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What I’m grateful for

November 27th, 2003 · No Comments

I got up early – I should get up this early every day – I guess the adrenaline of hosting Thanksgiving made sure my body heard the alarm. Looking out the window I see darkness: I must be the only neighbor awake at this hour on this holiday. Ah, but even if I have tired eyes later today, I have a grateful heart….

First of all, I have a nose that I can use to breathe! Hooray! The best part about getting sick is getting better. I really appreciate my nose more today. It’s great to be able to smell the beginnings of the turkey aroma wafting from the oven. Yeah!

In a little while, I’ll go for a jog – and that’s something to be grateful for as well, that I am healthy enough to try to get into shape. To feel my body move around the block, the rush of running on a cool autumn morning.

I’m grateful for the big turkey we got and all the abundance in our lives. Wow. As Abigail reminded me last month: when watching Lewis and Clark, seeing how the hungry expedition was suffering, she asked “why don’t they go to the grocery store?”! We have an abundance the pilgrims, natives and most peoples in time could only imagine, a prosperity that any other generation would find amazing. Grocery stores. Our house. Our automobiles…of course, computers…the list could be endless…. Yet we take it for granted. I take it for granted.

I’m grateful to be an American. I don’t always agree with everything my country does. I don’t agree with everything that’s happened in our history either, but I am glad to live here. I appreciate the freedoms I have. Looking back in our family history, I see even more reasons to be glad. Oppression and poverty brought our relatives from places around the world to this country where they were blessed with a better life. I have recent immigrants in my family tree and I also have a heritage that dates back to early settlers, some of the first immigrants, coming from Europe to America.

We are thankful to be living near family. Not all of our family lives in the Pacific Northwest, but my family does and that is wonderful. When we lived in San Jose we did not have any relatives close to us. Now it’s nice to be able to have my mom and siblings over for supper. During our years in New England we were often able to see Ted’s family. We’ll miss those far away who won’t be with us, and send our love to them, but we’re grateful for the family we’ll be hosting in our home.

Thanksgiving reminds us of the times we’ve enjoyed with friends also, including many of the years we lived in California when we were without relatives nearby. During my childhood, my family and I celebrated the holidays with a group of friends each year. We’re grateful for the friends who have become like family to us, for those who have opened their homes and hearts to us, who set an extra place at the table for us. Thanks.

And to think we live in a time where we can celebrate holidays. Hearing the radio news about the troops in Iraq, grateful simply to be alive in a war zone on Thanksgiving day. To think about many countries of the world where peace is a stranger. Or to think how rare it has been, in the history of the world, to have such peace and security. People in the past could not take time for granted, the way we save for retirement and assume we’ll live for decades. Modern medical care is another blessing too.

That brings me to my gratitude for my girls. How amazing it is to be a mom, and to be able to give birth three times to three children! Each day God unfolds a little more of each one, giving us surprises and beauty.

I’m very happy to have Ted as my husband. God has been good to put us together. Although we’ve had our bumps in our journey, they’ve only jostled us closer together. We live each year with a deeper certainty of our love for each other and for God.

This year I’m particularly grateful for Grace. That God loves and accepts us as we are, through Jesus. That the more we realize our failings, the more we fall, the more we mess up, the more we can hold more of Him in our heart. And this grace flows out. The more we have, the more we can give to others. It’s not something you can keep to yourself – in fact, it’s too much to keep to yourself. It’s a pitcher to pour out. It’s something you want to share with others…

…like a yummy Thanksgiving feast! I smell the turkey cooking away and know I need to go rest, run and baste the bird now.
…that was the list that came to mind early this morning – there’s many others I could write as well….so many blessings – like this weblog, and you readers too!
Peace and gratitude to you today!

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