Quite a few months ago I read Ann Voscamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. I was and continue to be challenged by her emphasis on recognizing God’s gifts all around us whether they be in nature, our family, or our surroundings. During this season of Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to reflect on some of the things for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for…
My Heavenly Father. He is my Creator, Provider, Guide and Salvation through Jesus Christ. He gives me forgiveness, peace, and a purpose.
My husband. He is my love, my friend, my companion. He keeps me balanced and makes me laugh.
My children. All four of them. They are a blessing, a challenge, a joy.
My parents. They have loved and supported me, and now us, through the years. They provided a wonderful childhood and upbringing.
My parents by marriage. They have loved and supported us through the years. They raised the boy who became my husband.
A Christian heritage. I only knew my grandparents and two of my great grandparents, but they all were committed to Christ and serious about their faith.
The local church. The body we are part of now and those I have been a part of in the past. I deeply value the privilege of meeting with fellow believers to worship, learn, and fellowship.
Friends. The ones who have been there through the years, and the ones who were there for a season. The ones who are fun and with whom I laugh. The ones from whom I learn and by whom I am challenged. The ones who were fellow students and the ones with whom I served.
Nature. The mountains that are draped in white, pink, green, or gold, depending on the season. The mist that hovers in the hollers, reminding me of God’s presence. The birds that sing in summer mornings and those that are eating berries from the dogwood tree outside our window. Wildflowers- morning glories, goldenrod, asters, iron weed, chicory, honeysuckle. Sunshine, warm winds, starry nights, snow, and the rush of moving water.
Our home. A gift from the Lord at the right time. Adequate size, pleasant room colors. Safe, warm, and dry. A beautiful stream behind us. Walking distance from the park. Generous neighbors. Quiet town.
Garden. Vegetables, herbs, and flowers around our house and access to a shared vegetable patch.
Health. I do not take this lightly considering I have several friends in my age bracket who are currently dealing with significant issues.
Education. The ability to read and the love of learning.
Music. A gift of creativity, expression, and spiritual connection.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but what has come to mind at this time.
Could I have listed things that I wish were different? Of course, but I am choosing contentment and a grateful heart.
I am reminded of a song I sing with the children. “All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above. Then thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord, for all His love.”