A Thanksgiving Memory

by | Nov 13, 2017 | Blog | 0 comments

I’ll always remember Thanksgiving Day in 1963. I was 14 years-old, living on a Maryland farm, and Mr. Cauthorne (the owner of the big estate across the river) invited me to go on a fox hunt.

Early on Thanksgiving morning, my dad helped me trailer my horse to the hunt club. Within minutes, I was saddled up and ready to go. The bugle sounded, and I reined my horse in line behind Mr. Cauthorne.

I can still feel my hands on the reins, the wind in my face, my knees pressing the saddle, and the feeling of cantering across fields and sailing over stone walls.

Joni riding a horse when she was young.

We never caught the fox, but I didn’t care. I relished the ride!

I haven’t sat on a horse in over 48 years. The only leather I sit on now is my wheelchair. No cinches around saddles, only cinches around my middle to help me breathe.

The clip-clopping of hooves has been replaced by the click-clacking of wheel bearings. But that’s OK, I will ride in heaven.

In the meantime, I thank God for memories.

So today, design a Thanksgiving tradition that is suited to your family. Maybe a football game in a nearby park. A family puzzle by the fire. Perhaps a hike before you eat dessert.

Whatever it is, it’ll be memorable if you do it in the spirit of thanksgiving to our wonderful God and Savior.

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

Happy Thanksgiving, friend.

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Joni Eareckson Tada, the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.

Joni has written over 50 books and is a regular columnist in several magazines. She was inducted into the Christian Booksellers’ Association’s Hall of Honor in 1995 and received the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

Beginning in 1982, she began hosting “Joni and Friends,” a daily five-minute radio program of information and inspiration. Four minutes in length, the program airs on more than 1,000 outlets and reaches one million listeners a week. Her one-minute inspirational program, “Diamonds in the Dust,” also airs daily on more than 800 stations nationwide. In May 2017, the “Joni and Friends” radio program celebrated 35 years of broadcasting.

Joni and her husband, Ken Tada, have been married since 1982 and enjoy serving the Joni and Friends ministry together. On July 30, 2017 Joni will celebrate 50 years of living well in her wheelchair, a remarkable testimony to God’s sustaining grace.