I am thankful for the library: for the freedom to choose fantastic books and movies and bring them home for free. The freedom to choose terrible books and movies and being able to return them without having wasted money. I'm thankful for the rain we have received this week. That our roof doesn't leak. That I am no longer afraid of thunder and lightning.
I'm thankful for the gift of prayer and mercy and grace, for peace and strength. For the Bible and the comfort it brings to me every time I sit down to read it. I'm thankful for the multi-national family and friends that surround us and call and visit us and care and pray for us. I'm grateful for Suzy, who wrote to me and called me to let me know she was back in town, visiting from Arkansas. For her sense of humor, her tears, her prayers, and her friendship. For Lisa and her wise and womanly words. For Karen and her green lifestyle. For Jill's late night sense of humor.
I'm thankful for Leonie and Ian and Magpie Girl and Kelly Rae and Kristin and Karen and Melodee and Natalia and Jen and Jena and Eduardo and Andrea and Andrew and Laura and Lori and Laurie and Shelby and all the other men and women I know who write and take photos and make videos aand tell stories and laugh and cry and live full, confusing, doubtful, joyful, traveling, singing, dancing, funny, fun-loving, musical, artistic, playful and fearful and creative, serious, seeking, laughing lives. For the ways in which each of them, each of you, has accepted me and reached out to me and loved me.
I'm thankful for the internet, cell phones, blogs, digital cameras, and external hard drives. For Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, for organic onions, soy milk, chocolate bars and brown rice. I'm thankful for fresh fruit and salad and homemade dressing. For sorbet and gelato and ice cream sandwiches and butterscotch bars. For ice wine and gin & tonics and caipirinhas and mojitos. For Nicaragua and Spain and Brazil and Argentina and Italy and South Africa and England and Costa Rica and Puerto Rico and Rwanda and Germany and France and Ireland and all the countries, the cities, and the towns that have been the holy ground on which my life has been and is being lived.
I'm thankful for A-line skirts and flats and denim jackets. For padded bras and argyle socks and suede boots. I'm thankful for beads and wire and ear hooks and the tools to make my own jewelry. For colored pencils and stickers and scissors and glue sticks. For candles and incense and room spray and perfume. For magazines and mailboxes and stamps and envelopes. For passports and airplanes and backpacks and tray tables and duty free shops. For ipods and earphones and podcasts and cds and dvds.
I'm thankful for shampoo and hair dryers and Dr. Bronner's soap and homemade skin care products. I'm grateful for Lockstar, the amazing salon that caters to black women with natural hair. For hair color and rubber bands and plastic caps and hairpins and towels. I'm thankful for the stories and laughter and food and joy that are shared between the women at the salon as we "suffer for sexy."
I'm thankful for my children and my husband and that they know when mama needs a break. For my study and my books and journals and elephant collection. For the seashells and smooth stones and cathedral candles and tiny vials of olive oil and limoncello that line my travel altar. For travel journals and momentos and maps and old museum entry stubs. For peace flags and crosses and magnetic words and collages and photographs of my children. I'm thankful for tennis rackets, walking shoes, wristbands, and NBA basketball and hand weights.
I'm thankful for my minivan and open parking spaces and shopping carts and personal sized watermelons and free samples and money back guarantees. For salespeople and store clerks, especially the ones that remember me and ask how the children are doing. For employment and debit cards and credit cards and a husband who insists on paying everything off every month. For a home I love and a life that is full and frustrating and overwhelming and peaceful and adventurous and blessed and mine.
I'm thankful that I have a hope and future. That I am not alone. That I do not have to be afraid to walk through all the valleys and shadows of everything that looms above and ahead. That I know that I know that I know that all shall be well.
I'm thankful to be alive at this time in this place living this life.