Thursday, November 22, 2012

Counting my Blessings

My littlest, loudest blessing

Several years ago, I was going through a rough patch. On Thanksgiving morning, I sat down with my trusty journal, determined to make a list of 50 things that I was thankful for. I knew that I was blessed beyond belief, but was having a hard time seeing the trees in the forest. So, I decided to count the trees. I got past 50 things, maybe even to 100. I admit that some of them were silly. Some were repetitive. But they are all ways -- big and small -- that I have been blessed.

That journal is packed away somewhere, so I won't bore you with it, but I do want to give a shout out to my annual attempt at daily thankfulness via Facebook. Usually, I fail miserably by getting behind on, like November 4, but this year, with the help of some epic catch-up work, I think I've managed to do it, and I wanted to compile it as a list.

Drumroll . . . with blog-happy redactions and edited for consistency . . .

Today, I am thankful . . .

Day 1: for my beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Day 2: that she is sleeping better at night, so I can be a better, more rested Mama!

Day 3: for my wonderful, sweet, hard-working, playful and all-around amazing husband. He is also an amazing father, and I am beyond blessed to have him in my life!

Day 4: I give abundant thanks to God. "For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'" (Acts 17:28) -- without Him, I would have nothing and be nothing. Thus, to Him goes all the glory.

Day 5: for shelter. I have always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet. I have a place to snuggle under a blanket when it's cold and find relief from the heat.

Day 6: to be an American. I was blessed to be born in a country where we have the right to vote in real elections, where there has always been peaceful transition of power, and where we do not have to fear voicing our political opinions. Go vote.

Day 7: for my family and friends. They have been my rocks through tough times and have rejoiced with me through the best of times. I love them all and would not be who I am without them.

Day 8: for food security. I have never gone hungry or wondered where my next meal would come from. When I am "starving," I know that, really, I'm nowhere near it.

Day 9: for beautiful fall weather. It has taken awhile to get here, but I'm thrilled that it has finally arrived! :)

Day 10: for education. I am blessed to have had the experiences I have had, encountered the people I have met along the way, and have come out of it with so much knowledge and more importantly, critical thinking skills. I hope a love of learning is something I pass on to Miss Clare.

Day 11: for the men and women who have fought (and died) so that I might enjoy the blessings of liberty.

Day 12: for modern medicine. In particular, I'm thankful for the vaccines that will keep my baby girl from getting terrible diseases in this life. A night of fussiness is worth it to keep them far, far away.

Day 13: I am thankful for God's beautiful gift of marriage -- Happy Anniversary to my sister, and now-brother! We scored a couple of great guys!!

Day 14: for having a washing machine at home. I can't imagine living with my Spit-Up Princess without it.

Day 15: for living where I don't have to worry about the day-to-day safety of my family.

Day 16: for great conversations with my loved ones.

Day 17: for my ability to find silver linings. It helps keep things in perspective.

Day 18: for the gift of Faith. Praise God!

Day 19:  for having *too* many ways to spend the holidays. I am truly blessed.

Day 20: for laughter. It is the best medicine. Especially baby laughter.

Day 21: for community: family, friends, real, virtual, old, new, surprise, patchwork. They are the ones who lift you up and wrap you in warmth and joy.            

Day 22: for days spent tickling, dancing and playing with my Little girl

Thanksgiving went easy on me this year by falling on the 22nd -- so early in the month!  (Sadly, I first typed "falls on a Thursday" which is self-evident, being that we're talking about Thanksgiving. Sadly, I actually informed several 9th graders last year that Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday. See: Day 10.) The truth is that I am blessed beyond belief. I can stand here counting for days, as I marvel at the world in which I live and the blessings I have been given.

Mostly, though, I am thankful for the people in my life, and I am thankful for a life free of needs.  At the end of the day, those are the things that truly matter. 

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