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December 1, 2010

The older I get, the more grateful I am for the abundance of blessing that is my life.


I feel almost ashamed to admit what I have in the face of what others see… like the man from Africa, who spends his life in the largest slum on earth, bringing hope to the people there–digging wells, building schools, and saving souls–a man who is grateful for one gathering area that fits 300, packed in like sardines; like the mother of a four-year-old with cancer, who speaks of just how tough he is, and how joy-filled, despite his condition; like the homeless man who is so grateful for just a cup of warm soup and a place to lay his head–even the cold, hard floor of a shelter when there are no beds left.

So that I won’t forget throughout the year all that I have, I thought I would make a list. I can come back and reread it anytime I forget. I can add as more comes to mind.

Hebrews 13:15
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

  • I am thankful for my husband. I have an amazing husband, a man who I can’t wait to come home to at night, a man I love waking up to in the morning, a man with whom I want to share every moment of every day. I am blessed to be married to my best friend, the person who still makes my heart beat in a crazy rhythm when he comes into a room, who still makes my breath catch in my throat when he kisses me. I am thankful for him, for our life together, for the person he strives to be, for the way he leads our family, for the way his eyes crinkle in the corners when he’s up to something, for the unconditional love upon which I can rely.

W.J. Cameron
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.

  • I am thankful for my children, all of them, who are healthy, and smart, and funny, and joyful, who love with a depth that generally blows my mind given all that they have been through.  I am thankful for children who are wholly mine (with room enough in their hearts to be wholly their mother’s, too) regardless of what biology dictates, children who are starting to understand the value of things, and who are starting to see that the value of people is always much greater. I am thankful for second chances, for forgiveness, for new beginnings, for new life, for family additions, for the way our hands fit so perfectly in each others around the dinner table. I am thankful for their words of encouragement to me, for the way they love me no matter what, no matter how grouchy I may have been, for the fact that I truly can call them my favorite people on the planet.

Odell Shepard
For what I give, not what I take,
For battle, not for victory,
My prayer of thanks I make.

  • I am thankful for a supportive, loving, family I adore. Not so many years ago, driving a few hours to spend a holiday seemed like a lot. Now I almost look forward to it. Not necessarily the drive, but the faces, the voices, the memories with which I am so familiar. These people have known me since I was a child, watched me grown into a teenager, to an impulsive young adult, have seen the worst of me, and still love me anyway. My parents, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole lot of them. Good people. Good to me people. I am thankful for the repetition year after after, for the tradition, for passing it on to future generations. I am thankful for their presence in my life, not by blood but by choice.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

  • I am thankful for my friends. For my bloggy friends, for my in-real-life friends, for friends I’ve known for 25 years, for friends I’ve known for only 3… or less. I am thankful for the friends I see every day and the ones I haven’t seen in years, the ones with whom I e-mail regularly, the ones who offer kind words here and there, the ones who challenge me spiritually, and mentally, the ones who have my back–in Court, at home, in life, in love, in everything. I truly cannot imagine what my life would be like without them all. There is great comfort in knowing that we aren’t doing this life alone, but that we have kindred spirits, others willing to walk beside us, guide us, gently or sternly, in love.

Theodore Roosevelt
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

  • I am thankful for our beautiful home. Knowing that other cultures live 9 or 10 to a 10 x 10 shack, or a mud hut, makes me feel all the more grateful for the structure I call home. It sometimes feels too small–like when we’re supposed to host a Thanksgiving meal–but it is enormous compared to those huts and shacks. It seems silly that we’re worried about finishing the basement into a rec room, maybe adding an extra bathroom… when there are those out there with so little. I am grateful for the appliances that keep our food cold when it should be cold and heat it to just the right temperature, for the washer and the dryer that make quick work of our dirty clothes, for the dishwasher that’s quiet, and for the thermostat that keeps us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But mostly I am grateful that it is a home–which really could be anywhere that we are all together. I am grateful for the memories we’ve made under that roof–for the laughter, and the tears, and the yelling, and the joy–all of the things that have welded us together over the years.

Edward Sandford Martin
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

  • I am thankful for my job. In an economy like the one we have, I am truly blessed to have one. Period. To have one that pays me for my skills, appreciates the work I do, allows me flexibility to attend basketball games, and parent teacher conferences and work from home when kids are sick… that is more than I deserve. I am thankful that I don’t dread going when I get up in the morning, that I look forward to the next project, I am grateful for the work I do that challenges me, and for the lovely people I work with on a daily basis.

Henry Ward Beecher
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

  • Most of all, I am thankful for the One who gives me all things and I am grateful for the opportunity to thank Him and serve Him openly and without fear. I am grateful for the colors of the sunrise and sunset, for the awesome majesty of snow-covered peaks, for the birds that sing in the morning, for the perfection of a newborn baby, for the cycle of life and the amazing synchronicity of the universe. I am grateful that all of those exist. I am grateful that the God of the Universe wants to share them with me.

G. A. Johnston Ross
If I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Host of this universe, Who daily spreads a table in my sight, surely I cannot do less than acknowledge my dependence.

It truly is an embarrassment of riches. I am truly grateful, truly thankful, truly blessed.

What tops your list this season?

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 2:42 pm

    What a beautiful post!

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