With Thanksgiving this Thursday, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on those very things for which I am thankful…and maybe you are, too.
This last stretch of life has made money quite elusive for my family. Frankly, it’s no fun trying to simply make ends meet, as I’m sure many of you can relate. But then I remember that 11% of the world doesn’t have something as fundamental and necessary as clean drinking water…and I know my challenges are “first world problems” indeed.
In this age of so much “stuff” that we believe we “need,” the truth is that…that’s not true. Beyond meeting our basic life necessities, our “needs” are much less than many of us focus on. And so today, I’d like to share the things I am truly thankful for…every day…that don’t cost a single penny.
- FAMILY—isn’t it the obvious go-to response for things to be thankful for? I am grateful for the people in my life who help to give it meaning. There is the family you are born into, and the family you make—and both can be a source of incredible joy (and pain!) I think about the names that define me within my family—wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt…I am blessed to have those relationships…even on days where I might want to choke someone.
- FRIENDS—and isn’t this the second obvious go-to response? My father used to say that if a man dies with four true friends, he dies a rich man. I’d like to think I am a rich woman in this regard—though I’m not dead yet, so I suppose there is time to tank in this realm. But for now…I am rich. And I am grateful. With each passing year I learn more and more of the value of true friendships. Priceless.
- HUMOR—I can’t imagine a life devoid of laughter. I wouldn’t want to live it. Even in the darkest of times, humor has been a constant companion to me, and for that, I am grateful. Without a doubt, God has an enormous sense of humor. Just look around. Don’t tell me he wasn’t giggling when parachute pants were popular. And how about the platypus? Bedlington Terriers? I guess saying that I think God has a devilish twinkle in his eye would be a bit blasphemous, but you know what I mean…
- NATURE—the beauty of nature continually washes over me. Sure, there are the “big mamas” (or “papas”) of nature like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, but there are the everyday “regular” goodies of nature that we too often dismiss in our busyness. The perfection of bright red maple leaves splayed on the ground in the autumn rain or the hues of pinks and oranges as the sun tucks itself in for the night…When I make it a point to stop and look, I almost always find something to pause and offer thanks for.*
- ART—what would the world be without art? I’m not just talking about the works you find in museums, but the art that is all around us…nature included (see #4!) Too often we put the term “art” on a pedestal that can only be reached by a few—but the truth is that each and every one of us has our own kind of art within us—and we need to let it out! The world will be a better place for it. Just look at what the unleashed art of the world has already done…Whether it’s a beautiful sculpture, poem, painting, film, song, play, photo, story—or whatever speaks to you—the world will be better because you shared it…and I will be grateful that you did.
- EXPERIENCES and MEMORIES—to me, having experiences that result in making memories is the real gold I’d like to store up in my vault. I’ll take the memories of my son’s first day of school over a new pair of shoes any day.
- LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, and FORGIVENESS—this one is two-tiered. The first tier is my thankfulness for the package deal of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that God offers me. He loves me, so he grants me grace and mercy, and since I continually mess up, he continually forgives me. It’s everything, really. And because of that everything, I am called to do the same for others—though in keeping with the “continually messing up” part, I continually fall short. I am thankful that each day I get to try again. And again. And I am thankful for those who strive to do the same for me. Lord knows I need as much love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness as I can get my hands on!
- FAITH and HOPE—these two are pretty intertwined in my world. My faith offers me hope, and I am very grateful for both. I do not know what tomorrow brings—more so these days than ever before—but I have faith and hope that the road laid out for me is exactly where my feet should go. Of course, if God could punch in my next destination on my internal GPS, that would be lovely. Right now, all I’m hearing is “recalculating”…
- OPPORTUNITIES to SERVE and GIVE—sometimes we can look upon the need to serve and give as a burden, but they are really something to be thankful for. I don’t think there has ever been a time that I was able to serve or give that I was not the better for it. Supporting one another in various ways brings deeper meaning, connection, and appreciation to life. It makes us all a little bit more alive.
And, lastly…at least for today’s list…
- BABY TOES—because this is my list and I can pick whatever I want. I mean, come ON…baby toes…do I really have to explain?
*The whole “thankful for” topic has brought about many a dangling preposition. The Oxford Dictionary says that’s okay. Whew.
All photos are my own.
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45 thoughts on “10 Things I’m Thankful for Every Day”
Guess what? I think I would say pretty much the same–except I might change the baby toes. Don’t get me wrong, they are awesome. I might exchange that for a true love hug- yep, a hug. I can feel the arms of my daughter around me when she was a little tyke patting my back like I would pat hers. I have a niece who squeezed me so tight out of the blue and told me she loved me. I’ve never forgotten that and it was 25 + years ago. I’ve cried on many a shoulder with a responsive hug for the hurt I was feeling- or maybe joy. I’m going for the hug- and sending one your way right now!
#11–heartfelt hugs!! Absolutely agree–special memories included. And right back at ya.
Hey Lisa… there’s a link up that was started by a blogging friend of mine. Maybe you’d like to check it out? They run every weekend, and this would be a biggie for this one.
Thanks for bringing this my may jaklumen! Not sure exactly what I would need to do to participate, though, since I’ve already posted. What say you?
Lisa, it’s fine if you’ve already posted– you’d just need to add it to the linkup when it becomes available.
Here’s an example (last week’s linkup): http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=468928
when the linkup is open, you would just add your URL to this post, & add the e-mail address that is connected to your blog. InLinkz should fill in the rest of the info for you.
They’ve also got a Facebook group if that floats your boat: http://www.facebook.com/groups/315828258570208/%E2%80%9D
Got it. Thanks for the explanation!
You’re welcome… enjoy!
I’m thankful for caller ID and underwear with stretch.
Kleenex and the person who owned the purse where it was kept! xo
Welcome to the TTOT hop! A wonderful thanksgiving to you, and a great list! Glad you’ve come to link up with our little hop family here!
Thank you! Love the positive spirit of TTOT!
Beautiful post I can so much relate. I like the picture of the baby feett, especially. It reminds me when my teens were little–so cuddly, small, and much easier to handle.
Thank you, Carin!
This is a beautiful list! I love how you focused on what really matters!
Thank you, Emily!
Everything that’s important is in your post. I love the photos. Having fun with friends and family – there is nothing better. And I agree with you that God has a sense of humor and likes to see us happy and have fun – enjoy not suffer guilt. Baby toes – too cute!
Thanks, Val! Nothing better indeed.
BABY TOES!!! YEs it is so easy to get lost in the making ends meet stress that we forget that we have things that others would see as luxury. Electricity, running water, plumbing, fresh food.
Amen. Keeping life in context offers many opportunities for me to count my blessings!
I’m pretty sure there’s a poem somewhere about ducks, which explains God’s sense of humour 🙂
Welcome to the TToT
Except for baby toes, those are all BIG things to be thankful for. Great list.
Well, depending on how big the baby is… 😉
Thankful that I’ve met you through TToT!
Reblogged this on Perspectivas da vida.
Thank you! That’s very kind of you!
All my pleasure.
I share so many of your thankfuls! You’ve hit on the big ones, including sweet, sweet baby toes.
Yes, I wrote it just as a post for Thanksgiving, and then jaklumen connected me to the TToT link–I’m glad he did!
Faith and hope. They are entwined for me, too, and I am also very grateful for both of them.
The biggest thankfuls really can’t be bought. Love this list!
So very true! Thanks, Kristi!
What a wonderful addition to the TToT. Welcome!
That is a beautiful photo of the lake.
#9 couldn’t be more true. Most of the time, I think I get more out of serving others than the people I’m serving do.
I laughed when you ended with the dangling prepositions comment. These lists most definitely lead on to leave all sorts of prepositions just dangling out there. It drives me batty when I write my lists. Glad to hear it’s ok. 🙂
Thanks for the kind welcome, Christine! Absolutely agree re: service. Re: prepositions, the former English teacher in me winces, but my Midwestern roots say, not a problem! 🙂
very excellent listation!*
It is one of the fun things about this bloghop, to meet new people with perspectives and views and such… I enjoyed your list. Welcome to the TToT!
* I find it quite comforting, your reference to the acceptability of ending sentences with propositions! yes, we also (for reasons not clear) encourage the making up of words (when necessary, of course)
Listation…hmm, Clark…quite the wordsmith! 🙂 Thanks for the kind welcome!
Haha! Baby feet are so cute! I hear you so loud and clear in this post. With our latest move to our first own place in 8 months, I can definitely attest to the things that most people think we need not really being a necessity at all. Most times, my family and I have and still do live without the many things that we as Americans think we need. Not necessarily by choice, but all we could afford for the longest was just the bare necessities. I am grateful for my hubby and son, too. Being a wife and mom to them truly has made life so much more meaningful for me. 🙂
Yes, when we must do without, we definitely learn to distinguish needs from wants! So glad you stopped by to read and share your thoughts, Brittnei!
Yes! Baby toes! How I miss those. So…welcome to the TToT and I love, love, love your list. All of these things are wonderful and this is a good reminder about what we should be focusing on. Thanks so much for sharing it.
Thanks for your kind words, Sandy!