This year I decided to make a list. Thanksgiving is on the 28th, so I will list 28 blessings.
Let's start with the little things.
1. Fresh water. So many people in the world have to work hard just to get a drink of fresh water. All I do is turn it on... which brings me to
2. Indoor plumbing. Praise God that I live in an area of the world where indoor plumbing is considered commonplace, when in fact it is a huge blessing and accomplishment of engineering.
3. Hot water!!!!!!!! Need I say more? Who in their right mind is not thankful for hot water?
4. Public toilets. In fact, I have come to appreciate public toilets much more than I ever did in the past. When your only option is a foul smelling steaming hot port-a-john in the desert, and you are thankful it is there, you develop a new appreciation for the little things.
5. Oxygen. The air I breathe. Yes, I am thankful for clean air.
6. Green. The color green is an ointment for dry parched eyes. Green as in trees, grass, shrubbery and my living/dining room walls.
7. Clouds. Clouds are the temporary pieces of art in the sky that give a boost to our imaginations and send our thoughts wandering.
8. The Sun, Moon and Stars! Incredible provision and beauty all rolled into this universe we call home. Light for our days and nights... and the stuff of dreams and visions, the Hubble telescope and Star Trek.
9. Dirt. Oh my goodness! What would we do without dirt? We are made from dust. Our fruits and vegetables are grown in the dirt. Dirt provides the basis for every building block...mud, bricks, stone, concrete. A mud hut shelter is better than no shelter at all.
10. Reliable Transportation. My feet work fine, but an automobile is nice. It gets me where I want or need to be. There are many options for transportation: Scooters, skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, buses, taxis, boats, airplanes, motorcycles, etc. Who knows? Maybe one day we will really have a transporter beam. Hope so! Beam me up Scotty!
11. Fire. Warmth, light, comfort, beauty and danger all rolled into one. Love fire!
12. Music. The international language that reaches into our hearts and connects us all. Rhythm, lyric, motion, emotion. Music sets the backdrop of our entertainment and our lives. It is in us and around us.
13. Dance. I love to dance and I love to watch others dance. Dance is an instinct. Our bodies sway to the music naturally. Unhindered dance is so beautiful when in praise of God. It is our gift to Him.
14. Wind. A cool breeze is so refreshing on a hot summer day.. and in the fall it scatters the leaves in a dance through the air. High winds are scary exciting and exhilarating! It would be nice if they weren't so destructive.
15. Electricity. 'Nuff said? Of course not. Without electricity, we would be using candles and kerosene lanterns. Without electricity, there would be no television, no blowing fans, no typewriters, computers, dishwashers, washers and dryers. I would not be able to "blow" dry my hair or flat iron it, which to me would be a catastrophe. Oh! I almost forgot refrigerators and air conditioners and one of the neatest inventions of the modern world: wipe warmers for baby wipes. Electricity is very important to me.
16. Facebook. I love Facebook. It has allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends as I traveled. It is a source of great fun.
17. Clothing. I am so glad that God created clothing for Adam and Eve. Otherwise, we would all still be running around stark naked and that could prove disastrous. Clothing is not optional.
18. Medicine. From bandaids and antibiotic ointment to aspirin and cough drops. From Pepto to prescriptions and from first aid to professional care, I am thankful for modern medicine.
19. Plastic. Plastic bowls, cups, plastic containers, plastic wrap. Plastic is amazing. Just imagine a world without plastic. It is a part of almost everything we use today.
20. Ice. It keeps our cold stuff cold. Yay! I like lots of ice in my drinks. I think that has something to do with being from the South. You go most places in the world and ask for a cold drink and you might have 3 little bits of ice in your glass. When you ask for more ice, they look at you like you're nuts. Gimmee lots of ice.
21. Art. Color and dimension. Imagination and presentation. Art is integrated into every aspect of our lives from our clothing to our kitchen utensils, the decorations on our walls and floors, our furniture, our media, and our worship. Artists give us a glimpse into sights and sounds, places and cultures, ideas and realities. Learn to appreciate art.
22. Humor. Without a sense of humor, the human race would be in pretty bad shape. Well, we are in pretty bad shape anyway. Just imagine what we would be without humor. If you can cause another person to smile and laugh, do so. Smiles are precious. Laughter is contagious.
23. Manners. Lately, I have really come to appreciate manners. I think it is because so few people are even conscious that their conduct is lacking them. Yes ma'am. No ma'am. Please. Thank you. You're welcome. Excuse me. May I? Yes, manners are very important and show that you are intelligent and considerate of others. I like manners.
24. Shelter. A roof over your head is nice. It keeps the rain off, the cold or the heat out and provides a place to put all your stuff.
25. Stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Some of it is important to me and some of it is just stuff. But I am thankful for all of it. I have clothes and furniture and electronics and gizmos and gadgets, souvenirs, photographs of family, keepsakes, just all kinds of stuff.
26. Diet Coke. Yes, I know it is bad for me. It is one of my many downfalls. Gotta have my Diet Coke (with lots of ice!).
27. Paper. I love paper.. a fresh clean tablet or notebook.. a place to put ink and thoughts.
28. Containers. I don't know why. I have this thing about containers. Bowls, Vases, Baskets, Boxes, Trunks, Shelves, Chests. It is just another one of those things, but I have found it is a common delight. Where would we put our stuff if we don't have containers? Most of all, Christians are containers. We contain the Holy Spirit within us. Other people like containers too. Don't you?
Well, those are the little things. None of them are little to me.
The big things are too many to list but I will give you the top few.
Let's begin with Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, The Cross, salvation, the relationship with my Savior, the love and provision from Him.
Let's add family. Wow! I have such a rich heritage of family. Thankful is too small a word for what family has done for me. What a blessing to know all of your grandparents and to be loved by them. Uncles, Aunts, Cousins! Multitudes of them. Literally.
Parents are a big thing. My parents in particular. All I can say is thank you God for my parents. You chose them for me and Your choice is perfect.
Then there are siblings. Can I just say that there is nothing like having a brother and sisters? The relationship with them is like nothing else. I can share anything with them, trust them with everything.
A son and a daughter. They are gifts from my Holy Father and I love them with all my heart. Then I must add their mates, my son in law and daughter in law. They have become treasures in our lives. I have a sneaking suspicion that God had a hand in those choices too. Go God! My children!
Grandbabies! From the oldest to the tiniest newborns, I am so blessed with grandchildren. I will get mushy about it if need be. They make me all silly... and then I start talking funny.
Friends... can't leave them out. I am one of the fortunate being graced with good friends.
There ya go. Blessings abound in my life. I am thankful year round.... not just limited to a holiday.
Gracious Holy Father, thank you for all this and more. I ask continued blessings for my family and friends and for myself. In Jesus name, amen.