Why you don’t really feel thankful

November 22, 2010 | 100 comments. | Comment on this post

Rule number one in writing, don't lead off with negative headlines. Well, if I was a rule follower, you wouldn't be reading this anyway. So here goes…

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The Point of This Post: You're not really thankful on this Thanksgiving. But you can be next year. I'll tell you how.

Thanksgiving is in two days, and the truth of the matter is…we don't naturally feel thankful. Sure, if we step back and count our blessings, we'll cite stuff like, "I'm grateful for my spouse, my kids, my health (if you're healthy), my job (even if I hate it, it at least pays me), etc…"

But that's not really feeling 'thankful.' Not in the sense it's intended to be. Think about it, there is an entire day, the 2nd most popular and participated day of the year, set aside because some folks long, long ago felt so dang thankful they just couldn't contain themselves!

So let's put it into that context. What are you so immensely thankful for that you can't contain yourself?

Unlike possibly any Thanksgiving message you've ever read, I'm going to suggest that you DO NOT look at what you have, and manifest exaggerated joy for it. What if the reality is that there isn't much for you to feel that dramatically grateful for?

Go with me a minute…I'll redeem this downer.

Great, authentic thankfulness ultimately comes from knowing great pain and hardship and challenge and lack…and surviving it. Even more, overcoming it.

Life as we know it today, is completely aimed at ridding ourselves of any:

  • Pain
  • Hardship
  • Challenge
  • Lack

I'm not dissing the great wealth and amenities we have as 20th century westerners. I own every amenity you have. I'm not about to give them up either!

But the reality is that our basic day to day existence dwells on affording what we have or getting more. And we pretty much all have everything that the ultra rich have. We lack for nothing. They may have a big house, but we have a house too. They may have a Ferrari, but we have a car. They may have 15 bathrooms, but we have two. They may have a $10,000 watch, but we have one that tells the correct time for years on end.

Consumerism is built on making sure there is no single, solitary item that we cannot afford and possess. We may have a bit cheaper model, but we have one. Makes me think of dishwashers. I know folks with a $1,000 Bosch that can clean concrete off your dishes and do it without a sound. I have two cheap dishwashers that sound like a 747 taking off, and if you haven't nearly cleaned the dishes to perfection, there will be food on them afterwards. But geez, we have two. Literally, dual dishwashers.

I digress…

So, we as a society don't lack for much. We have little to fear or desire or struggle with. We have clothe's, homes, cars, running water, medicines, safety from danger. We appreciate it if we have to, but heck, everybody has all those things. Big whoop. It's expected and we feel entitled to it.

Here is the kicker. A few days ago I posted a blog about the legacy of my free agent Grandpa – A true free agent legacy, Ray Miller 1913-2010.  I got about as many comments as I've ever received on that post. If you didn't read the blog, you should at least read the comments, as they contain great wisdom and insight.

One of them was from Jason Garey, someone I've never communicated with before, he's a subscriber I assume. He referenced his two Grandfathers, who also lived into their 90s. He said, and I quote, "Both men took little for granted and, in the end, wisely understood that faith, family and freedom were, above all, the most important things in life."

I'm not going to focus on taking things for granted. Instead, let's look at faith, family and freedom. If in this next year you made those three things your priority focus, literally, instead of maintaining what you have or working to afford more, you WILL encounter:

  • Pain
  • Hardship
  • Challenge
  • Lack

– If you live out and speak and endeavor to share your faith,
– If you in truth make the priority of your time and attention your family,
– If you place the highest premium and value the reality of owning your life and having true and real freedom…

…you will no doubt, realize:

  • Pain
  • Hardship
  • Challenge
  • Lack

And as a result, as you cope and strive and overcome in your own, true ADVENTURE – you will feel, possibly for the first time, genuine, heartfelt, uncontainable THANKFULNESS.

I'll end with a question:

Do you believe that in the workplace today (traditional employment), companies and stockholders and employers…have in their mission statements, to ensure that YOUR personal faith, family and freedoms come first? Or second, or fifteenth?

Want to have an unprecedented Thanksgiving in 2011? Make the pursuit of faith, family and freedom as your top priorities a resolute commitment. And start by endeavoring to own your life. To own your time. To own your work. To be free to place your faith and family first. You'll start living a true adventure, and you'll find true…thankfulness.

I raise my eggnog and spiced rum to you this Thanksgiving!

Cheers, and a blessed Thanksgiving to you,
The Free Agent Family of Kevin, Teri, Caleb, Autumn, Eliza, Ian, Canyon, Serene & Nekoda Miller

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a5df1a43970b Shalom Mama

    Kevin,
    Thank you for this. I may need to read it a few more times for it to really sink in. I think it’s time to do something radical in 2011, for me anyway. Maybe a buying fast or something, because it’s so easy to get into the “this thing is good, but I could upgrade to something better” mentality. I say my faith and family are my top priority, but is it truly?

  • http://www.debtprayerdeliverance.com wendy staas

    Kevin,
    Thank you for sharing this — I was attracted to the title because I do not feel thankful this thanksgiving. I actually just want it to go away. I want to ignore the holiday. Yes, I know and understand why we celebrate it. . . However, I want to continue to implement my plans so I can have a rockin’ 2011. I pray and believe it will be so.
    It does not mean that I will like Thanksgiving any more next year than this year (reasons are complicated) — however, I pray to the Lord that I don’t feel the same next year as I feel this week.
    Thanks!!

  • Jason Garey

    Kevin, another home-run. Fantastic stuff! I’m honored to have been a source of inspiration.
    The Bible says that God does not condemn us; rather he convicts us. His goodness can either push us away or draw us closer. A contrite heart is one that He yearns to restore and bring joy to. May you and your readers know that joy and may you hold your families close, your faith closer and your freedom dear.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/raisingceokids RaisingCEOKids

    I agree that there have been times in my life when I was complacent in giving thanks, however right now I TRULY am THANKFUL! My husband is alive and doing well in his health, he just got a raise, tenure, and is off of furloughs that we experienced for an entire year, our marriage is STRONGER than before, we are writing a book together, my daughter just published her first cookbook which STRETCHED her beyond belief, I KNOW that God hears and answer my prayers, we have $0 in credit cards debt, and on and on! I am blessed and totally grateful! In fact, I have been writing about it each day at http://raisingceokids.com/thirty-days-of-gratitude/

  • Jim Henry

    Hey man, you keep hitting it “out of the park” as they say. You know what, you should write more in 2011. I think there must be a few books in you. Jim

  • Jim Henry

    Hey man, you keep hitting it “out of the park” as they say. You know what, you should write more in 2011. I think there must be a few books in you. Jim

  • http://www.7chapters.com Brenda Dunagan

    THAT is profound! Amazing perspective.

  • http://www.7chapters.com Brenda Dunagan

    THAT is profound! Amazing perspective.

  • http://www.7chapters.com Brenda Dunagan

    THAT is profound! Amazing perspective.

  • http://www.mhguitargear.com Mark Hopkins

    Kevin,
    I’m thankful for you, your family, and the other professors at FAA who continue to inspire us to make faith, family, and freedom our priorities. I agree that we should pursue the lions and embrace pain, challenge, hardship, and lack to find true joy and thankfulness on the other side. Over the last year, I’ve seen a change of heart in myself. For this next year, I see radical changes for me and my family in action as well.

  • http://www.mhguitargear.com Mark Hopkins

    Kevin,
    I’m thankful for you, your family, and the other professors at FAA who continue to inspire us to make faith, family, and freedom our priorities. I agree that we should pursue the lions and embrace pain, challenge, hardship, and lack to find true joy and thankfulness on the other side. Over the last year, I’ve seen a change of heart in myself. For this next year, I see radical changes for me and my family in action as well.

  • http://www.mhguitargear.com Mark Hopkins

    Kevin,
    I’m thankful for you, your family, and the other professors at FAA who continue to inspire us to make faith, family, and freedom our priorities. I agree that we should pursue the lions and embrace pain, challenge, hardship, and lack to find true joy and thankfulness on the other side. Over the last year, I’ve seen a change of heart in myself. For this next year, I see radical changes for me and my family in action as well.

  • http://www.mcrosetoolbelts.com Dennis McVey

    Back to back home runs Kevin! Wow! Very encouraging posts. I especially like your comments regarding the worldly expectations of the the employers who really follow the old rule: ” He who has the gold Rules”, and we sell our souls to, in exchange for a hollow existence based in materialism and completely miss the blessings which you so clearly espouse. Keep up the promotion of these truths! This is of so much more value than that “which moth and rust destroy…” {“Do you believe that in the workplace today (traditional employment), companies and stockholders and employers…have in their mission statements, to ensure that YOUR personal faith, family and freedoms come first? Or second, or fifteenth?” }
    Bravo and Bully for your courage to speak the truth. Our whole country needs to hear this truth, redefine there core values, and more importantly DO what you are saying!
    Keep the faith, and blessings to you and your entire family this Thanksgiving, and “to infinity, and beyond”……..
    PS. This would be a good platform for our politicians to promote; Faith Family Freedom! Some are already, let’s look for and support them……….
    It’s battle that we need to fight and win!
    Thanks for your being in the game and speaking the truth.
    PPS Say Hello to Dave and Chuck for me…… I am in the process of getting back in the game myself…….. “Genesis 50 :20” BUT God……….

  • http://www.mcrosetoolbelts.com Dennis McVey

    Back to back home runs Kevin! Wow! Very encouraging posts. I especially like your comments regarding the worldly expectations of the the employers who really follow the old rule: ” He who has the gold Rules”, and we sell our souls to, in exchange for a hollow existence based in materialism and completely miss the blessings which you so clearly espouse. Keep up the promotion of these truths! This is of so much more value than that “which moth and rust destroy…” {“Do you believe that in the workplace today (traditional employment), companies and stockholders and employers…have in their mission statements, to ensure that YOUR personal faith, family and freedoms come first? Or second, or fifteenth?” }
    Bravo and Bully for your courage to speak the truth. Our whole country needs to hear this truth, redefine there core values, and more importantly DO what you are saying!
    Keep the faith, and blessings to you and your entire family this Thanksgiving, and “to infinity, and beyond”……..
    PS. This would be a good platform for our politicians to promote; Faith Family Freedom! Some are already, let’s look for and support them……….
    It’s battle that we need to fight and win!
    Thanks for your being in the game and speaking the truth.
    PPS Say Hello to Dave and Chuck for me…… I am in the process of getting back in the game myself…….. “Genesis 50 :20” BUT God……….

  • http://www.mcrosetoolbelts.com Dennis McVey

    Back to back home runs Kevin! Wow! Very encouraging posts. I especially like your comments regarding the worldly expectations of the the employers who really follow the old rule: ” He who has the gold Rules”, and we sell our souls to, in exchange for a hollow existence based in materialism and completely miss the blessings which you so clearly espouse. Keep up the promotion of these truths! This is of so much more value than that “which moth and rust destroy…” {“Do you believe that in the workplace today (traditional employment), companies and stockholders and employers…have in their mission statements, to ensure that YOUR personal faith, family and freedoms come first? Or second, or fifteenth?” }
    Bravo and Bully for your courage to speak the truth. Our whole country needs to hear this truth, redefine there core values, and more importantly DO what you are saying!
    Keep the faith, and blessings to you and your entire family this Thanksgiving, and “to infinity, and beyond”……..
    PS. This would be a good platform for our politicians to promote; Faith Family Freedom! Some are already, let’s look for and support them……….
    It’s battle that we need to fight and win!
    Thanks for your being in the game and speaking the truth.
    PPS Say Hello to Dave and Chuck for me…… I am in the process of getting back in the game myself…….. “Genesis 50 :20” BUT God……….

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Nina – hey, I'm always preaching to myself. I've gotten out of the habit
    of consumerism, but still surprise myself with things I think I need. I
    try to function under being a great steward of what I have so it lasts a
    long time, and not replacing anything till it dies. I've wanted a new
    watch for 2 years and the one I have won't quit. But yeah, really
    looking at our priorities. I think of a video taken of me for a few
    days. What proof would it show of my true priorities?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Nina – hey, I'm always preaching to myself. I've gotten out of the habit
    of consumerism, but still surprise myself with things I think I need. I
    try to function under being a great steward of what I have so it lasts a
    long time, and not replacing anything till it dies. I've wanted a new
    watch for 2 years and the one I have won't quit. But yeah, really
    looking at our priorities. I think of a video taken of me for a few
    days. What proof would it show of my true priorities?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Nina – hey, I'm always preaching to myself. I've gotten out of the habit
    of consumerism, but still surprise myself with things I think I need. I
    try to function under being a great steward of what I have so it lasts a
    long time, and not replacing anything till it dies. I've wanted a new
    watch for 2 years and the one I have won't quit. But yeah, really
    looking at our priorities. I think of a video taken of me for a few
    days. What proof would it show of my true priorities?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Wendy – I love that you are passionately pursuing your free agency, and
    just…your heart. I really believe a year from now will see you in a
    drastically different reality.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Wendy – I love that you are passionately pursuing your free agency, and
    just…your heart. I really believe a year from now will see you in a
    drastically different reality.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Wendy – I love that you are passionately pursuing your free agency, and
    just…your heart. I really believe a year from now will see you in a
    drastically different reality.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jason – that's another good word…to convict rather than condemn. I
    want to make pursuing one's calling attractive and compelling. Not just
    admonish. I sometimes feel I'm at risk of being a hellfire and brimstone
    preacher. God forbid…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jason – that's another good word…to convict rather than condemn. I
    want to make pursuing one's calling attractive and compelling. Not just
    admonish. I sometimes feel I'm at risk of being a hellfire and brimstone
    preacher. God forbid…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jason – that's another good word…to convict rather than condemn. I
    want to make pursuing one's calling attractive and compelling. Not just
    admonish. I sometimes feel I'm at risk of being a hellfire and brimstone
    preacher. God forbid…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Sarah – this is just inspiring to read. I've noticed you are really active and enthused as of late, and it's exciting to hear you aren't settling for mediocre. AND…you're sharing the journey. Beautiful…thank you. Going to your blog now…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Sarah – this is just inspiring to read. I've noticed you are really active and enthused as of late, and it's exciting to hear you aren't settling for mediocre. AND…you're sharing the journey. Beautiful…thank you. Going to your blog now…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Sarah – this is just inspiring to read. I've noticed you are really active and enthused as of late, and it's exciting to hear you aren't settling for mediocre. AND…you're sharing the journey. Beautiful…thank you. Going to your blog now…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jim – thank you brother. If I don't finish my book in 2011, may lightening strike….

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jim – thank you brother. If I don't finish my book in 2011, may lightening strike….

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jim – thank you brother. If I don't finish my book in 2011, may lightening strike….

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Brenda – hey, this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for…YOU.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Brenda – hey, this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for…YOU.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Brenda – hey, this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for…YOU.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Mark – man, thank you for this. You've inspired me this year by your
    perseverance. I know it's been a long, bumpy road thus far. So it
    blesses me to hear you feel a change in your heart. What a gift. Thank
    you!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Mark – man, thank you for this. You've inspired me this year by your
    perseverance. I know it's been a long, bumpy road thus far. So it
    blesses me to hear you feel a change in your heart. What a gift. Thank
    you!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Mark – man, thank you for this. You've inspired me this year by your
    perseverance. I know it's been a long, bumpy road thus far. So it
    blesses me to hear you feel a change in your heart. What a gift. Thank
    you!

  • Doug G

    Hey Kevin..
    Thanks for sharing the awesome thoughts. I know that my family has really started to understand what is truly important in life. The memories we share, the time we have with each other, and the relationships and impact we make on friends family and people we don’t know. You just never know how an encouraging word is going to impact someone in their day. It’s taken me over 40 years to grasp these thoughts, but I have have and that’s the important thing. I now look at those season of pain and hardship as a chance to grow and deepen my faith.
    Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family!

  • Doug G

    Hey Kevin..
    Thanks for sharing the awesome thoughts. I know that my family has really started to understand what is truly important in life. The memories we share, the time we have with each other, and the relationships and impact we make on friends family and people we don’t know. You just never know how an encouraging word is going to impact someone in their day. It’s taken me over 40 years to grasp these thoughts, but I have have and that’s the important thing. I now look at those season of pain and hardship as a chance to grow and deepen my faith.
    Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Dennis – really grateful that this had value for you, and excited to
    hear you are getting back in the game. I almost felt like a politician,
    spouting 'Faith, Family and Freedom.' That's a tall order for anyone to
    truly advocate and be in support of media, consumerism, economy, etc…
    But if we can inspire each other to pursue it, one by one, we can gain
    some ground.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/tengofe7 Carolyne

    I have been putting a lot more effort into this year to learn and teach the “true” meaning behind Thanksgiving. Honestly, I am annoyed at every mention of turkeys. No, they’re not bad, but when they become the focus of your Thanksgiving, your priorities have become grossly distorted. Look at the “typical” American Thanksgiving celebration, they stuff their faces until they are ready to barf and then sit on a couch and watch football. Now, anyone who was just offended by that, chances are that was your plan. So, what does gorging and laziness have to do with starving and freezing to death? More than 50% of the first settlers experienced that fate. It was through the help of the Indians, a bountiful supply of food the next fall, & an undeniable reverence for God that they celebrated the harvest festival. See, you did it again! I could write a blog in response to your blog. I better hush as this is supposed to be a comment.
    Well, I have to share that I read your blog this morning with my kids and reiterated the awesome points. One more reason I am grateful they are home to share this with. If they were gone all day the likelihood of me ever taking the time to share this with them is slim to none! It was just last week I used Teri’s blog during bible time. Who knew you’d be adding to our curriculum!
    May you all see what is worth treasuring,
    Carolyne

  • http://profile.typepad.com/tengofe7 Carolyne

    I have been putting a lot more effort into this year to learn and teach the “true” meaning behind Thanksgiving. Honestly, I am annoyed at every mention of turkeys. No, they’re not bad, but when they become the focus of your Thanksgiving, your priorities have become grossly distorted. Look at the “typical” American Thanksgiving celebration, they stuff their faces until they are ready to barf and then sit on a couch and watch football. Now, anyone who was just offended by that, chances are that was your plan. So, what does gorging and laziness have to do with starving and freezing to death? More than 50% of the first settlers experienced that fate. It was through the help of the Indians, a bountiful supply of food the next fall, & an undeniable reverence for God that they celebrated the harvest festival. See, you did it again! I could write a blog in response to your blog. I better hush as this is supposed to be a comment.
    Well, I have to share that I read your blog this morning with my kids and reiterated the awesome points. One more reason I am grateful they are home to share this with. If they were gone all day the likelihood of me ever taking the time to share this with them is slim to none! It was just last week I used Teri’s blog during bible time. Who knew you’d be adding to our curriculum!
    May you all see what is worth treasuring,
    Carolyne

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Doug – the opportunity we have to program our families for a different
    reality than the norm…is profound. Hey, we all regret time in the past
    where we were ignorant. But another thing to be thankful for, eh? We
    have today!  Here's to daily revelations. And a blessed Thanksgiving to
    you too Doug.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Carolyne – That you read my blog, and Teri's, to your kids, blesses me more than if Billy Graham read it in an auditorium. Wow. Thank you so much. I can feel your fervor Carolyne. I want you to harness it to reach more people, but also honor that you are reaching those that you have the most impact with…your seven kids. You've got plenty of legacy right there. One of them may be the next Billy Graham. Or just a beautiful mother or father or husband or wife. Don't temper your heart Carolyne, keep letting it rip. Thanks so much for letting me be along for your ride.
    OH, and no Turkey or football for us. I can't promise we won't overeat a bit, but we'll work it off with a hike and some Bible reading on the mountain top to give thanks. And I'll think of you.
    Kevin

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Carolyne – That you read my blog, and Teri's, to your kids, blesses me more than if Billy Graham read it in an auditorium. Wow. Thank you so much. I can feel your fervor Carolyne. I want you to harness it to reach more people, but also honor that you are reaching those that you have the most impact with…your seven kids. You've got plenty of legacy right there. One of them may be the next Billy Graham. Or just a beautiful mother or father or husband or wife. Don't temper your heart Carolyne, keep letting it rip. Thanks so much for letting me be along for your ride.
    OH, and no Turkey or football for us. I can't promise we won't overeat a bit, but we'll work it off with a hike and some Bible reading on the mountain top to give thanks. And I'll think of you.
    Kevin

  • http://www.healthymomandchild.com marina

    Thank you for this!
    My previous job could not give me time to have faith, freedom and family, even after I asked to reduce my hours by a bit. Some people I know are ok with this, but to me that was the end of the world. My daughter’s favorite movie at that time was Spirit (an animated movie about a stallion in old West with songs by Brian Adams) and every time she watched it and I saw the stallion running in the fields and the eagle soaring and Bryan Adams singing his song it made me cry. Now as I am pursuing more flexible work, when she watches it, the song inspires me to go on as oppose to make me miserable. O, the places you find inspiration in :)

  • http://www.healthymomandchild.com marina

    Thank you for this!
    My previous job could not give me time to have faith, freedom and family, even after I asked to reduce my hours by a bit. Some people I know are ok with this, but to me that was the end of the world. My daughter’s favorite movie at that time was Spirit (an animated movie about a stallion in old West with songs by Brian Adams) and every time she watched it and I saw the stallion running in the fields and the eagle soaring and Bryan Adams singing his song it made me cry. Now as I am pursuing more flexible work, when she watches it, the song inspires me to go on as oppose to make me miserable. O, the places you find inspiration in :)

  • http://www.healthymomandchild.com marina

    Thank you for this!
    My previous job could not give me time to have faith, freedom and family, even after I asked to reduce my hours by a bit. Some people I know are ok with this, but to me that was the end of the world. My daughter’s favorite movie at that time was Spirit (an animated movie about a stallion in old West with songs by Brian Adams) and every time she watched it and I saw the stallion running in the fields and the eagle soaring and Bryan Adams singing his song it made me cry. Now as I am pursuing more flexible work, when she watches it, the song inspires me to go on as oppose to make me miserable. O, the places you find inspiration in :)

  • Michelle

    Great blog post, Kevin. Wow. There’s so much I could say, but I am so prone to rambling on and on, and I don’t want to do that right now.
    This past 5 months… what a journey. God directed me to FAA, to you and Teri, to so many new and wonderful friends. And I am very thankful for that.
    But also in the past five months… hardship, pain, lack, and challenge. Because when you’re breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of fear, of so many things… it’s hard. Sometimes excruciating. Put on top of that problems with Mom, problems with my health, problems with finances… I can’t say I’m truly thankful for them. Right now at least.
    But… I am determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail.
    Thanks for the wisdom you share, for the inspiration you give, for the light that you shine on the path of life. Blessings to you and Teri and the kids.

  • Michelle

    Great blog post, Kevin. Wow. There’s so much I could say, but I am so prone to rambling on and on, and I don’t want to do that right now.
    This past 5 months… what a journey. God directed me to FAA, to you and Teri, to so many new and wonderful friends. And I am very thankful for that.
    But also in the past five months… hardship, pain, lack, and challenge. Because when you’re breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of fear, of so many things… it’s hard. Sometimes excruciating. Put on top of that problems with Mom, problems with my health, problems with finances… I can’t say I’m truly thankful for them. Right now at least.
    But… I am determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail.
    Thanks for the wisdom you share, for the inspiration you give, for the light that you shine on the path of life. Blessings to you and Teri and the kids.

  • Michelle

    Great blog post, Kevin. Wow. There’s so much I could say, but I am so prone to rambling on and on, and I don’t want to do that right now.
    This past 5 months… what a journey. God directed me to FAA, to you and Teri, to so many new and wonderful friends. And I am very thankful for that.
    But also in the past five months… hardship, pain, lack, and challenge. Because when you’re breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of fear, of so many things… it’s hard. Sometimes excruciating. Put on top of that problems with Mom, problems with my health, problems with finances… I can’t say I’m truly thankful for them. Right now at least.
    But… I am determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail.
    Thanks for the wisdom you share, for the inspiration you give, for the light that you shine on the path of life. Blessings to you and Teri and the kids.

  • Jeff Batson

    Kevin,
    Wow! The pursuit of faith, family, and freedom! What an awesome perspective for us all and an inspiration! In my current financial challenges and struggles to make ends meet, this is a perfectly timed word and encouragement to once again, roll up my sleeves and re-focus on the things that are really important. It’s words and encouragement like this, from amazing folks like you Kevin, that comes alongside of us all in times just like these, and breathes fresh new perspective and life into us again, just when we need it the most! Thank you Kevin, for continuing to help light the way for us all in our free agent journeys!
    God bless you!!
    Jeff

  • Jeff Batson

    Kevin,
    Wow! The pursuit of faith, family, and freedom! What an awesome perspective for us all and an inspiration! In my current financial challenges and struggles to make ends meet, this is a perfectly timed word and encouragement to once again, roll up my sleeves and re-focus on the things that are really important. It’s words and encouragement like this, from amazing folks like you Kevin, that comes alongside of us all in times just like these, and breathes fresh new perspective and life into us again, just when we need it the most! Thank you Kevin, for continuing to help light the way for us all in our free agent journeys!
    God bless you!!
    Jeff

  • Jeff Batson

    Kevin,
    Wow! The pursuit of faith, family, and freedom! What an awesome perspective for us all and an inspiration! In my current financial challenges and struggles to make ends meet, this is a perfectly timed word and encouragement to once again, roll up my sleeves and re-focus on the things that are really important. It’s words and encouragement like this, from amazing folks like you Kevin, that comes alongside of us all in times just like these, and breathes fresh new perspective and life into us again, just when we need it the most! Thank you Kevin, for continuing to help light the way for us all in our free agent journeys!
    God bless you!!
    Jeff

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    I am thankful for a customer of mine, who through bankruptcy took $45,000 from me and my family this year. Why am I thankful for them? Because through them I had enough to put away as an emergency fund so as not to worry about the bills.
    Sure I lost a chunk of money, but I got more than I lost. Because of them we are going to have a good Thanksgiving, a great Christmas and the acknowledgment that God cares about us. That $45k was worth it. Without that loss, I would not have had the gain.
    Unfortunately for us humans, we only seem to be grateful when there is a loss, or a holiday to remind us of everything that we have not lost.

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    I am thankful for a customer of mine, who through bankruptcy took $45,000 from me and my family this year. Why am I thankful for them? Because through them I had enough to put away as an emergency fund so as not to worry about the bills.
    Sure I lost a chunk of money, but I got more than I lost. Because of them we are going to have a good Thanksgiving, a great Christmas and the acknowledgment that God cares about us. That $45k was worth it. Without that loss, I would not have had the gain.
    Unfortunately for us humans, we only seem to be grateful when there is a loss, or a holiday to remind us of everything that we have not lost.

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    I am thankful for a customer of mine, who through bankruptcy took $45,000 from me and my family this year. Why am I thankful for them? Because through them I had enough to put away as an emergency fund so as not to worry about the bills.
    Sure I lost a chunk of money, but I got more than I lost. Because of them we are going to have a good Thanksgiving, a great Christmas and the acknowledgment that God cares about us. That $45k was worth it. Without that loss, I would not have had the gain.
    Unfortunately for us humans, we only seem to be grateful when there is a loss, or a holiday to remind us of everything that we have not lost.

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    It already did strike.

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    It already did strike.

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    It already did strike.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    Kevin, this is so good & true. Not sure we’ve ever been more thankful than a couple of Thanksgiving’s ago…when Serene had just been born here at home, and we were recovering from one of the hardest years of our lives, building this house. The Lord had taught us SO much, we were hearing His voice of love & encouragement thru Sam Stearman, and you had gone thru such sacrifice of work, work, work, to bring out family out to this amazing ‘promised land.’
    It’s true, I’m not feeling as thankful this year. More ‘ho-hum’ and BUSY. (Tho honestly I’d welcome a year or two of rest and complacency, even if it meant I had to conjure up the heartfelt gratitude!!)
    Your writing & wisdom & passion inspires me to pursue greatness; to be a better woman, wife, mother.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    Kevin, this is so good & true. Not sure we’ve ever been more thankful than a couple of Thanksgiving’s ago…when Serene had just been born here at home, and we were recovering from one of the hardest years of our lives, building this house. The Lord had taught us SO much, we were hearing His voice of love & encouragement thru Sam Stearman, and you had gone thru such sacrifice of work, work, work, to bring out family out to this amazing ‘promised land.’
    It’s true, I’m not feeling as thankful this year. More ‘ho-hum’ and BUSY. (Tho honestly I’d welcome a year or two of rest and complacency, even if it meant I had to conjure up the heartfelt gratitude!!)
    Your writing & wisdom & passion inspires me to pursue greatness; to be a better woman, wife, mother.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    Kevin, this is so good & true. Not sure we’ve ever been more thankful than a couple of Thanksgiving’s ago…when Serene had just been born here at home, and we were recovering from one of the hardest years of our lives, building this house. The Lord had taught us SO much, we were hearing His voice of love & encouragement thru Sam Stearman, and you had gone thru such sacrifice of work, work, work, to bring out family out to this amazing ‘promised land.’
    It’s true, I’m not feeling as thankful this year. More ‘ho-hum’ and BUSY. (Tho honestly I’d welcome a year or two of rest and complacency, even if it meant I had to conjure up the heartfelt gratitude!!)
    Your writing & wisdom & passion inspires me to pursue greatness; to be a better woman, wife, mother.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Michelle – talk about quotable quotes, you said it all right here:
    "Because when you're breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of
    fear, of so many things… it's hard. Sometimes excruciating. I am
    determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my
    witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail."
    I can't add a thing to that, other than I'm honored to be a part of your journey Michelle.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Michelle – talk about quotable quotes, you said it all right here:
    "Because when you're breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of
    fear, of so many things… it's hard. Sometimes excruciating. I am
    determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my
    witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail."
    I can't add a thing to that, other than I'm honored to be a part of your journey Michelle.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Michelle – talk about quotable quotes, you said it all right here:
    "Because when you're breaking free of the past, of wrong thinking, of
    fear, of so many things… it's hard. Sometimes excruciating. I am
    determined. And I will not quit. And with God as my
    witness, my strength and my joy, I will not fail."
    I can't add a thing to that, other than I'm honored to be a part of your journey Michelle.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jeff – Hey, I'm just stoked you are sticking it out. What you say here, "roll up my sleeves and re-focus on
    the things that are really important" sums up my daily need as well!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jeff – Hey, I'm just stoked you are sticking it out. What you say here, "roll up my sleeves and re-focus on
    the things that are really important" sums up my daily need as well!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jeff – Hey, I'm just stoked you are sticking it out. What you say here, "roll up my sleeves and re-focus on
    the things that are really important" sums up my daily need as well!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Anthony – brother, you continue to amaze and impress me. I see you not
    only achieving the success you're pursuing with us at FAA, but leading
    those behind you before long. And if you don't write a book someday, it
    will be a loss for all of us.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Anthony – brother, you continue to amaze and impress me. I see you not
    only achieving the success you're pursuing with us at FAA, but leading
    those behind you before long. And if you don't write a book someday, it
    will be a loss for all of us.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Anthony – brother, you continue to amaze and impress me. I see you not
    only achieving the success you're pursuing with us at FAA, but leading
    those behind you before long. And if you don't write a book someday, it
    will be a loss for all of us.

  • http://www.747websitedesign.com Jean

    Kevin,
    You always help us see things from another perspective, no, a better perspective. I appreciated everything you said and I know that faith, family, & freedom will carry me forward.

  • http://www.747websitedesign.com Jean

    Kevin,
    You always help us see things from another perspective, no, a better perspective. I appreciated everything you said and I know that faith, family, & freedom will carry me forward.

  • http://Jacklynady.com Jack Lynady

    Thx. Kevin. Great post. Family, Faith, and Freedom are amazingly intertwined. I stand for one, I stand for all. I fall for one, I fall for all. Those three pillars really define FAA. Don’t u think.

  • alison

    Thanks Kevin. This post reminds me of a conversation with my hubby earlier this week, discussing one of his customers who has a $million+ estate and whose previous home was a rented duplex in a lousy neighborhood.
    Every where I turn, the TRUTH is being shown to me. . .when you are comfortable, you can’t make a leap to abundance (in all areas of life, not just $). You see the success stories & pain & hardship was soldiered through. You see the people in your life who are just plodding through each day going nowhere, and they’ve always been comfortable (the 30-something whose dad always pays her bills, etc.)
    Seems most of the people like me & my family went through a little pain & then we got comfortable. And then we find it impossible to get anywhere in life beyond where we are. I think most people don’t think they should be trying to move beyond. There isn’t more life to be had, in their opinion. It’s a scary thing, but I think we do have to put ourselves through pain to move forward. Deciding to it is not easy.

  • http://www.preengaged.com Eric

    I agree with the move away from consumerism and toward genuine thankfulness (thank you for the distinction – I loved the “manifested exaggerated joy” phrase). But, honestly, with our strident attempts to de-clutter our lives, finding something for my wife for Christmas is getting much harder. Any ideas?

  • http://www.preengaged.com Eric

    I agree with the move away from consumerism and toward genuine thankfulness (thank you for the distinction – I loved the “manifested exaggerated joy” phrase). But, honestly, with our strident attempts to de-clutter our lives, finding something for my wife for Christmas is getting much harder. Any ideas?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Marina – good for you! What you said, "Some people I
    know are ok with this, but to me that was the end of the world." The
    only reason others are OK with it is they haven't questioned it yet.
    Let's get them to.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Lover – hey, there is much to be said for some times of peace, no doubt.
    But a 'time for peace' is different than a life of complacency, eh?
    Love the journey with you.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jean – If I can help see from a better perspective (not just different) I am a happy man. Thank you so much.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jean – If I can help see from a better perspective (not just different) I am a happy man. Thank you so much.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Jack – Absolutely. I think self-employment is the best vehicle to really make faith, family and freedom possible.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Alison – how interesting that you'd share that. We recently passed two
    years living in our custom built home on dream Rocky Mountain property.
    It was my dream, to raise our kids here. We did it. We're having it
    appraised soon, should be at half a million. But before that, we lived
    in a modular home I bought as a bank repo. I still own it as a rental.
    It was embarrassing to live in, in truth. I wasn't proud of that
    reality. But we knew it was temporary as we recovered from near
    bankruptcy, and while in there, I built the foundation of the business I
    adore today.  From great sacrifice comes great fruition, eh?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Alison – how interesting that you'd share that. We recently passed two
    years living in our custom built home on dream Rocky Mountain property.
    It was my dream, to raise our kids here. We did it. We're having it
    appraised soon, should be at half a million. But before that, we lived
    in a modular home I bought as a bank repo. I still own it as a rental.
    It was embarrassing to live in, in truth. I wasn't proud of that
    reality. But we knew it was temporary as we recovered from near
    bankruptcy, and while in there, I built the foundation of the business I
    adore today.  From great sacrifice comes great fruition, eh?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Alison – how interesting that you'd share that. We recently passed two
    years living in our custom built home on dream Rocky Mountain property.
    It was my dream, to raise our kids here. We did it. We're having it
    appraised soon, should be at half a million. But before that, we lived
    in a modular home I bought as a bank repo. I still own it as a rental.
    It was embarrassing to live in, in truth. I wasn't proud of that
    reality. But we knew it was temporary as we recovered from near
    bankruptcy, and while in there, I built the foundation of the business I
    adore today.  From great sacrifice comes great fruition, eh?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Eric – You made me laugh out loud. My wife is anti-consumerism. She
    doesn't 'shop.' She doesn't buy stuff, at all! But come Christmas, I'm a
    sucker for trying to get her any 'things' that would be special for
    her.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Eric – You made me laugh out loud. My wife is anti-consumerism. She
    doesn't 'shop.' She doesn't buy stuff, at all! But come Christmas, I'm a
    sucker for trying to get her any 'things' that would be special for
    her.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Eric – You made me laugh out loud. My wife is anti-consumerism. She
    doesn't 'shop.' She doesn't buy stuff, at all! But come Christmas, I'm a
    sucker for trying to get her any 'things' that would be special for
    her.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    YES!  I do NOT want to settle into complacency!!  Just longing for a slower season of life.  Committed to pursuing it.
    love you xoxoxo

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    YES!  I do NOT want to settle into complacency!!  Just longing for a slower season of life.  Committed to pursuing it.
    love you xoxoxo

  • http://profile.typepad.com/freeagentmommy Free Agent Mommy

    YES!  I do NOT want to settle into complacency!!  Just longing for a slower season of life.  Committed to pursuing it.
    love you xoxoxo

  • http://www.hunterfinancialmentoring.com Eric Hunter

    Kevin,
    Great post! I really appreciate your incite and view of things. It has given me a lot to look at and think about. Great post!

  • http://www.hunterfinancialmentoring.com Eric Hunter

    Kevin,
    Great post! I really appreciate your incite and view of things. It has given me a lot to look at and think about. Great post!

  • Richard

    Kevin,
    Thank you for this post. I agree that we have to focus on the pursuit of faith, family and freedom. We are fortunate to be able to pursue these.
    When you are in the pursuit you WILL have pain, hardship, challenge, and lack.
    I don’t want this to sound like a pity party I am still going through those 4 challenges.
    Some unemployment insurance, a part time J-O-B, and severe belt tightening has been my mantra. I have been blessed with support from my church, my God, FAA and my family. As you go through this the simple stuff becomes very important to be thankful for like: family, home, spouse, a girlfriend (yes, I have been blessed with one), and health.
    I know for a fact that when I come through this I will be a better person for it.
    I don’t know who said this but it is true, “Under any adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit.”
    I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
    Richard

  • Cathy

    Kevin, all of your posts are so insightful. I don’t know how you do it with 7 children, a wife, and a gang of FAAmily! As others have said, the emphasis on the 3 F’s is so vital, really, to our lives, and we don’t appreciate them as much until we experience hurt in some way, shape, or form. What doesn’t kill us does grow us, which becomes very apparent in hindsight. Thank you for the reminder you provide.
    (You didn’t think I could write a short response, huh?)

  • Cathy

    Kevin, all of your posts are so insightful. I don’t know how you do it with 7 children, a wife, and a gang of FAAmily! As others have said, the emphasis on the 3 F’s is so vital, really, to our lives, and we don’t appreciate them as much until we experience hurt in some way, shape, or form. What doesn’t kill us does grow us, which becomes very apparent in hindsight. Thank you for the reminder you provide.
    (You didn’t think I could write a short response, huh?)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Eric – thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I've continued to think on this during Thanksgiving as well.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Richard – hey, I'm always going through all or some of those four
    things. That was much of the point. Thanks for sharing this, and
    persevering!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Richard – hey, I'm always going through all or some of those four
    things. That was much of the point. Thanks for sharing this, and
    persevering!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1240725234s1967 Kevin Miller

    Cathy – hey, I'm grateful for any response from you, long or short. Yes,
    it's not avoiding the hardships, just making peace with them. I'll let
    you know when I've been able to do it adequately…