Give Thanks

Dear God,

It’s me again. Actually, I don’t know what you want me to call you. For all I know, you might prefer to be called something Hebrew, Latin, German, or Cherokee. Anyway, one thing’s for sure: you’re older than the names people call you. That much I remember from Sunday school.

My mother called you, “The Lord.” My granny called you “Heavenly Father.” My uncle used to call you the “Big Guy.”

Either way, I was raised in church, and I remember hearing a lot about you in the tiny chapels of my childhood.

I love those chapels. I remember plaster ceilings which leaked, and pews that creaked when people shifted weight from cheek to cheek.

And Sunday-school teachers who made you sound like an old Western sheriff who wouldn’t take any lip. Like Wyatt Earp, or the Terminator.

But that’s not you. Not at all.

And even though I don’t know a lot about you, I know a little.

I know that you’re the sun. You’re pine trees. You’re the sky over Lake Martin. The smell of baked apples Mother used to cook. And prettiness.

You’re the look on a kid’s face when he or she catches a fish.

You are every blessed Andy Griffith Show episode ever made. You are Aunt Bee, Opie, Barney, Otis. You had absolutely nothing to do with Matlock.

You are guitar music my uncle used to pick. You’re popping noises from hickory logs in a fireplace. You’re salted butter. Roasted pecans. Bottled Coca-Cola. And loyalty from a friend.

You’ve done things. And I’m not talking about big things—everybody knows you make the earth spin and stars twinkle.

No. I’m talking about tiny things you’ve done. Like how you managed to let me find a wood figurine my grandfather carved. It’s a buffalo, and it’s almost a hundred years old. I found it packed in an old box.

Then there’s the time I got locked out of my house. I was carrying armfuls of groceries. My wife was out of town. And I had to pee.

It was a miracle. The back window was open. That was all you.

How about the way you made it rain last week? Or the way you woke me up this morning.

This Thanksgiving morning, my eyes opened to see a gold-colored sky during sunrise.

There was a bloodhound on my bed—curled at my feet, snoring. A woman beside me, sleeping with her mouth open. The same woman who’s slept beside me for fifteen years.

So I should thank you for her. And the coffee smells every morning. And Conecuh sausage, and eggs I eat for breakfast.

And my mother. And soft cotton. My sister. My niece, Lily. And baseball. And tomatoes. And the sound of a mandolin. And the taste of rainwater.

I don’t thank you nearly enough, and I’m sorry about that. I really am. Because even though life is no cakewalk, and even though it looks like this world is practically falling apart sometimes, it’s not. And you’re still here. Being you.

I’m sorry, I don’t know what your ancient name is, so I’ll just call you God.

Thank you, God.

Your friend,

—Sean Dietrich

36 comments

  1. Debbie Phillips Hughett - November 21, 2018 6:29 am

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  2. Susan Self - November 21, 2018 8:51 am

    He is our everything. I don’t think God is picky about what he’d called. He just wants us to call on him. And to see and hear his answers and believe. After my husband died in 2012 the answer to my prayers was to “stand and keep standing”. So I do. And it’s still wonderful. Thank you my merciful Lord. Thanks for giving us Sean.

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  3. Kristine Wehrheim - November 21, 2018 10:10 am

    Amen.

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  4. Kelly - November 21, 2018 11:00 am

    Amen.

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  5. Patricia Dianne Gibson - November 21, 2018 11:04 am

    Thank God for you, Sean

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  6. Marisa Franca - November 21, 2018 11:06 am

    I may not comment each and every time I get a post but I read every one of them. I had to respond. Thank you!!

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  7. Jean - November 21, 2018 11:26 am

    As we all can say…thank you God! Sending love and blessings to you and yours.

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  8. Andy - November 21, 2018 11:57 am

    Thank you Sean for putting into words what a lot of us feel. Thank you Lord for Sean.

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  9. Liz Watkins - November 21, 2018 12:24 pm

    God is good! Happy Thanksgiving Sean🦃🦃

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  10. Mary Lee - November 21, 2018 12:30 pm

    He is everything. From the smallest to the largest thing and I don’t know anyone that can ever even hope to thank him enough. I thank him for you and your God given talent and for the eyes to read what you have written and the mind to understand and the heart to feel. Thank you Dear God for everything.

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  11. Diane - November 21, 2018 12:51 pm

    Thank you for the reminder.

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  12. Dawn Stanford - November 21, 2018 1:02 pm

    I love Conecuh sausage!

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  13. Harriet - November 21, 2018 1:08 pm

    Sean, you lift my spirits daily, and I love what you’ve given us today.

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  14. Freida Lowery - November 21, 2018 1:24 pm

    I’m thankful for you, and the gift you share with us all. Happy Thanksgiving❣️

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  15. MermaidGrammy - November 21, 2018 1:29 pm

    You do just fine. Everyone of your writings are you thanking our Father. God knows what’s in your huge, sweet, precious heart, dear Sean. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  16. Brenda McLaine - November 21, 2018 1:52 pm

    My sentiments exactly.

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  17. Carol - November 21, 2018 2:00 pm

    You Praise and Thank God everyday with the sharing and telling us of the people you meet and talk too!
    I thank God I found you !!
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ,JAMIE ,THELMA LOU, OTIS AND THE WHOLE FAMILY !!
    Love ya!

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  18. Judy - November 21, 2018 2:14 pm

    You have an attitude of gratitude. You are humble. And you are a joy to “know”, even if it is only through what you write. Thank you for being you and for sharing with us.

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  19. Jeri Blom - November 21, 2018 3:03 pm

    Thank you Sean, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  20. Diana - November 21, 2018 3:04 pm

    Hallelujah! Amen!

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  21. Bev - November 21, 2018 3:08 pm

    Thank you, Sean.
    Even though you don’t mention God in each of your writings you do by way of seeing others through eyes of love and compassion. You see the struggles of life and the love of life in those you meet. You also reflect love and compassion back to them. God blessed you with a loving tender spirit and you share it freely!! We see the hand of blessing and compassion of God through the gentle spirit He has given you. Thank you for sharing your gift with us each day!!

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  22. Courtney Roberts - November 21, 2018 3:27 pm

    well said….

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  23. Pat - November 21, 2018 3:51 pm

    I have shared your story and encouraged others to also follow you. I tell them that you write about the little things and little people, no glitz and no glamour! I have always been thankful for the innocent age in which I grew up…much like Mayberry, and thankful for Andy Griffith, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee and all who gave me good morals to raise my children by. I also have found myself the recipient of the “tiny things” you spoke of and immediately knew it was God at work. Today you nailed it! Thank you!

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  24. Peggy Savage - November 21, 2018 4:30 pm

    Thank you God for Sean. Such a blessing. ..

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  25. June Gibson - November 21, 2018 5:18 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for being you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. God bless.

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  26. Mary Lou Casey - November 21, 2018 5:27 pm

    Wonderful thanksgiving reminder. Thank you.

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  27. Edna B. - November 21, 2018 6:17 pm

    I love your stories and I, too, love God. I am so blessed and I am thankful. I’m wishing you, Sean, and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. Hugs, Edna B.

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  28. Bobbie - November 21, 2018 6:25 pm

    Counting our blessings this Thanksgiving….. you among them, Sean! Our God is so awesome!

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  29. Janet Mary Lee - November 21, 2018 7:31 pm

    I just love these posts that have us remembering all the “little” things! Seeing thru your mind and heart is a Blessing!! Kiss the pups and all the family and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! God Bless All!!

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  30. Lisa Snuggs - November 21, 2018 9:05 pm

    We are grateful for all the same things. Isn’t it cool to think God (or whatever you call him) knows your name?

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  31. Jack Darnell - November 22, 2018 3:47 am

    I am thankful for a lot of things. I have added one more thing in the last half year or more, Sean of the South. I really do enjoy the visits here and am thankful for the real stories of life. I saw one today, I wish I could tell the story as well as you. Oh well, it is a memory!

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  32. Jack Quanstrum - November 22, 2018 4:57 pm

    Amen, Amen and Amen! 🙂

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  33. Sherry - November 22, 2018 10:03 pm

    Love you, Sean. Love Him, too. And I call Him Father God, because He has sure been a good Daddy to me.

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  34. Shelton Armour - November 23, 2018 2:01 am

    I call him Lord or Father. God is good…all the time!

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  35. Judy Matone - November 23, 2018 4:57 pm

    Thank you for your blogs. I have been encouraged by many friends to start a blog but have just kept my postings to FB. You have inspired me a bit to bear my thoughts outside of my current format. Maybe I will take the leap.

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  36. Jean - November 26, 2018 2:59 pm

    Oh, man, I love that Sean. Thanks for wording it for me.

    Reply

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