I've been inspired by the one and only Max Lucado to list some things that I am thankful for-- alphabetically. My hope is that, by passing this along, you will be inspired to do the same thing. Please know that this list is not exhaustive nor is it in any kind of order of priority- just some things that come to mind and start with that letter. Let's have fun this Friday thanking the Lord for just some of the blessings in our lives!
A: Appalachia. Those mountains, Lord. Thank you for making them and for letting me come from them and allowing me to see them from time to time.
B: Birds. Ok, maybe I mention them too much. So I'll choose one more: Bacon. Perfect salty, smoky, kinda sweet. Bacon like JW fixed the other night. Yeah. Thank You for bacon. And for JW.
C: Chocolate. Oh, chocolate, you make so many lists in my life. You and your smooth, creamy, comforting goodness. A day without you is like...not sure that I've had one so I really don't know...
D: Dogs. I love dogs. Bouncy, goofy, rambunctious, playful, loyal dogs. They need you and they love you. They want to play with you and protect you. Not many things on earth can boast all of that. Thanks for making dogs, Lord. That was really nice of You.
E: Erasers. Whether it's the backspace key or the rubber tip of a pencil or the prayer of repentance, I am thankful that there is a way that my mistakes can be erased from the screen, the paper, and the Heart that I wounded. He loves me so much he made a way for me to be
F: Forgiven. Praise
G: God! Being thankful for forgiveness has to be linked directly to God for they go hand-in-nail-scarred-Hand. He is a God of love and forgiveness and He will forgive you if you ask. Trust Him to help you turn away from sin and toward Him. Oh, there it is! The Biggest Blessing!
H: Horses. The perfect animal-world combination of strength and beauty and grace. Want your heart rate to calm down? Watch a horse graze in a pasture. Listen to him breathe. See the breeze flow through his mane. Feel the power of the Creator. Thank you, Lord.
I: Ice. I really love a cold drink. With ice. But I am picky. I really like that pebbly ice like they have at Sonic. They sell it, you know. I haven't bought any but I've considered it for a special time. Waiting for the special time.
J: Jesus. Of course I'm thankful for Jesus and you all know I am. So I am going add another- jewelry. I like jewelry. I like to see how artists take stones that only could be made by the Hand of God and metals that He made and put them together. I like things created by people who are working to free themselves in oppressive countries and who use whatever they have on hand in order to achieve that goal- and then give all the glory to the One Who inspired them. Jesus.
K: Kool pops. They made them in the '60s- not sure if they're still around. My favorite was the blue one. It tasted...blue! Frozen sugar water in a flat tube. Snip the end off and run outside. Make sure you shut the door behind you. Be sure to be back by the time the street lights come on. All that.
L: Laughter. The sound of hearts lightened even if only for a moment. The sound of children so tickled they can barely breathe. The sound of a soul so weathered and wise that the perspective of Truth allows for mirth. The gift of a giggle.
M: Music. And every sort. Different times call for different types and aren't we glad there are so many combinations of notes to suit every mood? To create an atmosphere? To bring us right back to where we were when we used to sing along with a song on a warm summer night? Roll the windows down, turn the music up, and sing. And give thanks.
N: Nice people. The kind of people who offer the kind word, the understanding smile. The gentle-voiced people who don't demand, don't take over, and who only want to be pleasant. I'm thinking of so many people right now and thanking God for them. They'd never think they made this list, though. That's just how nice they are.
O: Owls. Again with the nature, I know, but how can you not be thankful for owls? I've been waking up at night a lot lately and my friend the owl is just outside my window calling out into the night. A voice as soft as his feathers carries across the fields and woods and soothes me right back to sleep. Thank you, fluffy friend, and thanks to your Maker.
P: Plays. I love going to plays. Loved them from an early age. From the staging to the lighting to the acting and the music-- everything coming together at once to create a moment that needs to be unforgettable (because it cannot be rewound). In this era of the tiniest chip saving the largest memory, it's nice to have a mental image that is unique to my brain's interpretation of actions on a stage. Curtain.
Q: Quetzalcoatlus. Because once my son chose this animal for a report and we both became fascinated. He marveled at the animal while I marveled at him. Still do.
R: Red wagons. How much fun can a kid have with a little red wagon? There is no limit. Be honest. If we could we would still pull one around and beg someone to give us a ride.
S: Sales. Don't you just love to get something for less than you were originally asked to pay? C'mon, saving money is a good thing!
T: Time. I have learned that, aside from the power of healing that God provides, the blessing of time is so very crucial to healing and moving away from hurt. If we rely on God to soften our hearts, He will use time to soften the blow of any pain we have had to endure. Amen.
U: Uggs. The boots. Yes. Sound shallow? Not when you have a foot that hurts and suddenly it is surrounded by soft, warm fleece that comforts and soothes. Then it only sounds awesome.
V: Virginia. The birthplace of this nation. The mother of presidents. My home. We have made our mistakes along the way, but no one can deny the role this Commonwealth played in creating and inspiring democracy throughout history. We were and are vital to the success and the very definition of America.
W: Washers. I am so thankful for that machine. If you've ever been without one for a while, you know. Don't take it for granted just because it is an inanimate object. The Giver isn't.
X: X-rays. Gracious, I've had so many lately it's a miracle I'm not glowing. How good it is that I am able to lie on a table and allow a doctor to see that my bones are healing properly. Or not. I'm also very thankful that, for the most part, they don't hurt.
Y: Youth. Whether it is in real time or imagined, youth brings about a sense of bravery, of boldness, and energy. I firmly believe that we can still be youthful even when gaining years and wisdom.
Z: Zip-up hoodies. The coziest jacket ever. On a chilly fall day- are you kidding? Wiggle yourself in for a cotton hug. And be thankful.
So there you have it: my list for now. If I were to go through again and again, I could come up with so much more. Because there is infinitely more to be thankful for. Thank you, Jesus.