I’m sitting alone in the living room of our cabin surrounded by hand hewn logs, a stacked stone fireplace and our dog who has pushed her way between me and the back of the couch. It’s Thanksgiving and I’ve been considering the many things I’m thankful for. Where do I begin? Some things are the obvious: God, my wife, our children, our family, our friends. You know the normal list. But I’m thinking about a few people who aren’t always on ‘the list’.

I’m remembering my first piano teacher Marjorie Watson, who showed such love and patience and helped give me a wonderful musical foundation. Dr. Dorothy Shuford Griffith who I was privileged to have as my last teacher. She gave up so much of herself to invest in me and I’m forever thankful. In addition to my parents, she believed in me regardless. Paula Boyette for inviting Kim Crisafulli to our College & Career bible study/party. A year and 6 months later Kim Crisafulli took on Stone as her last name. I’m blessed and grateful!

Pastor Joe Wright, who I met during the summer of 1997. Thanks for finding me in the middle of 5,000 people and taking time to ask about my family. I never dreamed our conversation would change my life forever. Joanne, our tireless social worker (servant). We are so thankful for the opportunity to know you. There’s nothing like watching God’s hand move. Thanks for introducing me to a brave young teenager who had the courage to give her baby (our daughter) the chance to live and for choosing us to be parents; there are no words except thankful. Her braces came off two days ago and her smile makes my heart flutter.

To Mercy Ministries for your amazing passion to young girls and for the opportunity to be chosen by another brave and courageous young woman to be parents to a wonderful, healthy boy. It’s because of you that I drove 32 miles to pick him up from his grandma’s house last night because he was homesick. I didn’t mind.

Today will offer new opportunities for new memories. But for now I’m remembering. Have an incredible Thanksgiving and take a few moments to think about a few people who’ve been part of changing your life.




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