Many of you know that I post on Facebook every Thursday about the five things for which I am most thankful that week. I provide a virtual donut for anyone who joins in and shares a “thankful” to keep the gratitude game going. It is something I have done, in one form or another, for about fifteen years. While the past two years have been especially challenging for many of us, I continue to keep my thankfulness train on the tracks. I believe there is a lot for which to be thankful even in challenging times. I also believe that celebrating the thankfuls increases hope and connection. It may even burn calories. See, celebrating thankfuls DOES increase hope! False hope, perhaps, but that is something. Sometimes, false hope is all that stands between us and despair until we can feel the real hope that truly does exist in the world.
We can look back at the past year with amazement in many ways. As we approached the end of 2020, we all breathed a sigh of relief. We seemed to think that the end of 2020 would somehow magically mean the end of our national troubles- COVID, race relations, violence, divisive political wrangling, supply chain snafus, economic hardship, the disintegration of the family, and the wearing of white after Labor Day. I think we can all agree that we still face all the same troubles. On the other hand, it is heartening to see some hopeful trends foment in 2021.
Since we in the United States celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to raise the bar on gratitude. In this post, I am going to share thirty thankfuls I have noticed since last Thanksgiving…one thankful for every day in November- the most thankfulest time of the year!
- I am thankful for the COVID vaccine.
- I am thankful that COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing.
- I am thankful that we can worship together in person.
- I am thankful that we can take what we have learned about virtual training and meetings to supplement in person connections, not to use instead of in person connections.
- I am thankful for the return of hugs.
- I am thankful that the economy has mostly reopened.
- I am thankful for Todd Payne and for his coaching.
- I am thankful that Gary and I have grown even closer during the challenges of the pandemic.
- I am thankful for the family and friends who love me no matter how neurotic I am.
- I am thankful that I was able to spend time with my brother and his family in California.
- I am thankful that I was able to visit two close friends in California.
- I am thankful that my brother has a treatment plan in place for his health issues.
- I am thankful for a wonderful trip to Williamsburg in last spring.
- I am thankful that I got to take virtual classes at the College of William and Mary through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program.
- I am thankful for a fun girls’ trip to Marco Island.
- I am thankful for God renewing and enriching his family through infant baptisms and adult conversions… both of which I witnessed in this past year.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to develop and deliver the Blessed Stewardship: A Door Of Opportunity course at my church.
- I am thankful for Fr. Tom Trees, Seth Peter Trees, and all the members of the stewardship committee for their assistance.
- I am thankful for my family at St. James Episcopal Church and the generosity with which they offer their gifts to benefit God’s people and give glory to His holy name.
- I am thankful that Gary and I are worshipping and fellowshipping together.
- I am thankful for a fun trip to Las Vegas with good friends.
- I am thankful that the Holy Spirit blessed our Alpha class, even in the virtual environment.
- I am thankful for good health.
- I am thankful for enough material blessings to live comfortably and, with God’s help, give a little more than comfortably.
- I am thankful for healthy food, clean water, pure air, and all the necessities of life.
- I am thankful for the demise of the rat that was living in my garage.
- I am thankful for a birthday blessed with so much love from around the world.
- I am thankful I decided to continue my blog this year.
- I am thankful for the wise leaders and creative visionaries in my life that help me see a way forward when times seem unmanageable.
- I am a thankful to God for giving me a life blessed with opportunities to learn, grow, worship, and serve as I walk the path He set out for me… and for giving me that life in a free country that allows me to pursue that path without persecution.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here is one more bonus thankful: I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU!
For what are you most thankful this Thanksgiving? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.