The other day my good friend PJ asked in her blog the question What are you Thankful for? , as we often do this time of year. When I went back to get the above link, I read a number of great replies that were both inspiring and uplifting. Thank you, PJ, for asking the question. I encourage you to check it out, and perhaps offer your own.
No matter how often we do it, giving thanks for our blessings renews us and brings us back to what really matters. When I give thanks at a time like this, I like to give pause to really consider my answer. I guess that's because I kind of see it as a prayer, winging its way to Heaven, in hopes that God will hear me and forgive the times that I've whined and cried and didn't appreciate all that I've been given.
And so, Dear Lord, Thank you....
For another year of the blessing of life.
When I count my blessings, I always include:
That I was born in this time in the United States of America. There is so, so much we take for granted just in that! Like all parents, I count the blessing of my children, born healthy. I can't imagine what it must be like for mothers in countries where their children must go hungry, are sick with no access to medicine.
I am truly thankful that I've always had a home, with a warm bed, and been able to feed us. I am thankful that in America, though we do have poverty and difficulties, there are charities, churches, and organizations, and good neighbors providing help to those in need.
I am thankful for my washer and dryer! And my micro-wave and TV and VCR and computer! And the telephone! And the internet - that gives me the ability to see the world and meet people from all over, and provides access to so much information. So many times I have thought myself poor, yet just these things alone are a lot, so much more than my Grandmother ever had.
I am thankful that we are a nation of laws, even if we don't always agree. I am thankful that we have the right to disagree and the right to have our say on how and when things should change, and the ability to make those changes.
I am thankful for every class of our working folks - Police and Firemen (and women), Doctors and Nurses, Caretakers at Nursing Homes, EMTs that keep us safe and healthy; the mechanic, the light company lineman out all hours in horrific weather to get the lights and heat back on.
Teachers! Oh my goodness.... I've left out so many, but you get the picture. I am thankful for those that work so hard, not just for themselves, but to do for others... to give us the bounties of this country.
I am thankful for Comedians! And Actors and Musicians! Oh how I love music. I can't imagine a life without the radio and music players - all manner of music that we have been given in our lifetime.
I am thankful that I live in New England, the rural life, and my rural heritage. Stone walls and dirt roads and winter snowfalls. Living the farm life - milking cows and seeing calves birthed, feeding them from buckets and throwing down the hay... Wildlife - birds and deer and chipmunks and squirrels... common... The uncommon that I have been blessed to see: Bear and moose and porcupines and even skunks! Summer gardens and autumn apples, and most especially...... Flowers.
Others may say a landscape or a sunset, but I see God most in flowers... the delicate yet perfect nature of the petals... the exquisite array of colors and textures and fragrance.... the joy in a bunch of dandelions given from a child's hand. I have known these things. Who but a loving God could create such as this?
Yes, I count my children, always.
But this year, I ask a special blessing and feel the deepest gratitude... for the one that has been my husband these many years. Life sure has its ups and downs. And we have surely known them. Through it all he has remained a man of character and integrity; soft spoken, calm and strong. When I questioned all, including him, he never waivered. When I lost it, he was steady. When I was angry and bitter and acted the child, he loved me still. He put up with all my antics and never complained, not once, all these years, but stood by me.
I was blessed with a rock... that saw me through the storms of this life, who always sheltered me, kept me safe and secure, even in those times that I thought not. I am thankful, that however we did it, we have remained for each other, and now we share the love that only time can bring.
How many times have I remembered.... crying in my bed at 15, scared and wondering about life.... asking God.... if I can have just one thing.... can you give me a Good man to be with me?
This year I say again... Thank you, Lord, for answering that prayer.