I am talking about. The question ‘Why me?’ comes up frequently. When our focus is where it should be, on Jesus Christ, then the ‘Why me’s?’ tend to go away and the ‘Wow, look what God is doing all around me.’ can shine. If I focus on what I don’t have or what I can’t do, I will make myself miserable. God does not want us to be miserable. He created us to be fulfilled by accomplishing His will. Do I still have dreams of being a wife and mother someday? You bet ya, because God also created women to be helpmeets and caretakers. Do I make myself miserable by thinking about what I don’t have? Sometimes. But in order for me to be fulfilled completely, I need to follow God’s will for my life. He created me with a specific purpose in mind. He did not make me single to make me miserable, but to fulfill the design He has for my life. There is a song I love that talks about God as the Master Designer. He is the only one that can see the blueprints. Only God knows what the finished item will look like. This reminds me that He is in control and His way is perfect.

Not too long ago, I saw the film ‘Facing the Giants.’ The scene that touched me most was when the coach’s wife walked out of the doctor’s office. She had heard one more time that she was not pregnant. What really drew my attention was when she looked up at the sky and said, ‘I will still love you, Lord.’ I thought about how that applied in my life. True I am not a wife, nor am I trying to get pregnant. However, she was acknowledging that God was in control and whatever He gave her was the best for her. As a single person, many times we are tempted to look around us at the couples and envy them. But, God is in control and we need to recognize that He is giving us what is best for us. Not a punishment, but an opportunity to show His grace.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Living by yourself can lead to living in your head a lot. This is why focus is so important. This blog started because I wanted to give people space to talk about how to shift our focus off of ourselves and onto God. What are you getting out of serving God? Where is your focus?

If this blog post has been helpful to you, please let me know.

Mission Statement

The name of this blog has a dual meaning. One is a serving of food in portions for a single person. Second is a single person who serves Jesus Christ. It is the purpose of this blog to fulfill both meanings. The main focus will be on the second meaning. Once in a while the blog will also feature a recipe that can either be made for a single person or modified to fit the needs of a single person.

Photo Credit: Curly Courland via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Curly Courland via Compfight cc

Our main focus will be on encouraging singles who serve Jesus Christ. This could mean you serve Him in full-time ministry either in a foreign country or in your home country, or you serve in part-time ministry as a worker in a local church. Serving as a single in a couple oriented society can be difficult. Through this blog, I hope to encourage you in your walk with God and with others.

From time to time, I will invite guests to blog. Some of these guests will be single people serving God in various capacities. Some will be married people who have a connection to a single person. If you have a question you would like answered or an idea for a blog post based on your own experience, please contact me with details. I am reachable by email at servingsingle(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thank you for stopping by in your busy day to check out the blog.