Giving Thanks

Gratitude is a gift. It’s a gift to God, as we offer Him honor and praise for the blessings in our lives.  It’s also a gift to ourselves. Taking the time to think about and name specific things for which we are thankful helps us to be more aware of the small but significant blessings all around us.  That awareness serves as a useful counterbalance to the stress and struggles of life that so often weigh us down.  I spent some time on Thanksgiving Day reflecting on what I’m thankful for.  Below is a list of 28 things I named on the 28th of November, 2013 – in no particular order.

1. My wife, Kristen, and all the love an inspiration she brings to my life.  I would not have known or discovered many of the things on this list apart from her.
2. My daughter, Mary, and her creative, loving energy.
2. My daughter, Emma, and her happy, artistic presence.
4. Shel Silverstein: his drawings and poems fascinated me as a child.  They now fascinate my children.  Bed-time reading wouldn’t be nearly as fun without him.
5. Curry: the spice(s) of life. I don’t know how I went half my life without this aromatic bliss (with a kick).
6. Hummus: it’s so tasty and so good for you.  And it goes great with everything from carrots to potato chips.
7. COFFEE: staving off the zombie apocalypse every morning at 6:00am.
8. Ben and Sheila Thomason (aka Mom and Dad): the home I come from, the opportunities they have afforded me, and the love and support that still helps keep me afloat.
9. The members of First Baptist Church of Hyattsville who continue to teach me about praise, thanksgiving, faith, and generosity.
10. Electricity: just think for a moment about all the things you *couldn’t* do without it.
11. Chipotle: dinner plan B, for when we don’t have time for plan A.
12. Five Guys Burgers and Fries: ’cause sometimes you just need a burger.
13. The screw cap on the top of milk cartons: genius.  Whoever invented that, you are the (wo)man!
14. The fact that when I want milk, I reach into the fridge rather than reaching for a stool and a bucket.
15. All my profs at UNC-G, UGA, and the McAfee School of Theology: I’m ashamed of how much I’ve forgotten from your classes; but what has stuck with me is all that you taught me that can’t be found in a book.
16. All my friends from UNC-G, UGA, and McAfee
17. Facebook: you’re crazy, but you help me keep up with nos. 15 and 16 and so many others.
18. My house: it drives me crazy, but I’m thankful for its shelter and comfort and the memories my family is making there.
19. Hot water in my house: especially in November.
20. A toilet in my house: 2.5 billion people on this planet do not have access to one.
21. Tennis: so fun and so challenging.  I’ve loved it since I first picked up a racket in the 11th grade.
22. Wii tennis: for virtually allowing me to be the caliber player I’d like to be on the actual tennis court.
23. Gummy vitamins: you’re on par with the screw-cap on the milk carton.
24. Better Batter: if you do gluten free, you understand.
25. Breakfast for Dinner: a weekend family tradition (pancakes, bacon/sausage, baked beans, scrambled eggs, and togetherness)
26. Cholula sauce: so tasty on scrambled eggs, Chipotle, Five Guys, and so many other things.
27. Garbage men: what a stinky mess our neighborhoods would be without you.
28. All those who names and responsibilities are unknown to me but who make my life more comfortable and more convenient because of what you do for little pay and even less appreciation.  My blog posts such as Maconomics; I’m Tired, Too; and Renewing Our Strength are dedicated to you and to helping you become more known, appreciated, and fairly compensated.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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