It seems absolutely fitting, this week, to take a minute to think about what I'm thankful for. Cheesy, but still fitting. Here's the list I've come up with over the past several days, while walking the dog :
In no particular order, because that would take way too much brain power and editing thereafter, and I've got way too much cooking to do, gifts to work on, decorating, phone calls to make - you know - all the stuff everyone else is busy with :-)
#1 I'm thankful for having little people in our lives, who mispronounce words, and announce loud and clear when they've pooped, and take off their shirts to play with playdoh, and play with our kids' old toys, and get our kitchen table sticky every single time they eat there. They make our lives much richer, remind us how to really live, and give us a chance to do a better job of grandparenting than we did with parenting. We are blessed eight times over.
#2 I'm thankful for miracles that still occur today, for little girls who lived through heart surgery, and miracle babies who weren't supposed to be but God always knew, and for teenage boys who defy the odds (God doesn't gamble) and come out of being hit by a car with relatively minor results. (BTW I never posted about our grandson being hit by a car, did I?! He was, he's okay now, it was scarier than all get out, but he's okay, thank you God!)
#3 I'm thankful for grown kids who have guts, more than we did. They have the courage to leave perfectly good, safe careers and start new ones, in spite of us wringing our hands over it.
#4 I'm thankful for age spots on my hands, crinkles around my eyes, stretch marks on my stomach and grey hairs all over my head, because they are a testimony to a long life that included sunshine and smiling and having babies and feeling free enough to throw out the hair dye. I'm not overly thankful for the cellulite on my upper thighs.
#5 I'm thankful for Cub Sweetheart, who still whistles at me when he catches me half-dressed. A sense of humor and shameless flattery will go a long ways keeping a marriage alive.
#6 I'm thankful for often feeling like I have too much on my plate, too much to keep up with, because it means we're still in the game, living a life full of people and plans and such. Twenty years from now it'll likely look very different and I'll wish I could go back to this time.
#7 I'm thankful for family who loves each other imperfectly, but loves anyway.
#8 I'm thankful for a family doctor who told me to eat chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A rather than McDonalds most of the time, and more often than that to eat at home, but to once in awhile just eat what I want because life is a gift that needs to be fully embraced. He also cautioned me to not run marathons or eat tree bark, God bless him.
#9 I'm thankful Jesus turned water into wine, shouting out that life is to be celebrated. Go to the party, eat the cake, sip a glass of merlot, dance, live!
#10 I'm thankful there are people who give up perfectly good dogs, and we found Miss Lily and brought her home. In spite of it not making sense. In spite of her sometimes tee-teeing on our bedroom carpet because it's too cold to go out her doggie door in the middle of the night. I'm still thankful for her because she makes me laugh every single day and our grandchildren think we hung the moon just because we have her here to play with. (It would be okay with me if she'd stop the tee-tee thing... and likely this lady thinks so too.)
#11 I'm thankful Miss Lily has never bitten said grandchildren even though she's likely wanted to. And they maybe deserved it.
#12 I'm thankful for leaves that turn red and yellow and lay on our lawn awhile, then the wind sweeps them down the street to another yard where they hopefully don't drive that man as crazy as they do Cub Sweetheart, who hates, hates, hates them.
#13 I'm thankful my mother let me use her sewing machine at the ripe age of seven, to sew Barbie skirts. Sitting at my sewing machine is something I dearly love, and 52 years later I'm still sewing Barbie skirts and American Girl doll clothes and table runners and little girl headbands and such.
#14 I'm thankful my Daddy, who will be 90 next July, is happy as a clam, and relatively fit as a fiddle, living in a building with a bunch of sweet old ladies. Thankful they all love him, give him somebody to bake for, play cards and put puzzles together with him. Very thankful for that.
#15 I'm thankful I still have four of my siblings. And one of them is a girl. No girl deserves four brothers without at least one sister thrown in the mix.
#16 I'm thankful my left eye sees so great, since my right one doesn't see worth a darn. That old adage, 'don't take things for granted' is much more relevant to me since this past March with my eye episode.
#17 I'm thankful for how many people who had thoughts in their head, decided to put it down on paper, and published a book, in spite of all the naysayers who told them they shouldn't. Because books are something I love in such a big, big, big way. What would I do without books? I can't imagine.
#18 I'm thankful for shrimp and vanilla ice cream and McDonald's french fries, for cell phones and the internet, for the GPS in our car, for fabric stores, for the sound of the school bus at our curb most mornings, for airplanes and affordable flights to see those we love, or bring them here to us.
#19 I'm not thankful for dementia, for poverty, hopelessness and those who are cold and hungry at night while I'm warm and full in my own home; for alcoholism and cigarettes and how they rob value and years from lives; I'm not thankful for mean-spiritedness, for those who can somehow harm an innocent child, for those who would bully or abuse women, nor that we live in a world where we somehow think it's the woman's right to choose to end a life growing inside her.
#21 I'm not thankful for pride, jealousy, modern-day Phariseeism, for judging others, for cynicism or being self-centered, for greediness and wishing others to fail or at least finish poorly, and especially when it's all alive and well within me.
#22 I'd like to be able to say I'm thankful for world peace, and everyone in our family being completely healthy, and all diseases being cured. None of that is true, but God is bigger than that. He sees all pieces of a puzzle I have only a teensy, tiny glimpse of. He's never been surprised a single day in all eternity, and I can rest in that.
We're having Thanksgiving at our house this year (yeah!), eleven of us, ranging from 3 to 63 and I'm printing out 'thankful for mats to use at each place setting. You can download them HERE if you'd like.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,