Thankful Thursday - back to basics
In light of all that is going on in the world at the moment:
the flooding and power outages up in the Northeast,
the heat, drought, and fires in the southern plains and desert southwest,
the famine, drought, starvation, and tortures over in Eastern Africa,
with so many people who are unemployed, homeless, and living in unrelenting poverty,
with so many people fighting not only against illness but also against the medical system,
in nations of political and military unrest, where the innocent are slaughtered as "collateral damage,"
in nations of political, religious, and intellectual persecution,
today my gratitude is centered on the most basic and often the most overlooked gifts in my life.
Today, I am grateful for -
1. food - the farmers that grow it, the workers that pick and process it, the drivers that deliver it, the employees that shelve it and sell it at the supermarket and the local markets as well
2. electricity, running water, natural gas, the sewer system, phone service, Directv, police officers, fire fighters, public transportation, along with all the other private and government-provided amenities that make my life immeasurably more comfortable
3. a strong, solid home that is still standing, but not standing underwater
4. old friendships that deepen over time and new ones that surprise me in their honesty and depth
5. the internet with its access to people, places, and information that would otherwise be out of my grasp
6. the freedom to attend the church of my choice
7. the freedom not to attend church at all
8. ongoing full-time employment for my husband
9. the freedom I have to not work so that I can homeschool my son
10. clothing in the closet and the dresser
11. appliances like the stove, refrigerator, microwave, vacuum cleaner, washer and dryer
12. a car that runs well and is fully paid for
13. the public library
15. the beautiful natural world: squirrels, birds, frogs, turtles, dogs, cats, trees, flowers, lakes, ponds, rain, to name precious few of the miracles that surround me on a daily basis. And don't even get me started on the remarkable people that I come across every day: beauty at every turn, in every curve, under every heavy eyelid, every solid collarbone, every curl, every elbow, every kneecap. Don't be fooled: every single person alive is a wonder, a miracle in the making.
16. love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness
17. grace, mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance
18. the realization that this list could go on for pages and often does go on for hours and hours in my thinking each day - I am blessed indeed.
19. the many opportunities I have been given to be surprised, to be stand in awe, in wonder, and in gratitude for such a wide array of bountiful blessings.
20. life itself - the ultimate gift of life. It's not always sweet, easy, or exciting. It doesn't always feel abundant or free. But life is a gift. Every single day. Every moment is a gift. For which I give thanks. Thanks be to God.