Thanksgiving is the start of my favorite time of the year — and no, it’s not just because we stuff ourselves and watch football. It kicks off the Christmas season and a time of togetherness and thankfulness. And as I reflect on my life and get ready to indulge in the holiday season — and in turkey — I realize how thankful I am for the many blessings in my life.

More than anything, I’m thankful for a God who loves me and a Savior who redeemed me, without which, I would be nothing and have nothing.

I’m thankful for my health, for the ability to wake up each day and have another chance at doing something meaningful and being somebody special. I pray I make an impact on others and do more with the time I’m given than simply let it pass by.

This is my first Thanksgiving as a husband, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the loving wife with whom I’ve been fortunate to share my life. It’s also the first Thanksgiving in which she is pregnant and the last one before I’m a father. I’m grateful for that special gift from God.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderfully large family, the immediate ones with whom I grew up and the in-laws I was fortunate to inherit upon marriage. These are the people — along with my wife, of course — who most shape my life, and I’m grateful for the impact that they’ve had.

I’m thankful for my employment, for my home and the shelter it provides, and for the other necessities of everyday life.

As I think about some of the great issues that our country and our world face, I pray for resolutions to those, but also offer thanks for the comfort and security in my life, for which so many have fought and died.

It’s all too easy to let life roll on and to be consumed by the everyday challenges that we face, neglecting to remember all that we have to be thankful for. So, I not only offer a prayer of thanks today but one that hopefully serves as a reminder for the days that lie ahead.

Now … it’s time for some turkey and some football!