Sunday, November 26, 2023

A few thoughts on gratitude

With Thanksgiving just behind us, this may be an appropriate time to admit it: I am not always thankful. This year came with many unwanted challenges, which is why I haven't blogged for some time. When my husband died suddenly in April, much of my light went out, and I found it difficult to summon enthusiasm even for the parts of my life that have always brought me joy. 

Time and the peace of God are healing and I'm finding my voice again. I am also remembering all the reasons I have to be thankful. Here, in no particular order, are a few.

1.  I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy: freedom of conscience; the freedom to speak my truth and to write of what matters to me; the right I exercised to choose my own companion, family size, education, and career; my free choice to live where and how I wish.

2.  I am thankful for the peace of God that passes all understanding, that gives us the courage to keep going when life throws those unexpected curves.

3.  Family and friends have been here to help when I felt like I couldn't take another step forward, and I'm grateful for each of them.

4.  I'm thankful for the big things like shelter, healthful food, clean water, and comfortable surroundings.

5.  I also appreciate the little things that bring smiles to each day: sunrises and sunsets; bluebirds and blueberries; daffodils and daisies; puppies and kittens and the giggles of babies. 

6.  In the years since I suddenly became lactose intolerant, I truly appreciate non-dairy substitutes for ice cream. 

7.  I'm thankful for the neighbor who faithfully took out my garbage every week when I couldn't take it out myself, and I will always be grateful for the people who helped me move across two states only weeks after Roger's death.

8.  New babies are God's vote that the world should continue, and I'm grateful for each one that has come into our family including a grandson born a month before his grandpa died and a great-granddaughter due next Valentine's Day.

9.  I'm thankful for music and movies, good books that make me think and fun books that make me dream, and I always appreciate a good, clean joke.

10. I'm unendingly grateful for the storytellers throughout time who have given us histories, myths, and legends, movies, songs, poems, and other art forms that have continued the storytelling tradition. 

Mostly, my friends, I am grateful for all of you who read and encourage others to read. May your coming year be blessed.

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