12 Things to be Thankful For

It is Thanksgiving day!

I have so many things to be thankful for and take far too much for granted.

So today, I’m posting 12 things to be grateful for.

1. I’m thankful for butterflies.

While sitting here, there are butterfly wind chimes hanging above me, and I have a butterfly design on a folder in front of me.

Thinking how butterflies give hope, that there can be new life, beauty, and freedom after every time of difficulty, sorrow, and even death.

Photo by Satria Bagaskara from Pexels

2. I am thankful for friends.

The ones that enter our lives unexpectedly, but it seems like they were always there in some way.

The ones that might be farther away than we would like, but are still close.

Friends that seem to get in touch with you at the time you feel alone and need to know someone cares.

The ones that always ask the right questions, and aren’t offended if you don’t give the “right” answers.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

3. I am thankful for music and songs.

There are some songs in which it seemed as if the lyrics themselves reached down to pick me up and comfort me during difficult times in my life.

Other songs inspired me to do more for God and others.

I don’t play any musical instruments and barely sing, but I love music, and when the right beat is merged with the right lyrics, it’s an awesome experience.

4. I am thankful for angels …

Pictures of angels and sculptures of angels that bring a touch of heaven to the earth.

Stories of angels that I have heard and read, and how they have changed lives and saved lives.

Angels through the ages who have touched the hearts and souls of countless people.

5. I’m thankful for naps.

Sometimes I feel groggy all morning, but a midday rest does the trick.

Just something to recalibrate my brain, which is otherwise perpetually in overdrive.

6. I’m thankful for love.

Love is the greatest force in the universe, and the most humble.
The strongest, and yet willing to be seen as weak.
The most enduring … even if only held by the golden strands of eternity’s promise.

7. I am thankful for nature.

We went for a drive this morning out of town, to a lake.

On the way, we saw trees varying in shade from deep green to almost crimson, and some trees that were a shivering tapestry of color.

In some places, the sun filtered down through the leaves while the breeze chose one or two of them to join in its autumn dance.

We saw a lake that was gentle and placid in one spot, barely disturbed by the occasional ripple; several yards upstream was a gathering of mini-islands and mini-waterfalls.

It was picture-perfect.

8. I’m thankful for children!

Their wide-eyed wonder, their contagious laughter, their ready forgiveness, their sweet affection, their simple understanding, their pure love, their great faith.

I’m thankful for my children …

Who are no longer children, I guess. At least, not little.

The youngest is 12 years old and the oldest, 17.

But I’m thankful for every moment I have with them.

9. I’m thankful for autumn.

My favorite time of year.

The breeze always carries a hint of magic, which it sprinkles over the leaves, turning them a patchwork of amazing colors.

After the long and hot summers here in California’s San Joaquin Valley, it’s like creation finally takes a breath.

I was walking yesterday and admiring the brightly colored trees; it struck me that the leaves were all on their way to the ground, to die.

What a majestic and peaceful way to yield, lighting up the entire season with color and life, etching its rainbow tapestry to be remembered throughout the winter, until new life begins again.

10. I am thankful for tears.

If eyes are the window to the soul, as they have been called, tears are a manifestation of the deepest things of the heart.

They portray deepest sorrow, yet also greatest joy.

This is one of the best things I have read about tears; have to share it:

The tears we cry are drawn from the well of who we are. Each tearful moment is a window. In each of those windows is something that not only sanctifies the moment but transcends the moment.

In each tear is distilled something of eternity, something of love and compassion and tenderness. The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears.

Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life. …So much is distilled in our tears, not the least of which is wisdom in living life.

From my own tears I have learned that if you follow your tears, you will find your heart.

If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God.

And if you find what is dear to God, you will find the answer to how you should live your life. — Ken Gire

11. I’m thankful for hobbies.

They’re lots of fun, a learning experience, even a teaching and bonding experience with others (kids especially)…and they can make great gifts.

For years I didn’t pursue any hobbies; life was too busy.

Then I thought that it might be a good idea to have a hobby, just something relaxing and creative to do, away from thinking, working, or studying.

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon “wasting time” on my hobby; thought my husband would come into the kitchen rolling his eyes at some point.

He did come in, and he said, “I’m glad to see you enjoying yourself, doing nothing in particular.”

12. I am thankful for good books!

I’ve been an avid reader since I can remember. My mom taught me to read when I was under three years old, and I think I’ve been reading ever since.

Libraries have always held a sort of wise wonder for me; I remember at 11 or 12 wondering if it would be possible to read every book in a library.

For a period of a good long while, I didn’t have much time to read.

Over the past several years, I’ve been making up for lost time.

These days, with the Internet, there is more being written and put out there than ever. I enjoy browsing and learning, and the information that is available …

But there’s nothing like turning the pages of a book and losing oneself in another world for a little while …

Or reading words that inspire and bring a greater sense of appreciation for love and life.

“Where the Road Turns to Water” by Stephen Shortridge, a book I edited earlier this year.

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for.

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