I started this feature over a year ago, and now that I’ve fulfilled my resolution to find something to be thankful for every day of the year (you can see all my past Thankful Thursdays here), I’m going to do something a little different this week and list my current top ten thanksgivings.
I remember when I was a little girl, I’d often consider my biggest priorities in life and it always went like this:
Food was always the biggest thing in my life, even over God, and I never even considered my family or anything else. The mind of a child! While I’m still thankful for both those things, my priorities seem to have changed with the progression of time.
My top ten thanksgivings:
1. God and his son, Jesus the Christ. I’m thankful for and to God for creating this beautiful world we live in, and for my life. For His immense love for His children, and for the salvation He provided to us through the sacrifice of His son. And I’m so thankful for and to Jesus who suffered so greatly and died for my sins so that I might have the hope of a heavenly afterlife. Before I was a Christian, John 3:16-17 was meaningless words to me, but now every one of them fills my soul with love and gratitude.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Hallelujah, praise Jehovah!
2. My wonderful, most perfect husband. I always tell him he is perfect to me, because although he’s obviously not literally perfect, he is everything I need him to be and honestly, I don’t think there is anyone in the world I could love as much. I feel that I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve, and I’m so thankful for it. He completes me.
3. Here is where I would likely list my children if I had them, but my Jessie girl takes the number three spot because she is my only child. A dog-hater my entire life, it’s hard to believe how quickly she turned me around with those puppy grunts and her tiny tongue and tiny, dime-sized paws. Now, it is such a joyful thing to come home to her enthusiastic greeting every day. The big smile, the wagging tail, the soft panting as I pet her. I now fully comprehend the saying “dogs are a man’s best friend” because I have experienced firsthand how well-suited they are as human companions. Their devotion and unconditional love is something that we’d do well to learn from and apply to our own relationships!
4. My friends. I had a hard time deciding if I was more thankful for my friends or my family and in the end, I think it’s about equal but for different reasons. I’m thankful for my friends because I had the freedom to choose them (as opposed to being born into a family), and/or we share a common faith which gives us a very deep bond. A single sentence or smile from any of these friends is enough to brighten my day, and that’s pretty fantastic.
5. My family. We have our differences, but family is always there for you and no matter how bad we hurt each other, we always forgive and forget. I don’t know how well that works in relationships, but somehow it seems to work with families. Or at least in mine! I’m thankful to have a family that doesn’t hold grudges because I’d probably be disowned by now. ;)
6. For the country I live in. I usually live in self-inflicted ignorance of the horrible things going on in other parts of the world, but some have come across my radar lately and it makes me even more grateful to live in this land of freedom and opportunity.
7. Jobs. My job, my husband’s job, and for the job of everyone I know. Not all of us may love what we do, but what a blessing to have a way to support our families! I’m especially thankful for mine because I am one of the lucky ones who love what I do…or at least I love that I can listen to audiobooks while I do it. :)
8. My health! My husband’s health! Jessie’s health! Everyone’s health! For the most part, everyone close to me is doing great health-wise, and it’s such a blessing not to have the stress of an illness in our lives right now. Well, other than my diabetes, but I’m also thankful I have a manageable disease! (I’m so singing “I’ve still got my health, so what do I care?” in my head right now.)
9. Clean water and plentiful food. These basic things we need to survive and get so much enjoyment from, but not everyone has them.
10. My humble home. Small and in need of work it may be, but it shelters us through the storms, keeps us warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. It provides us constant access to running water, has conveniences like a toilet (remember outhouses?) and a refrigerator to preserve our food. It not only is everything we need in a shelter to survive, but more, and I’m so thankful for it.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:4