Swamp Blog

Reflections on Rest and Gratitude

Cory Cole

Hello Swamp Blog Readers! I don't know about you, but I have been VERY much looking forward to this Thanksgiving break. Usually my favorite part is eating turkey and stuffing until I can't move (and seeing family, of course!), but what I'm looking most forward to this week is rest.

In Ecclesiastes 4:6, it says "Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind." If you remember back in August, I said I was going to focus on peace this semester... I'll be honest, I didn't do the best job of that. I could easily say this has been the busiest four months of my life, so this week I'm going to focus on resting my mind and body. And I hope the same for you fellow workaholics out there!

In my rest this week and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to spend time really reflecting and thinking about gratitude. I'm very thankful for a lot of things. But in light of everything that I've seen and experienced in 2016, the good and the bad, I'm so grateful for the relationships I have in my life.


The people I have in my life, the new friends as well as the familiar faces have really impacted my life this year. From the joyful children in Nicaragua, to the crazy and rambunctious teens of Nortview Church of Christ, to the classmates I've become close to this semester, I have some amazing people in my life.

I love that I got to go back to The Swamp for two weeks this summer and I had relationships there that picked up right where they left off, even though I hadn't seen some of those people in almost a year! I'm so, so thankful for the family God has blessed me with. I remember around the holidays last year, my Nana and I were talking, and she was just telling me how blessed we are as a family. Nana was saying how not every family is like ours, there are families that don't get along, and that don't even talk to each another. To me, that's such a foreign concept. But it makes me all the more grateful.

I say all this not to brag about how great the people in my life are. But I encourage you Swamp Blog readers to take some time and reflect on your relationships, and you'll probably realize too who you really have in your life. Not the quantity of people you have in your life, but the quality relationships and the beauty you see in them.

I also encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity you have to grow relationships, and make new ones. For the parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers, if you haven't already, consider talking to your kids about attending the upcoming retreat, Holidays At The Swamp (also famously known as H@TS)! The time these kids will spend isn't just about New Year's fireworks and dodgeball and a classic camp dance party. It's really about the time these young people get to spend together, they really treasure the memories they make! This is 17-year-old Rashad Crawford's favorite part about H@TS:

"My favorite part, I guess, is the feeling and atmosphere of just everyone wanting to hang out and just do fun things with each other."

And that's what he looks most forward to for this year's retreat! The dates will be December 30, 2016 - January 2, 2017! You really get a deal with H@TS, you get a two years of a camp experience in one weekend! (I know, I have a great sense of humor). Click here to register!

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving break, and I pray you have a beautiful and thankful time with your families! Until next week,


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Dec. 29-Jan. 1

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