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A Day of Thanksgiving

For this Thanksgiving 2021 post, I decided to go through my day listing things for which to be thankful. It was a joyous exercise, one that could have gone on for much longer.

It is so easy to complain about what I want but don’t have. But, it is more satisfying to list what I have that has simply been given to me. Of all the things that benefit my life, which ones can I claim as due solely to my own efforts, without needing anyone or anything else? Answer: Not a single one.

Everything that I have or enjoy comes ultimately from God. Often, it comes by way of others who have provided or invented or produced or delivered a huge multitude of things that enhance my life. Even the things that I could arrogantly think that I have “earned” didn’t start with me either: If I work to earn a salary to buy “stuff”, it is God who gave me the health and skill and opportunity for that job. Life, and every good thing in it, is a gift.

So, here is my day of thanksgiving….

I woke up this morning. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • A new day
  • A night of safety, with no alarms or emergency calls about loved ones
  • Each breath, each heartbeat, each intricate chemical process that gives me life

I went for a walk in a nearby national park. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • A beautiful park in which to walk
  • The peace and quiet of early morning solitude
  • The health and fitness to be able to enjoy a long walk
  • The time to walk and still be able to tend to other duties
  • The woodland creatures to admire (a squirrel; about a dozen white-tailed deer, including two bucks)
  • The friends, other early-morning exercisers, who greet me each day

It was a clear, chilly, Autumn morning. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • The gorgeous changing colors of the leaves
  • Warm jacket, hat, and gloves
  • Car heaters (including seat heaters!)

I stopped at a drive-thru on the way back home. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • A car that gives me freedom to travel
  • Well-maintained roads on which to drive
  • Restaurants with convenient, inexpensive food
  • The friendly girl who waited on me and wished me a blessed day

I got back home, showered, dressed, and did laundry. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • Hot, clean, running water
  • Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Plenty of clothing to wear (and to wash)
  • Labor-saving machines: I didn’t really wash the clothes; I just put them in and the machines did the work.

I started to work from my home office. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • My house, with a dry roof, comfortable furniture, electricity, heat (or air conditioning when needed)
  • A job that I enjoy and can do from home
  • The ability and opportunity to learn the skills used for my job
  • Co-workers whom I respect and enjoy
  • A computer, and Internet access

I remembered yesterday’s time at church. There was music, teaching, ministry projects, prayer requests and praise lists. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • The freedom to worship as I choose
  • My pastor, and the insights I gain from each of his sermons
  • The other church staff and leaders, who work with the pastor to care for all of us
  • My church family, from the 1-year-olds to the 90-year-olds, and the way we can share each other’s burdens and joys
  • Our church volunteers, and the thousands more around the world, who give of themselves so that others will know that they are loved
  • The privilege of bringing concerns to God, knowing that He is listening and responding

My husband helped my mother with a home-repair issue. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • My husband, and his thoughtfulness and care for us
  • My mother, the glue that holds the family together
  • All the rest of the family, often going our separate ways but always there for each other
  • The two newest grand-babies in the family, and their promise for the future

We went out to dinner, passing through streets lined with flags for this past Veterans Day. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • My country, where people of all races and backgrounds can participate together in self-government
  • Our Constitution, a unique experiment among governments that allows the citizens to have the leaders and government that they choose
  • Those who have fought to keep our country safe
  • Others who work to keep us safe: police, firefighters, medical providers

I settled in with a book and a TV show before bedtime. That reminded me to thank God for:

  • Books, TV, and other means of entertainment and education
  • A safe, warm place to sleep
  • A happy, productive day full of gratitude

Above, around, and throughout all of the above, I am reminded to thank God for:

  • His sovereign plan and providence for all of history
  • His incredible gift of salvation through Jesus
  • The privilege of being His child
  • His presence and power available to me every day
  • The future that He promises with Him in Heaven

Your list may not be exactly the same as mine, although we probably have many things in common. I hope that my list reminds you of some of your own blessings, though, and encourages you to enjoy giving thanks for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!