30 Things for which I’m thankful this holiday

This month a lot of my Facebook friends have been posting something for which they are thankful everyday of the month.  In that spirit, I challenged myself to come with 30 things for which I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving blog post.  I’ve included the serious and the light-hearted, but all of them are things for which I truly am thankful!

1. God.  You knew I’d go there, didn’t you?  But, I am thankful for God’s faithfulness, love, patience and blessings that are more than I deserve.  I’m thankful for His mercy that keeps me from getting what I actually deserve.

2. My family.  I am blessed with a beautiful girl who still wants to cuddle in my arms and a baby growing in my belly.  I’m blessed with a loving, devoted, patient, funny and cute husband who is my best friend.  I’m blessed with a sweet pooch who likes to sleep in my lap or beside me and puts up with our silly shennigans.

3. My extended family.  I am who I am thanks to the love, devotion and hard work of my parents who continue to take care of me.  My brother helped shape me in some ways (including making me paranoid that I have a big forehead!).  My in-laws not only have embraced me with love, but they spent years molding my husband into the man he is now and continue to help us in so many ways.  My grandparents gave me even more love and wisdom.  And my numerous, aunts and uncles of varying degrees have expanded my horizon and continue to make my life better.

4. My home.  It’s not perfect.  It’s not magazine worthy, but it keeps my family warm and safe.  I find comfort within its walls.

5. Music.  Nothing speaks to my heart and uplifts my spirit quite like music.  Just last week I was having a difficult morning.  My daughter (who loves to sing) started making up a song as she usually does.  Then she inserted some words to a song that I sing with my in-laws.  It spoke to my heart just as I needed it to at the moment.  Thank God for music!

6. Food.  I really do love good food.  Sometimes that’s a struggle!  But, I am thankful for wonderful flavors.  I’m thankful for family favorites that make my taste buds light up and my mouth smile. I am probably especially thankful for food this holiday season as a pregnant woman!

7. America.  Our country definitely has problems, but I am thankful to be an American.  I’m thankful for the freedoms we enjoy here.  I’m thankful that I can feel safe where I live.  And I’m incredibly thankful for the men and women in the armed forces both presently and in the past who have worked hard to make sure it is this way.

I found this photo of sparkly purple shoes on Pinterest. I have no idea where it came from, but I love them. I'd never have anywhere to wear them, but I'm thankful for sparkly purple anything!

8. Purple.  I love purple.  I love lavender.  I love things that are purple or lavender and sparkly.  I’d decorate with much more of it if I actually decorated my house much. Instead, I wear it and paint my nails and accessorize myself with it.  And I will make my daughter wear it for as long as I get to basically control her wardrobe with minimal input from her.

9. Friends.  I’m not the kind of person who has lots of friends, but I am loyal and devoted to the friends I have.  These are the people who make me smile and laugh.  They help make my life more enjoyable and for that I’m grateful.

10. Comfy pants.  Judge me if you’d like, but there’s nothing like a pair of soft, comfy pants.  I love my comfy pants around the house.  In fact, they’re such a part of my wardrobe that both the dog and my kiddo have learned to tell if we’re going somewhere when I go to the bathroom then change into my jeans.

11. Showers.  I love taking showers, even when they are rushed because that happens with motherhood.  Having indoor plumbing is a blessing I often take for granted, but I am definitely thankful to have it.

12. My husband’s job.  His income is our main one and the source of health insurance.  I’m thankful for his job.  We’ve lived without him having a job and were blessed to survive that experience.  It makes me appreciate his job all that much more these days.

13. My bed.  My Sleep Number bed has really been a blessing since we got it last year.  I’m sleeping more comfortably this pregnancy than I did last time around, thanks to our new bed.

14. Chocolate.  I know I already mentioned food, but I think chocolate deserves its own category.  I wish it were as healthy as broccoli and that would make it even better!

15. Access to health care.  I’m not getting political on here, but I am thankful to have health insurance and competent doctors and medical help when I need it.  I’ve also lived without health insurance and it was a challenge.  I may moan and groan about insurance-related woes, but I am thankful to have health insurance.

16. Technology.  I love being connected through technology to other people and to information.  I’ve found some of my best support outside my family online.  I have a group of mom friends I’d have never met if it weren’t for the Internet.  I have connected with numerous others dealing with IC thanks to the Internet.  I’ve found information I needed online.  I’ve found good recipes to feed my family.  I love that!  Technology also affords me the opportunity to have this blog, which I enjoy writing.

17. The phone.  This may go along with technology, but I love having a phone to be able to connect with family who lives other places (when I was writing this, I took a break to spend about an hour on the phone chatting with my aunt who lives nine hours away!).  I also love it to connect with my family who lives within minutes.  Talking to my mom pretty much daily gives me extra support and connection that I need.

18. Christmas lights.  It’s a bit early in the season, perhaps, but Christmas lights are already starting to pop up.  I’ve always enjoyed them.  I enjoy them even more now with a 3-year-old who gets super excited about them.  I pay much more attention than ever before.

19. Modern appliances.  I’m glad I don’t have to beat my clothes clean in the creek and can use my washer and dryer.  For that matter, I’m also thankful to have a washer and dryer.  I don’t miss lugging laundry to the laundromat or my parents’ house like I did when I was in college and then first married.  I love my dishwasher.  Having a refrigerator and freezer to keep our food fresh is a blessing.  Having a stove and oven for cooking are much safer for me (and my family) than cooking over an open flame.  And I am completely in love with my toaster oven.  We’re thinking about running off together with some leftover pizza one of these days!

20. Games.  I enjoy playing games with my husband and friends whether they are board, electronic or role playing.

21. Glasses and contacts.  I can’t see things at a distance.  And when I say that, I mean even the giant “E” on eye charts is fuzzy to me.  I’m thankful to have glasses and contacts that bring the world into focus for me so I can enjoy its beauty, which leads us to…

22. Nature.  God created a beautiful planet for us.  I may not be a super outdoorsy person, but I love enjoying the beauty of our earth from its mountains to oceans and lakes to cornfields that surround me here in the Midwest.  I love seeing beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow.  I love the changing colors of leaves in the fall and the first buds of spring.  Nature is beautiful.

A beautiful sunset at Dale Hollow in Tennessee. I am thankful for this piece of earth that makes me feel at peace and relaxed.

23. Tennessee.  While the entire state is nice, I especially enjoy the Dale Hollow area where I grew up vacationing as a child and now return to with my own family at least once a year if at all possible.  Though it sounds odd, I sometimes feel homesick for a place I’ve never lived and only visited.  I am thankful for the peace I feel on Dale Hollow Lake.  It soothes my soul.

24. My church.  I am thankful for a pastor who is open to sharing the Word of God.  I am thankful to be able to attend church and not have to worry about endangering my life or my family’s life by doing so.  I am thankful for the children’s ministries available to help my husband and I guide our children spiritually.

25. My body.  I know that’s a weird one, but I am thankful for my body that functions.  It has some issues.  It doesn’t look like I wish I did.  There are some malfunctions.  There are some achy parts, especially right now, but I’m thankful for it.  And I’m especially thankful for the honor and blessing of being able to grow babies within my body.

26. Books.  I love reading and always have.  Books provide a great escape and a great source of information for me.  I love my own books and I love sharing books with my daughter.  I love that she loves books as much as I do.  And I love books as much as my mom does.  Reading is a legacy I’m happy to pass along.

27. My car.  Far from the fanciest car around, it’s a good car that works well and gets my family safely where we need to be.  I carry precious cargo these days!

28. Nice people.  I’ve always appreciated when random strangers went out of their way to be nice to me.  I appreciate this even more when they go out of their way to be nice to my child — like the driver of our trash truck who honks and waves at my daughter when he sees her watching him go by.  It reminds me to smile and be kind to those around me.  Sometimes that’s just what someone needs to get through his or her day.

29. Freedom of speech.  I don’t agree with all speech out there, of course, but I’m thankful to have freedom of speech in this country and be able to share my thoughts and opinions without fear.  As a journalist, I especially appreciate this right and I understand the responsibility that comes with it.  I wish all newspeople understood that responsibility as well, but that’s a topic for another day.

30. You!  I am thankful for you, whoever you are, that you’ve read this blog until the end.  I’m thankful for those of you who read faithfully.  I appreciate your comments and “likes.”  I appreciate that you take time out of your busy days to read my musings.  I’m sending each of you a great big virtual hug of appreciation and thanks!

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