Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 30

Today is the final day of this 30-day challenge, so I am spending it reflecting on my thankfulness journey over the past month. I have been thankful for:

My husband Herb
My mother- and father-in-law Herb and Sandra
My stepdaughter Rosemary
My sister-in-law Holly
My late brother-in-law Glen
My neighbor Roberta
The members of Belmont United Methodist Church
My friend Maryellen
My friend Dana
My son Ryan
Compassion International
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston and all its members
Voices of Hope
All the pastors who have shepherded me throughout my life
Ryan’s gymnastics teacher, Adriane
Firefighters, especially volunteer firefighters
My friends Ann and Arthur
Veterans and those in military service, including my stepdaughter Rosemary and my brother-in-law Steven
My cousin Carol
My friend Suzanne
Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson
My friends on my internet message board
My rheumatologist, Dr. Kovacs
All my Facebook friends
My in-laws, the Costa family
My two beautiful children, Ryan and Katie
The volunteer staff at my church nursery
The church ladies

A loving and supportive extended family
The beauty of autumn in New England
Two children napping at the same time
My minivan
Internet recipe sites
Warm, cozy clothing
Comfortable shoes
Pleasant neighbors
Washable crayons
Hair color
Bubble bath
Pauline, Valentine, and Emma Philpott
The smell of a fire in the fireplace
A perfectly cooked steak
The first snowflakes of winter
The love of God that is shown to me through others
The opportunities I have to show the love of God to others
The Word of God that teaches me how to both give and receive the love of God
Safety through storms
Baby monitors
A good night’s sleep
My mom and her parenting example
Children’s books
Warm sunshine
Toy trucks
Suet attracting birds to my birdfeeder
A wonderful pediatrician with a nearby office
The smell of my favorite shampoo
Ryan’s good manners
Cake mixes
Car seat heaters
The angelic beauty of the face of a peacefully sleeping baby
The sheer pleasure of hearing a small voice asking for Mama and knowing that’s me
The touch of my husband’s hand as he shares my delight in both of those things
Katie’s first giggle
Watching Ryan learn to use his remote-controlled truck
The lingering smell of fireplace smoke in the living room
Having money for groceries
Clean drinking water
Good medical care
My backyard sandbox
Christmas music
The beauty of a glorious full moon
The pleasure of old movie musicals
Quiet mornings with a hot cup of coffee
The right to vote
The right to free speech
The right to worship God as I see fit
A reliable car
Fresh-baked bread
A well-staffed church nursery
Afternoon naps
Visits with extended family
My children’s health
My husband’s health
My own health
Katie learning to roll over
The hint of Indian summer in the air
The muffled hush of early morning
Falling asleep to the sound of a snoring husband and a snoring baby
The cool refreshment of a glass of juice in the morning
Lysol wipes
Funny birthday cards
Helpful Costco employees
The drop-in daycare program at Herb’s work
A long relaxing breakfast out with plenty of coffee
Educational television
The simple joy a small boy can find in a big plastic dump truck
Scented bubble bath
Veggie Tales
My heated lap blanket
Pumpkin pie
Cranberry sauce
Turkey gravy

This seems like a pretty long list – and it is!! But I still missed thanking dozens of people and causes for whom and for which I am truly thankful. I didn’t get the chance to thank my circle of friends from Gordon College that I still keep in touch with. I didn’t thank the librarians in the children’s room at Waltham Library. Or the clerk at Dress Barn who always picks out the perfect outfits for me. Or all my cousins and their families, or my aunts and uncles, or Herb’s aunts and uncles who all make being part of a family such a joy.

And there are hundreds of other things, small and large, for which I am thankful every single day. I didn’t express my thanks for online shopping, or room-darkening window blinds, or my favorite perfume, or having house cleaners, or my mom’s recipe collection, or my indoor herb garden. I didn’t express my thanks for my neighbors’ beautiful flower garden, or the smell of fresh laundry, or the feel of crisp, clean sheets.

So I guess I’ll need to spend some more time over the next few months continuing to be thankful for all the wonderful people and things that I have in my life. I’ll need to continue to challenge myself to be aware of the people around me who make my life easier and more pleasant. I’ll need to push myself to express my thankfulness to others.

So just to finish this exercise properly, today I am thankful for all of you who have been faithfully following my journey in this blog, who have cheered me on, kept me honest, and even joined with me on the journey. I am thankful for each one of you for your interest in my life, for your encouragement of my writing, and for your faithful support of me as a mom, a wife, and a human being. My life is richer because of each one of you.

And three final things that I am thankful for are the amazing technology that allows me to share my thoughts with friends and strangers all over the country and all over the world, for the beauty of the English language that allows me to express those thoughts, and for the God who made me, who loves me, who saved me, and who makes everything possible for one who believes.

Even being thankful every day for 30 days.

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