This time of year is when many post daily what they are thankful for to their profile on social media, a time where families come together and recite something they are thankful for. This time of year is normally a time where many pause and remind themselves of their many blessings. A time of year where there are holiday dishes made and food shared, keeping our bellies extra stuffed through the weekend as many scatter to snatch that Black Friday deal they’ve had their eyes set on for weeks. For me, it’s slightly different yet similar. I personally don’t post daily to my social media page what I’m thankful for because in all reality, it seems more like a show than a true time of reflection and giving thanks (I don’t mean that in a negative way against anyone who does this), and also because I am so much more thankful yet take advantage of, more than the thirty days November gives us.
With that being said, I did think it’d be a good moment of reflection for myself to list out thirty things that I am thankful for that I tend to not appreciate nearly as much as I should throughout the other months of the year. Don’t get me wrong, there are probably way more than thirty but for sake of time, I’m going to just list that many.
- God’s love for me. I fail him daily, time and time again, yet His love is steadfast and never fails. I don’t deserve it but it’s freely given. I need to do a better job of being more disciplined and spending time in His Word daily, in devotion and prayer.
- Breath. Each morning I wake up breathing is an absolute gift. Instead of worrying myself or stressing over what lies on the to-do list, I need to be more thankful for that breath and remind myself that in any moment, it can be taken from me.
- My daughter. I cannot begin to count the many times I’ve not chosen my battles wisely or have allowed anger come between the two of us over something so silly. When in all reality, she is my reason for living. She is what gives me hope, life, joy, there aren’t enough words to explain how much she means to me and yet I take advantage of that daily.
- My family. Dysfunctional but loving. I don’t call enough, I don’t visit enough, I don’t say “I love you” enough. So many days have passed that I cannot get back and I have got to remind myself over and over, not every day is guaranteed. Siblings and cousins included. After all, they were my first form of a best friend.
- Water. Something so many of us take advantage of. Drinking water, bathing water, cleaning water, it all is freely available to us and I personally cannot even fathom what it means to be without. Yet, I find myself leaving the water on while I brush my teeth, filling the tub a little more than needed, simply things yet they add up big.
- Transportation. Yes, this is a physical that can be replaced. However, instead of always looking for bigger and better, I need to be more content with what I’ve been given. It gets me where I need to go and has been a reliable source that many don’t have the luxury of having.
- My Church. I hear of these places where they are mocked, beaten, and killed for displaying their religion. Weekly, I take advantage of the fact I have a Church home where I can freely worship. I have overslept and not thought too much about missing. Aww, I’ll do better with my alarm next week I said. Yet, so many pray for a Church that I have and haven’t made a priority in ways I should.
- Roof. There are so many things within the walls of my home that I take advantage of but mostly, the roof over our heads. Just thinking about how many people are homeless and how a simple sheet tied between trees providing somewhat of a shelter would make their day and I take advantage of being able to sleep under a sturdy roof nightly. There are many things that could use some fixin’ up in my home but boy am I thankful for it, I need to do a better job of taking care of it!
- Food. The thought of how much food I’ve consumed unnecessarily or how much food I’ve wasted is such a shame. This is super true of a lot of households around the holidays while so many will be lined up just hoping for a little extra slice of turkey on their plate for their only meal. Heartbreaking and yet, I’ve abandoned my thankfulness for our food availability.
- Employment. So many are praying for a job that will pay the bills and keep food on their tables while I have more than I could dream of having and sometimes get more frustrated than thankful.
- Freedom. This is simple, I’m proud to be an American! This includes all of my rights as an American citizen and the right to vote.
- My boyfriend. I could count the ways he gets on my nerves or doesn’t do something exactly the way I’d like it to be done but at the end of the day, he loves me and he is good to my daughter and I. I could show him a little more appreciation and respect.
- School. As an adult in college, I understand so much more now what everyone meant by “stay in school” as it is much harder to learn than I ever remember it being. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend school and to put my daughter through private school.
- Memories. The good, bad, and the ugly. I am thankful for them all. Being a witness to Alztheimer’s disease and seeing how someone can lose a lifetime of memories is gut-wrenching.
- Health. This can be lumped in with breath but really, it’s something entirely different to be thankful for. Ailing joints, tired muscles, I’m thankful for it all. I’m thankful I am not sick in a hospital bed while so many are and are wishing and praying for just one more day. Something I definitely take advantage of.
- Hospitals and Medicine. This includes the workers and their knowledge.
- Internet. Although there is much that is negative, there is even more positive. I recall being a child and wanting to know information. I couldn’t Google it, I had to ask someone and trust that their response was correct, whether it was or wasn’t.
- Kindness. A gentle smile, a friendly wave, holding the door. No matter how much bad is going on in the world, we all could spread a little more kindness and make ourselves more aware of the kindness that still is in the world.
- Setbacks and struggles. Yes, as difficult as they might’ve been, they have shaped me into who I am and without them, that’d be a piece of me still undeveloped.
- Family pets. Although you sometimes have to let them go before you’d like to, they “fur-ever” leave their footprints on our hearts and show us unconditional love and welcome us each time we walk in the door.
- Music. I am thankful for music because it has a way of reaching so many different emotions and memories. It is a gateway for my feelings and thoughts and is there even when I don’t have words to express what I am experiencing. It makes me laugh, cry, and so much more.
- Art. No explanation needed.
- Photographs. My camera included. Photographs tend to freeze memories in time when we have long forgotten them.
- Nature. There is something wonderful at our fingertips literally daily and yet I stumble past the sun peeking through the tree, or the butterfly that just landed on a flower. Oftentimes nature can serve as a rejuvenating and refreshing peace of mind that I take advantage of. A free form of therapy.
- My Bible and prayer. Did you know that there are people all over the world who wished they owned a Bible? Yet, mine often sits on the coffee table unopened until the next Church service. For every emotion, thought, experience, or feeling that I’m facing, it is a self-help book that I don’t spend nearly the time in as I should. Prayer, is readily available at any time, any location. Yet, I’ve fallen into the trap of only praying when things get hard. Anyone relate?
- Inspiration. After all, if nothing inspires us then why do we do what we do? I’m thankful for those who have inspired me and I hope to be an inspiration to others.
- Bad hair days. You know why? That means I have hair. I’m thankful for my hair even when it doesn’t look quite like I think it should. I need to be reminded of those who are battling cancer and losing their hair and what they wouldn’t give to have a bad hair day.
- Close friends. Our friends list on social media is just a number but I am thankful for those (very few) friends who I know are there for me and lift me up no matter what. Those whom we might not talk often but somehow always pick right back up where we left off.
- Forgiveness. Remember that time when you and your child got into an argument which resulted in a big fuss until each of you apologized and hugged it out? Oh I do, it happens quite often. I am thankful for forgiveness and those moments of hugging things out. I’m also thankful for the Lord’s forgiveness as I mentioned, I fail daily.
- Last but definitely not least, I’m thankful for this blog. I don’t type as often as I’d like but when I do, it serves a purpose of calmness, releasing anxiety, a stress reliever of some sort. I’m not sure if anyone ever really reads it but I’d like to think they do and that it helps them in some way just as it helps me to type it out. So, if you are reading this, thank you!
Again, the list could go on and on but these are my top 30 that came to my mind first and in no particular order. I hope as you read through them, it allowed you a moment to reflect on similar if not the same and you can enter into the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow with a more grateful heart and not stressed over if the turkey was cooked long enough.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, friend!