Gratitude – My 30 Things

The big social media trend in November is to always list one thing you’re thankful for each day throughout the month. I like the idea of it – practicing gratitude – but I don’t necessarily want to jump on board & post a thing each day. So here’s my list all in one big post – 30 things for which I am thankful.

#1 – Jesus. If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

#2 – My parents. Why God decided to give me such an incredible gift of being born the daughter of Bo & Ginger, I have no idea, but I sure am thankful. They’re the greatest. I hit the parent jackpot.

#3 – My sisters. One has been my trusty sidekick throughout life, one has been the one I’ve always looked up to, and one was literally long-lost and I met at the age of 19. I’m grateful for all three. I hit the sister jackpot.

#4 – My sweet Sayid. I had no idea I was such a dog person until this puppy came along. God sent him my way when my heart needed a little mending and his silly, happy, loving disposition was the perfect remedy. He sure knows how to make someone feel loved and makes me laugh every day.

#5 – The rest of my family. Aunts, uncles, niece, nephews, brothers-in-law, cousins. Also my grandparents who aren’t here anymore, but were very special to me.

#6 – My job/coworkers. My job is not a dream job; that’s no secret. But it’s steady and for that I am thankful. The best thing about my job is my coworkers. I genuinely like them. In an environment where we can easily get stressed and discouraged and where we are often being berated or fussed at by angry clients, we always find reasons to laugh. We laugh a lot. Laughing helps the bad days be bearable, so I’m thankful to work with people who can find the humor in life.

#7 – Good health. I know not everyone has this, but I do. What a blessing.

#8 – Good friends. My best friend has been my best friend for over half my life. I grew up hearing, “The friends you make in college will be the friends you have the rest of your life.” I’ve got some good ones from those years and they’re still among my favorite people, ten years after graduating. The friend I’ve had the longest who I still am in frequent contact with has been my friend since the summer before second grade. Old and new, I’ve got some good ones; I think I’ll keep them around and try to be good to them, too.

#9 – My Compassion kids. I became a sponsor to a Guatemalan kid named Juan in 2003 at a Jars of Clay / Caedmon’s Call concert. Since then, I’ve gained more sponsorships and have formed true relationships with these kids. God used a discouraging point in my life to make me decide to stop just sending my sponsorship payments and start sending letters and encouraging these kids in their lives. That changed everything. I can guarantee they are as much of a blessing to me as I am to them. There are children in other parts of the world who love me and pray for me by name. Wow. What an honor. I only wish I had taken the time to write to & encourage Juan back in the beginning. Hindsight is 20/20.

#10 – A roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. Right now, there’s an extra level of gratitude because it’s my parents’ roof. They’ve graciously allowed me to move into their house so I can keep saving for a downpayment for a house and afford a house that I will like in a safe area. I sleep soundly at night in a safe, comfortable place. That’s also not something everyone has.

#11 – Tastebuds. I love food. I’m also thankful that I love food. I’m not a meat and potatoes girl. I’m a meat, potatoes, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, chocolate, asparagus, banana pudding, quesadillas, guacamole, deer chili, taco soup, granola and yogurt, spaghetti, lasagna, lots and lots of gravy, sushi, salad, you-name-it kinda girl. I’m thankful for adventurous tastebuds.

#12 – Our produce co-op. It’s going so well! I’m thankful I got to go to Dallas last April and learn from experience by helping with my sister’s co-op. I’m thankful Robertson Produce has been so accommodating to us. I’m thankful for a group of people who enjoys the co-op and does their part for it to be successful. It’s a good thing.

#13 – Ice cold coffee. (With chocolate, half & half, and milk, of course.)

#14 – My car – aka “Impatient Cow”. I love my trusty little paid-for, non-fancy car. She just surpassed 100,000 miles this week and I’m hoping to get at least 150,000 more miles out of her before we part ways. Impatient Cow & I get along just fine. I hope we have years & years ahead of us.

#15 – My sewing machine & my friend, Heather, who took the time to teach me to sew. Etsy inspired me and Heather taught me. My old metal Kenmore sewing machine was handed down from my mom and is older than me. I am not super skilled at sewing and honestly can’t even sew a straight line, but I’ve made some pretty cool stuff – sock monsters, tree pillows, rice bags, and my favorite – my quilt.

#16 – Netflix. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve discovered and fallen in love with Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Blacklist. For me, it’s $7.99 per month well spent. Also, the whole commercial free aspect of it has me positively spoiled.

#17 – Bicycles. I love them. They’re fun and I find them so charming.

#18 – New York City. My favorite winter vacation spot. The brisk, cold weather & feeling energized while walking down the streets. Dressing in layers. The Brooklyn Bridge. Ice skating in Central Park. Navigating the subways, which I have finally – finally – become successful at. Grimaldi’s Pizza. Junior’s cheesecake. I love it there. I’m thankful for the trips I’ve taken and the friends I’ve taken them with.

#19 – Perdido Key, Florida. My favorite summer vacation spot. Sleeping late. Toes in the sand. Naps by the pool. Home cooked meals every night. Watching for shooting stars after the sun goes down. Nettis! Brownies and ice cream and boiled peanuts. Seeing the unending water as far as the eye can see and feeling so small and so in awe of how big God is. It never fails.

#20 – Football. I just love football. New Orleans Saints. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Football season is my favorite. I went to every football game in high school because I was in the band and I loved football games, but I understood nothing about the game other than touchdowns. Now I actually understand football and I stinking love it.

#21 – Books. Reading is such a great escape. I’m thankful for my books and for library books, for cheap used books at garage sales, and for monthly deals in the Kindle store. Oh – and my Kindle Paperwhite! I love it. It’s so easy on the eyes for reading, it amazes me.

#22 – Sunday School. I love my Sunday School class. I look forward to it every week.

#23 – Prayer. The fact that God hears me and cares for me is amazing.

#24 – Mail. Good, old fashioned mail that comes in the mailbox. When I get an honest to goodness handwritten letter or card in the mail from a friend or from one of my Compassion kids, it brightens up my whole day. It’s so rare these days.

#25 – America. I’m so thankful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I’m thankful for our brave military; they’ve given so much.

#26 – My Bible. With my first paycheck at my job in 2005, I bought myself a new Bible and it has not yet been replaced. I’m thankful for the encouragement I find in the Bible and the fact that I’m free to read it and learn from it.

#27 – The four seasons. Winter is brisk and cold and sends me inside to wrap up in my quilt. Spring brings flip flop season and longer days. Summer brings Farmer’s Market vegetables and beach trips. Autumn brings pretty changing leaves and football. There’s something good in all of them and just when we’ve had enough cold, we move on to warmer weather in the spring. When we’ve had all the heat we can stand, here comes fall. God knew what He was doing when he worked all of this out, and I always find myself looking forward to each changing season.

#28 – The sound of a fan at night. It’s so soothing. When I’m trying to fall asleep in a completely silent room, it’s difficult. So give me a fan and I’ll get some solid sleep. Give me two fans – my usual habit – and I’m happy as can be.

#29 – Garage sales. I was raised going to garage sales and I’m so glad. To this day, one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is go to garage sales with my sister. It’s budget friendly entertainment and I’ve found some great deals.

#30 – Sunrises and sunsets. They’re beautiful. I’m always grateful when I get to see one and actually take the time to stop and appreciate it.

I’m sure I could go on, but there we have it. Thirty good things. I’m a thankful girl.

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