Wednesday, November 24, 2010

With Great Thanks

This month I know several people who every day have listed what they are thankful for, for that day. I have perhaps participated in this activity in years past. This year however, as I look around me and at my life, I find that there is no way that facebook would allow me the space I would need to cover what I'm thankful for.

You see I am very happy. I think with great thankfulness comes great happiness. As a child I was given plenty of material things but longed for the relationships that I wouldn't experience until near adulthood. When I married I was given the gift of creating a family that I had long longed for as a child. I was always taught to be thankful for whatever I was given. I was always thankful. Even for the things that I didn't necessarily want or need. At any given time in the course of my childhood, I could take you through my room and tell you who had given me everything I owned. It is entirely possible that I could do that now, including things belonging to other members of my family. But you see what I'm most thankful for as an adult aren't things.

So sit down and grab a hot chocolate we'll discuss what I'm thankful for.

1. I am most thankful for a God who forgives. Who delivers, who gives, and takes away. I am thankful for the God who delivered me from the pit that I held residence in for so long, it didn't seem possible to get out. I am thankful for the One who gives me strength and love that I am certain I don't deserve, but gives it in abundance anyway.

2. I am thankful for my husband. He is my love. He embodies everything I could ever hope for in a man. He is kind, loving, reassuring, nurturing, and quite possibly the strongest man on earth. As it takes a strong man in body and spirit to be able to tolerate being married to me. He is the best father to our children and a great provider for our family. He is my partner in this thing we call life.

3. I am thankful for my oldest child C. She is smart and beautiful inside and out. She likes to come across as strong and mature. But she is kind and loving and accepting. She doesn't like change but she adapts and usually will admit when she is wrong. When I get sad for any reason she is there to bring the tissues. She is a great daughter and a great big sister. I couldn't be prouder of the young lady she is becoming. We like to say that she was the prototype. We made our mistakes with her, but she is amazing.

4. I am thankful for my middle child M. She is truly a wonder. She was the most difficult of all my children in the beginning. She has come so far. From not speaking until she was four to performing on stage. She is a miracle. She has a love of performing whether it is acting or playing music. She is her own person and she doesn't like to conform to what everyone else is doing. She is strong and smart and full of life. I am amazed by all she has been able to accomplish.

5. I am thankful for my son P. He was our little surprise. He is so smart and has the greatest smile. He truly cares about people. He always wants to include everyone and strives to do the right thing. He is the great peacemaker in a house full of high strung emotional women. He makes me smile daily and I look forward to seeing what all God has planned for him. As there isn't a child I know that has more faith than he does.

6. I am thankful for all of my family. My grandmother who gave me the gift of the love of reading. My parents who at least got together long enough to give me life. My every relative who has given of their time and love to help form who I would become. I am thankful for the time I had with my mother, even though it never seems it was long enough. I am thankful that I didn't get the mother-in-law that all the jokes are made from. God blessed me in that area because I couldn't have asked for a better one. She is loving and funny and I enjoy every bit of time I get to spend with her. I am thankful all of my in-laws. I am lucky to not have to refer to them as such. They are just my family no in-laws or out-laws about it. They are my family and I love them just the same.

7. I am thankful for my friends. They are all gifted in so many areas and I learn something new from just being around them. My friend Christi, who is a sister to me in every way except biologically. (Although between you and me, I'm still holding out hope that my son will marry one of her daughters.) She is there to lift me up or talk me down as the case may be. She also isn't afraid to tell me when I'm being an idiot. Which I love about her. (This happens more than you would think) She is along with each and every one of my friends a great treasure in my life.

8. I am thankful for my home. I understand what a gift this is as there are those who do not have them. I have been blessed beyond measure to have a home to call my own filled with the people I love most.

9. I am thankful for food to eat. I am never left hungry which I am so very thankful for. I understand what a blessing this is and am so thankful for this blessing in abundance.

10. I am thankful for clothes and shoes. I am thankful also that I can share some of these things with my daughters. It makes it even more fun. It also helps when you wear the same size of shoes.

11. I am thankful for the ability to see. Not just so I can get around daily but so I can look around and see all of the beauty of God's creations around me. It also helps with my love of reading and writing.

12. I am thankful for time. Time to spend with my children, my family, my friends. The time I've been given and time I may have left. As none of us know how much we have been given, I'm thankful for each second of it.

13. I am thankful for hugs. I love hugs. Especially from my kids.

14. I am thankful for heating and cooling.

15. I am thankful electrical appliances. I don't have to use a washboard to do my laundry and I rarely have to do dishes by hand. I also am able to keep my perishables cool. I don't have to cook over an open fire. (Imagine how bad my cooking would be then.)

16. I am thankful for windows.

17. I am thankful for the ability to cuddle on a couch and watch a movie with my kids. (Tonight is Percy Jackson night)

18. I am thankful for my car. I'm scared of horses so a horse and buggy wouldn't be good for me. Seeing as the cats rarely do what I say I'm thinking a several pound animal is even less likely to follow my instructions.

19. I'm thankful for my cats. They aren't really too demanding. They are great at keeping your feet warm and (knock on wood) I have seen a mouse in quite some time.

20. I am thankful for our children's school and teachers. Without them they would never learn that "new math" as I like to call it. Also without them I wouldn't have the school breaks to look forward to, and may take for granted having them home with me.

This isn't everything. There is so much more. Things like blankets, and chocolate, and Midol. Things like indoor plumbing, and clean water, and cleaning supplies. There is so much to be thankful for. It would take forever to list them all and I still couldn't cover the depth of my thankfulness and gratitude.

This Thanksgiving I challenge you to look around. How are you living your life? Are you living it with a heart of thankfulness? I know there is pain and hurt in the world. I have suffered plenty but if I lived my life dwelling on what has been instead of what is yet to be, it would be no life at all. I choose to live a life of thanksgiving. A life full of possibilities, of imagination, of giving praises and glory to God who makes it all possible. Won't you join me?

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