Gratitude.  I’ve seen this word recently defined as, “making more of the good we have than the good we don’t.”  As Thanksgiving approaches, it seems only appropriate to think on such things and after all, The Family Foundation has a whole lot of “good” to be grateful for.  Let me explain what I’m grateful for this year. Most recently, I’m grateful for efforts going into the upcoming December 4th Board of Health meeting in Richmond where the Board will discuss crucial health and safety standards for Virginia’s abortion centers.  I’m thankful for Roger Pogge and Jackee Gonzalez who have been working tirelessly to mobilize bodies willing to stand on behalf of life, voices willing to lift prayers to heaven, and mouths willing to speak truth to the Board.  I’m thankful for our prayer ministry, Team Timothy, that has been praying together weekly for justice and truth.  I’m thankful to Gene Painter for his outreach to ministries and pastors and to Dr. Will Langford, our most recent addition to our team as Chaplain.

I’m thankful for our successful Gala last month led skillfully by our own Dan Thompson.  I’m thankful for our sponsors who make tangible their belief in our mission with their generous donations.  I’m thankful that our crowd of nearly 1,700 was inspired by the words of Dr. Ben Carson to believe again – to believe that our nation and our Commonwealth can once again be the city on a hill that our forefathers spoke of.  I’m grateful that when I got on stage to speak of the exciting, bold plan that The Family Foundation has charted for 2015, I wasn’t concerned about audio equipment or lighting or any of the other logistics that flowed seamlessly thanks to our event coordinator, Erica Newman, and our volunteer coordinator, Marie Edwards.

I’m thankful for our office space that our team works in.  I’m thankful for Dale Oostdyk who expertly negotiated and secured our expanded office space this past summer.  In the weeks leading up to our expansion, we had permanent staff members working on every square inch of desk space we could commandeer.  Weeks of construction culminated in our ability to be effective in our working habits.  We now have space to host an expanded class of summer college interns.  We now have space for our General Assembly advocacy team to collectively brainstorm and strategize.  We now have space for our Hispanic pastors to receive training in Spanish on conducting The Truth Project in their churches.

I’m thankful for the positive results from the 2014 General Assembly and for our team, Chris Freund, Jessica Cochrane, Steve Rossie, and Bruce Kemp, who made that happen.  As we look forward to the 2015 session, we have a bold legislative agenda – an agenda to ensure the rights of parents to choose the best educational opportunity for their children, to defend the religious liberty rights of those willing to lay down their lives for our nation, to protect life in its smallest form, and to guarantee that those elected to govern are doing so with full accountability to their electorate.

Everything I’ve told you thus far is the “how” and the “what” of The Family Foundation.  But I’m also profoundly grateful for the “why.”  The why we do what we do.  God has given The Family Foundation a unique mission.  In a culture consumed with death and decay, we’re on a mission to bring flourishing and life.  To restore a culture of marriage and life and freedom.  To see families thrive.  To see communities blessed.  That is the “why.”  It’s a “why” that I get up every morning and am excited to go to work for.  It’s a “why” that I believe in and a “why” that is rooted in the Author of Life Himself.  And not to trivialize the “what” or the “how” as both are overwhelmingly important, but this Thanksgiving, it’s the “why” that I am ultimately most grateful for.