My Gratitude List

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I figure this is as good a time as any to compile a gratitude list, and I have plenty to be grateful for this year:

My marriage. As usual, my husband tops my gratitude list. After 32 years together, I still consider him a gift from a loving God. He’s kind, generous, all-around decent and caring, my best friend, the wind beneath my wings, and the best thing that ever happened to me. I love that man to the moon and back!

My family. I have sisters who double as best friends. Good parents (it was an awe-inspiring experience to hear story after story about their generosity when I stood in the receiving line at Dad’s visitation a few years ago). And wonderful nieces, nephews and dozens of cousins I’m now in touch with thanks to Facebook.

Our kitties. I have two sweet babies who come running whenever I sit down so they can hop into my lap, who curl up next to me in bed, who love me unconditionally.

Our health. After a cancer scare for my husband, a cardiac scare for me, and a lengthy hospitalization/convalescence for my mother, we’re all still here alive and well (or at least recovering) for the holidays. Thanks be to God!!!!! And while our medical bills this year would pay for a small house, we’re fortunate to have insurance that covered most of it.

Our dream house, with its cozy fireplace, sunroom, eat-in kitchen, office space for each of us, yard filled with flower beds and lovely neighborhood.

Good friends, past and present – those irreplaceable people who know my quirks and flaws and love me anyway.

My writing ability. I’ve known since third grade that writing would play some role in my life’s purpose, and from young adulthood on, this gift from God has reassured me that I’ll never starve. Or get bored even after retiring.

Our retirement fund. It has been so nice to be able to retire and not have to worry (at least not too much) about how we’re going to survive. To travel to places like Ireland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Israel and Palestine. To afford household help.

Mother Nature in all her majesty. This year I’ve gotten to enjoy wildflowers along the roadsides in summer. Gentle soaking rain after a period of drought. Fall leaves that riot! Beautiful sunsets. Sixty-degree days in late November.

Our new church home. We belong to a congregation where the people actually try to live out the values they profess. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have even survived the merger of three congregations and are still speaking to each other. Amazing!

Supportive people. I’m not sure we’re expected to be grateful for affliction – after all, I’m not a masochist. But we certainly are grateful for the people God put in our lives to help us through the scary stuff – competent medical professionals, and the friends, family, church people and total strangers who prayed for us this year.

Little things. I’ve also decided to be grateful for “ordinary” days when broken appliances are all we need to fret about. For the sprinkler system in our yard that saved me so much time over a long dry summer. Not to mention low-calorie food that actually tastes good.

I’m grateful the things that caused fear and worry over the past year have been resolved, that my husband and I are doing well, and that tomorrow brings new adventures.

And so I resolve to wake up and remind myself each day: Today is the day our Creator has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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