I thought about doing a daily list of things I was thankful for this month. But then I thought that would be overkill on blog posts and I'm just not that disciplined about posting to facebook, so I'll make one post that encompasses many of the things I'm thankful for as I celebrate them all month long.
I'm thankful for:
A wonderful husband who loves me, is often patient with me, is faithful, hardworking, and wants to do what is right.
A daughter who is smart, caring, enthusiastic, and funny. I'm so glad we share the same sense of humor most of the time!
A home that is comfortable, safe, affordable, and has modern conveniences like central heat and air, hot & cold running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity.
The gospel. I know what my life is like without it, and I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father touched my heart and gave me a desire to learn about Him and His plan for me.
Jesus Christ. Without His atonement I would be a wreck. I am so thankful He was willing to come to this earth, experience everything that we will go through, give us a perfect example, and then sacrifice His life to save ours.
The scriptures. How would I know what God's commandments are, or what He expects of me if I didn't have His words with me? To have my own printed copy of the scriptures is a blessing that many, many generations of people never had.
The principle of tithing. A lot of people wouldn't understand being thankful for something that "takes" 10% of your income, but I've seen the blessings that come from paying a full tithe. Since becoming faithful to this principle my husband has had higher paying jobs, less financial strain during hard times, and we've never had to go without necessities. God takes care of you when you have the faith to give back to Him what He's already blessed you with.
My eyesight. I love seeing the beauty of the world around me. I love being able to see trees, green grass, colorful birds, flowers, blue skies, my loved ones' faces, and so many other things.
Loving people who have been an inspiration and an example to me. Whether it's been friends who have encouraged and lifted me, strangers who selflessly serve, or others who reach out in compassion and love, they've all touched my life and made it better.
Friends. All of them. Whether we're still in touch or not. I am thankful for each friend who has accepted me, kept me company, laughed or cried with me, and helped me become a better person.
The internet. Have you sat down lately and thought about just how amazing it is? Not only are we able to blog and facebook (and twitter, if that's your thing) but we can also look up just about any type of information imaginable. Just the other day I looked up how to clean a model train engine. Imagine how long that would have taken to research at the library! And then there's the genealogy, photo sharing, and entertainment available... what an incredible blessing!
Being warm. I don't like being cold. I'd rather be too hot than too cold. So it's no surprise that I am thankful for having warm clothes, blankets, and heat in my house and car.
The opportunity to serve. I love being at the genealogical society twice a week, helping to prepare probate documents to be scanned and digitized. Not only is the work relaxing in a way, but I love reading through some of the documents and realizing how very blessed I am to not have been put in a children's home or mental institution.
Being asked to do things that are hard for me. Like being a counselor in the Primary. To most people, working with children would be a relief, but to me it's another intimidating and stressful challenge. I'm not creative or energetic and I don't like getting up in front of groups (even of children) but I do love the children and enjoy their enthusiasm, faith, and cheerfulness. And I'm glad I have to get out of my comfort zone and learn to do new and scary things.
Relief from depression. This has been a real and prolonged struggle for me this year, but in the past couple of weeks I've felt like the weight of it is lifting. I am able to focus more on the positives and am even feeling more social again.
A country where I am free to speak my mind, live my life the way I want to, and vote for who and what I think would be best for our nation.
Good health. To be able to get out of bed every morning, exercise, walk, use my hands, arms, legs and body. I don't need the reminder of a cold or the flu to make me appreciate how great it feels to be healthy!
My husband's new job. Not only did it happen just in the knick of time (he was laid off the same week he was offered the new job) but it has also blessed us with a slower pace of life and more time together. It may not be his dream job but it provides enough for us to pay our bills and not struggle too much.
Lessons learned this last year. Grief, pain, loss, anxiety, and depression have all taught me faith, trust, hope, patience, and endurance. I'd gladly forgo the former but I'm not sure I'd have as much of the latter in any other way.
Parks. National, State, and local. How awesome is it that we have these wonderful areas set aside for our use and enjoyment?! One of my favorite things is to head a park and hike one of the many trails. I've seen so many wonderful sights and always come back feeling re-energized and more peaceful.
Spring. I know, it's only fall, and we still have to get through winter, but I'm already looking forward to spring. I love seeing everything re-awaken and come back to life. Not to mention the warmer temperatures... :)
All the people who work behind the scenes- those who help provide us with electricity, clean water, food, stocked shelves, and many other things we take for granted.
Food, glorious food! What a variety we have! I love having so many fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, and other foodstuffs available. I never have to go hungry and I have so many options.
Being able to travel to and from Idaho this summer. I had a great time seeing so much of the country, spending a lot of time with my husband and daughter, and going places I've never gone before. It made me thankful that I don't live in the middle of nowhere, like South Dakota. It also made me grateful for all the farmers and their families who can somehow accept living so far from anyone and anything in order to provide us with food.
Hope. That things will keep getting better, that our country isn't going to completely self-destruct, that the sun will still shine, that love conquers all, and that there is always some good out there.
Inter-library loans. If you haven't lived in a small city you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. But I've now experienced it first-hand and I am so thankful that lots of smaller libraries share their collections and enable me to read books that our little local library would never have.
My ipod. I love being able to check my email and facebook, read news, check the weather, and play games with friends all with one small device. It's one of the best presents ever!
Our new toilet. Yep, that's right. A toilet. Because it's cool. And even if I never own a hot tub, at least I now own a jacuzzi. Ha ha ha (Did you know Jacuzzi made toilets?!) It's cool because it has the dual flush feature, uses way less water than our old one, and somehow sucks everything down with very little water but plenty of force. Modern engineering at it's best.
Washing machines. Laundry may be a chore, but it's far less of one than it was a century ago!
Cell phones. To be able to stay in touch almost everywhere you go and to talk long-distance without huge phone bills... great blessing!
The TV show "Reba." It may not be a big thing, but my husband and I started watching this and we love it. We get a kick out of her crazy dysfunctional family (I think it makes us feel better about our own!) and it almost always gives us a good laugh.
Sleep. When it comes. And when it lasts more than 6 hours. And especially when it's the deep, dead-to-the-world kind.
Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. One where we don't give or get or expect anything. We just get to relax, focus on what we're thankful for, spend time with family and/or friends, and eat lots of good food.
What are you thankful for this year?