Thirty Things for Which I Am Grateful

A couple of years ago, I decided that Thursdays would be my day to share a gratitude list. I am more or less (right now, it seems less) faithful to that decision. I’ve neglected my writing and my blog for nearly a month now, telling myself that my work schedule simply did not include time to write entries, to gather photographs, or to be “inspired.” This morning, I skimmed through Ali Edwards’ blog, and saw an entry for twenty-seven item gratitude list. Since today is April 30, I thought that, surely, I could come up with a list of thirty things for which to be thankful.

  1. Friends who “get” me. I’m one of those introverted people, and sometimes, I am “misunderstood.” I am not really shy because I will talk to perfect strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store or at Wal-Mart. I even help perfect strangers pick out the best kind of needle and thread to use to repair a dog bed! But I am not one to make a spectacle of myself in a large group. I appreciate those friends who understand that when I prefer to stand on the edge of the crowd or not engage in the “large group activity,” I am not aloof or shy. I am just uncomfortable in that setting.
  2. My family, especially my mother, who may understand and know me better than I know myself.
  3. Rain, even when I feel the way Noah must have felt after forty days on the ark.
  4. New plantings—basil, cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, peonies, hibiscus, dianthus.  .  . .
  5. Old plantings—Grandma’s camellia, the roses covered in bloom, the lilies that haven’t bloomed yet. . . .
  6. Music—inspiring music that feeds my soul as well as the fun music that energizes me.
  7. Books—must needed escaping and inspiration
  8. Coffee in the morning—not because I need the caffeine, but for the comforting warmth.
  9. Tea in the middle of the day to relax, unwind, and “chill.”
  10. My gadgets—the iPad, smart phone, Kindle, computer, Zune (what will I do when the Zune fails?). These things can be time wasters, but at the same time, they connect me to world outside myself.
  11. A comfortable hand-knitted shawl of soft yarn to ward off a chilly morning
  12. My sons—endless sources of joy, pride, and inspiration (as well as more than a few aggravations and frustrations)
  13. My piano—I’ve said it before: the piano is a gift from a church member who understood what it would mean to me.
  14. My church family
  15. My camera that helps me to see the world in new ways and to worship outside the four walls of a building
  16. Freedom to choose and free will—It seems such a simple thing that I often take it for granted that I have the ability to choose what I do, where I go, and so forth. I can pretty much do whatever I choose to do. But I also recognize that this freedom comes with a price: a responsibility to use my freedoms with care.
  17. Sonic Lemonberry Slushes—‘nuff said.
  18. Chocolate (see #17).
  19. Creativity and imagination—Oh, yes, I have a healthy dose of imagination at times! I can imagine the best and worst of any situation! But the fact is,  I have been given the gift to create things, whether it is an interpretation of a Brahms’s “Romance” or a Chopin prelude, or a knitted sweater, or an interesting photography. And that is a gift from God.
  20. New life—and not just the new life springing up outside in nature. I have three great nieces and nephews, and two of them will be baptized on Sunday.
  21. Colleagues who make work fun and meaningful
  22. Meaningful work, knowing that what I do makes a difference.
  23. Forgiveness—Of course, there is the theological aspect of forgiveness, but there is a gift in forgiveness that allows me to start over with a clean slate.
  24. Beauty, both natural and man-made. Beauty is an earthly representation of God’s kingdom.
  25. Modern medicine and old wisdom: God-given knowledge that helps us live better.
  26. Reliable transportation—I’m still holding out for my candy-apple red Alpha Romeo convertible, but right now, I am thankful that I have my older Taurus that gets me to the places I need and want to go.
  27. Writing instruments of all sorts—There is something in the feel of a good pen on paper that “inspires” me to write. One day I may get used to writing and composing on the computer, but for now, I am thankful that people still make old-fashioned fountain pens.
  28. Bandit—Bandit is the last of Freckle’s descendants that I know of. I’m not sure when I became a cat person. I think Aaron forced to be a cat person when he brought in Freckles and her four kittens and asked me to help Freckles. She had a huge abscess on her neck. I just knew the vet would tell us that she would never recover and the humane thing to do would be to put her to sleep. But no, the vet cleaned and stitched her up, and she healed. We’ve had several generations of her descendants, but Bandit will be the last.
  29. Health—right now, I feel stuffy and have the sniffles as if I am getting a cold or having an allergy attack, but over all I think I’m in pretty good health!
  30. The end of this list! I was beginning to wonder for a bit there (somewhere around item 5) if I would come up with thirty things! The lesson, though, was that the more I looked at my life, the more I realized that I have been given so many gifts. I can see that even my messy kitchen is a gift because I have a kitchen to mess up, and I have food to prepare. The same cannot be said for everyone on the planet.

So, I challenge you today to think of thirty things for which you are grateful. I think making my list this morning has lifted my spirits and has made me put some things in perspective.

I love conversation, the close, intimate kind amongst friends. Won't you join me? I look forward to a good coze.

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