Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Gratitude List

The holidays are approaching quickly.  It is a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation for many.  This time of year can also be touched with sadness, especially as we think of those who will not be with us this year.  A really good habit (that I’m not always so good at) is to keep a gratitude list.  I got to thinking about that last night.  There has been much sadness in my life this year but there has also been much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for…
My Friends and Family – The older I get, the more I realize what a blessing it was to be raised among a large extended family.  I grew up not only with parents, siblings, and grandparents, but also within a large circle of aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends.  I am thankful for the impact that each person had on my life and I treasure memories of family get-togethers.  I’m thankful for the other family I joined when I got married.  I’ve been blessed with some awesome friends and I am thankful for each one of them.

I'm thankful for...
The Simple Things – It is the simple things in life that tend to get overlooked and taken for granted.  I’m thankful for sunny days in autumn, music, little birds outside my window, flannel sheets, friendly hugs and smiles, sweet potato fries, baby animals, and long walks.  I’m thankful for rolling hills, tiny creeks, pine trees, and the sounds of nature.  I’m thankful for the ability to find humor in life and for smiles in the midst of grief.  

I'm thankful for...
Life – Life is a gift from God and to be thankful for life is to be thankful to the One who gives life so abundantly.  Faith in God above is the foundation of my life.  I am so thankful for the life He has given me.  I’m even grateful for all the bumps and valleys along the way.  God has used the tough parts of my life to mold me into the person I am today and He will continue to do that.  It is hard to be thankful for sadness and dark days, but I am.  I know there is something more to come, there is a light in the darkness, and there is a path that leads to joy.  The dark days teach me to better appreciate that light and to cherish the good days.  Lord God, I thank you for this. 

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart  (Psalm 138:1)

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