1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 has been my life verse for nearly 20 years. I learned through a difficult season in high school that joy and thankfulness is always a choice. Obviously, the challenges I faced in high school pale compared to the difficulties I would come to face later in life. This week, I have so much to be thankful for, even though there are reminders of pain and loss side by side great celebrations of joy.

This week marks the due date of two children we never got to meet. This week marks the date my grandmother passed away 5 years ago. However, this week is also Genevieves first birthday, the first girl born into the Conley family in more than 60 years. We’ll celebrate this year with my brother and my parents.

Even in the midst of pain (or the remembrance of pain), there is aways something to be thankful for. I have an incredible wife of more than a decade… and I swear I love her more every year. I’m pretty sure she does too. I have two beautiful children who are perfect in every way. I have a job that I absolutely love, I live in one of the greatest cities in the world and I’m surrounded by friends and family who love and care for us so well.

Lastly, I’m thankful for the wonderful community of children’s leaders I get to connect with her on this blog and around the country at conferences and various gatherings.