My friends Susan and Lynette have been writing some thanks list. Susan ran a lengthy series of thankfulness and I loved seeing the little things she came up with (as well as the big ones). I won't have time to do that but thought that while I am taking a break from the stress of packing to be gone for a lengthy period of time (and in different climates and environments - ocean, mountain, hot, rain, windy) I would make a list of 42. One for every year of my life. They appear in random order:
1. Marriage - I never take my marriage for granted. There was a time where I thought I would never be married and a time when I accepted that. Marriage is a hard job, one that you continually work at if you want to succeed. It is a mistake to feel you've "got it made" or "that wouldn't happen to me". Bad things happen to good people. If you are married, make your home and relationship a sanctuary for your spouse. I am thankful for my marriage and my spouse whom I call Friend.
2. Friendship - I have always had problems making good friends. Acquaintances abound, but true, intimate relationships are few and special. God has blessed me with Shelley and it seems in each stage and phase and place in my life, God has allowed me one person who is steady and encouraging, who helps me keep going.
3. Choices - The majority of the world does not have the freedom to make choices. While I get frustrated with little annoyances every day, most of the time I have the option to try or do something else. In this phase of my life I am so thankful I still have the choice to home education.
4. Home Education - I love this time I have with my children. Of course we are not without our frustrations, but most of the time we have adventures and we build our relationships together. The look of delight on my daughters' faces as they discover a new concept or my son when I tell him he improved, is priceless. You couldn't pay me to miss this time with my children.
5. God's Word - His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It is my passion, my delight, my encouragement, my instruction - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
6. Creativity - God created us in His own image and part of that is the delight in creation. My life would be less fulfilling if I were not able to create.
7. My Camera - A gift from Shelley that helps me express what I feel inside when I see God's Creation.
8. The Ocean - A place where I breathe easier and feel more "centered".
9. The forests - I love the beauty of the trees, especially the Old Growth trees in all their regality and seeing the animals and habitats that live and grow in the forest.
10. The Internet - It is a huge part of my life because it provides communication with family and friends and nearly endless research possibilities as well as education and entertainment.
11. My Children - They aren't really 11th on the list! :o) I love how, even though it can be painful, God continues to teach me through their lives. Their wonder and excitement with all things new, reminds me to look at things differently.
12. Raspberries - My favorite fruit!
13. Wheats and Grains - I have been enjoying learning how to bake bread and make nutritious food for my family using God's grains and fruits and vegetables.
14. Modern Kitchen Appliances - These help me accomplish many of my health goals.
15. Leslie Sansone - Through her talents I am able to work on my health and hopefully live longer.
16. Sheep - They provide me with wool to knit and spin!
17. Grandparents - My Grandparents made my childhood rich and helped through the rough places. They gave me a heritage and a hope. The lessons I learned from them have been life long. And my children's Grandparents - I am looking forward to the relationships God builds between my children and their Grandparents.
18. Books - My Mom says that if we have an earth quake we will be in trouble because of all our books. Most of them are in storage as our space is so small, except for our school books. Books are friends, encouragers, educators and entertainers.
19. Libraries - For when I can't afford to buy the book myself or when I just want to explore!
20. Photographs - I treasure my collection of family photographs that remind me what the faces of those I have lost look like, as well as the memories I have made in my life.
21. DVDs - So that I can watch movies, stories and learn things without the annoying intrusions and perversions that appear on television.
22. Garlic, Herbs and Spices - I love to experiment with new spices and herbs to come with flavors that are natural and appetizing without containing MSG or other bad chemicals that are often found in seasoning packages and boxed mixes. And Garlic! Wow! Good thing Hubby and I both love it! :o)
23. Blogging - I have always expressed myself better in writing than in speaking. Blogging gives me an outlet for learning more about writing as well as sharing with my family, all of whom live in different states.
24. Flowers - They are beautiful and make me smile, but many are also beneficial for health and other purposes. God created a remarkable world!
25. Cats - I can't imagine having a home without a cat! I love having my Abbie kitty. She's perfectly aloof as any good cat should be, but when I need it most, she knows and she comes to comfort me.
26. Christian Artisans List - A place where I can laugh, cry, pray, have fun, learn and share.
27. Colors - They make life delightful and describe our days and ways.
28. Rain - I grew up in Washington state... it doesn't always rain there, we just tell that to the Californians so they won't move up! LOL Seriously, rain is cleansing, refreshing and soothing. Since living here I have gone 6+ months without any drop of rain and that just seems unnatural. I don't want it to rain all the time, but I could use some refreshing right now.
29. Eggs - It is firmly established that I am weird. So I will tell you that I would rather have a good batch of fried potatoes and eggs than an ice cream sundae! The older I get, the less they agree with me, but that doesn't stop me from trying! lol
30. Restored Relationships - I am very thankful that God restored my relationship with my Daddy before he died, so that I wasn't left with an empty hole in my heart. I know that it brought him blessings in his last two years as well.
31. Music - I'm extremely eclectic in taste. My preferred is contemporary Christian 1970s to present, but I love new country, 80s music, big band, classical, Celtic and some older classic rock as well as musicals, hymns and modern worship choruses!
32. Clean Water - Many parts of the world do not have this and since it is generally the only thing I drink, I am thankful it is readily available to me.
33. Travel - I love to explore new places and though it doesn't look like there will be many choices for faraway travel any time soon, the Lord has blessed me with travel to Germany, Netherlands, I had my foot just over the border in Belgium, Austria, Italy, England, Scotland and British Columbia, Canada. On the home front, I have explored most of Washington state as well as parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.
34. Glasses - Without them I wouldn't be seeing or enjoying much! :o)
35. My Career - I worked primarily in pediatrics, as a medical assistant for ten years, with a little experience in family practice, ob/gyn and a few medical specialties. God placed me in a situation where I was able to learn from two awesome doctors. They trusted me and saw potential and taught me to do many things which have stuck with me and helped me in my parenting and taking care of my own children. During that time I made many friends of both coworkers and patients' families, who are still my friends today.
36. Genealogy - I began my genealogy to understand where I fit in the scheme of things. It turned out to be quite an adventure and has fueled my need for intellectual stimulation.
37. Scrapbooking - For several years I taught classes, specifically in creating heritage albums. I have not had much time to do any scrapbooking since having the girls, but I am slowly learning how to digital scrapbook and that is a lot of fun!
38. Family - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly... It's nice to have them. It gets lonely without one! (Not necessarily #38 on the list of thankfulness either! lol)
39. Church Family - For encouragement, edification and fellowship. See #38! :o)
40. Prayer - A great way to build my relationship with God, comfort my soul and seek strength, guidance and wisdom, as well as express thanks, love and worship!
42. Torchbearers - All the Christians in my family line and in friends and relationships, that God has placed in my ancestry and in my life to pass the torch of His Truth down to me.
What are you thankful for?