I don't make a regular habit of quoting other people on this blog.
I don't make a regular habit of forwarding email chain-letters.
But this is a good one. This one touched me in a place very dear to my heart: gratitude.
Our world is being torn apart by war, aggression, violence, fear, abuse, abandonment, and all sorts of other tragedies. Friendships, marriages, families, and entire nations are being destroyed from within and without. I just had lunch with a dear friend during which we shared tales of sorrow that NO ONE ought to have to endure.
In the midst of all the misery, there are reasons to rejoice.
In the midst of a world and a nation becoming increasingly addicted to all kinds of substances and behaviors, there are ways to "get high" that are natural, painless, and worthy of repetition. With that in mind, I share this list that a neighbor sent to me earlier today.
My hope is that we will each read it, contemplate it, and then add to it. Not just add to the written list, but also to the living list of activities that makes up our lives. May we each add these and other delights to our daily lives.
I, for one, suggest that we add "cheesecake lunches" to the list.
And "inviting ourselves to the homes of our dearest friends for lunch on Sunday afternoons."
What about "warm apple pie and ice cream"?
And "scratching the back of someone we love."
Note: the comments in the parenthesis are mine.
1. Falling in love. (Falling in "like" is great too.)
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket (or at airport security).
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail, (Not only email, but also snail mail. Handwritten.)
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio. (Singing and dancing along.)
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside. (Lord, we could use some rain!)
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer. (Especially if the laundry is done by someone other than me.)
11. Chocolate milkshake or vanilla or strawberry!
12. A bubble bath!
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach.
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you (especially your kids).
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss - either the very first one or the first with a new partner.
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams. (Have you ever woken up laughing? I have.)
32. Hot chocolate. (I prefer tea or coffee, but whatever...)
33. Road trips with friends. (Solo trips are a real pleasure also.)
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies. (Or brownies with chocolate chips and M&Ms.)
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38. Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing
that some things - good or bad - never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone's face
as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and
being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing,
no matter what other people think.
PS. More good news: Yesterday afternoon, Kristiana saw Maya playing with something on the floor of the family room. Kristiana told her to drop it, and being the good dog that she is, Maya dropped it. It was THE PLUM PIT. Turns out she had never eaten it. What a relief! Last Saturday when she snatched it out of Kristiana's hand, I told her to drop it, but she didn't. So we all assumed she'd swallowed it. Apparently, she did drop it, but none of us saw it fall.
What an emotionally turbulent week we've had! In the end, however, it was a week of many miracles, many blessings, many things for which we give infinite thanks to God for his goodness, mercy, love and protection.