Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Thankful List

When I ask my students to name things for which they are grateful, they are fond of giving Sunday School answers. They are thankful for Jesus, for safe travel, for the college’s free tuition, and so on, but I wonder if they—and I—forget the small, ordinary blessings we have, those things which escape our attention until we don’t have them. Now, before I have them make their lists, I will make my own.

These are the small things I am thankful for:

1. An inviting house to come home to every night. It’s even better when my husband gets there before me and has the fire going and candles lit. Getting Pug Therapy while relaxing in my Happy Chair makes the trials of the day fade.

2. My Kindle. I hate to be bored, but I just can’t take enough books around with me to be sure that I will have a book with me that I want to read. My Kindle holds an entire library and fits in my (grandmother-sized) purse.

3. Sunsets over Creve Coeur Lake. The sun sets at just about the time I go home, and the colors of the sky over the lake and the Missouri River remind me that God still has all of the crayons in the celestial crayon box.

4. Watching students spontaneously stop to pray with one another. They are building friendships with each other and growing closer to God.

5. My iPod, with its semi-custom fitted earphones. Christmas music in your ears does wonders on a gloomy November day.

6. The ability to make things. I love to give gifts, particularly gifts that are spontaneous. My stash of stuff helps me turn out cards and projects quickly.

7. Starbucks instant coffee. Ready when I need it—usually about 2 in the afternoon.

8. My car, the Reverend Mother. It’s not small, but it gets me where I need to go, comfortably. I don’t want a new car as long as this one runs.

9. The DVR. We can watch shows without having to endure the temptation of commercials, and the shows consume less time. We can go to bed at an earlier hour without feeling we are missing something.

10. Podcasts. The ones I listen to are free, and range from the best parts of Prairie Home Companion to Bible study to knitting. I put in my earbuds, press a button, and get education and entertainment while I accomplish something else, like knitting.

My list could continue, but ten items are enough for now. Enjoy the small things in your life, and remember that God doesn’t just give us the huge blessings; he cares enough to let us find joy in small things, too.

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