Some Bandwagons are good!
I usually resist doing things because “everyone else is doing it.”
I don’t have a diamond ring. I’ve never owned a minivan (we did have a very cool Nissan van that drove like a VW bus, though). I do not prefer chain restaurants. I have successfully avoided Black Friday shopping. And, I will not be making green bean casserole or jello salad for Thanksgiving dinner (though mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie will make it to the table).
For as long as I remember, going along and doing what others are doing has not been my greatest pull. Finding a new way, a different path, a variation is fun for me.
Today, though, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and joining in on saying what I’m thankful for.
For Thanksgiving, 2016, here is my list of 10 Things I’m Thankful for…
- My faithful and supportive husband. We have made it to the good years, with the stress of child raising and family provision mostly behind us, we genuinely like each other and are grateful for our shared history.
- Our clever and capable kids. All five of them. I had an upper level manager at our daughter’s hospital tell me the other day, “I know that as a mother you are biased, but your daughter is really special.” I do know that our one and only daughter is pretty special. And on reflection, I realize that people say that to me about each of our grown, professional children. What a source of thankfulness, that each of our five have gracious words spoken of them.
- The in-laws and girlfriends who are now part our family. Part of the respect and appreciation that our kids express to us now comes from their relationships as adults. They have chosen well, each of the five.
- A peaceful existence in a land of wealth. Talking with a couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo this morning, they were telling us they pray daily for the safety and the successful lottery pick for their family members in the DRC. There is war there. There is disease there. There is hardship unimaginable to me in finding clean water, having money for basic food, and for affordable education.
- Hot coffee, plenty of firewood, silk long johns, and a new propane heater. Winter is coming and there is no fear of the cold at our home.
- Satisfying relationships. So many to be thankful for. A solid team helping me with YourBESTThirdThird.com. Partners in real estate who are more friends than co-workers. Over-lapping lives here and there, often and not so often, with pleasing history and many memories. New (young!) office mates with amazing creative endeavors that inspire me.
- Abounding variety in food in a community rich in diversity. It is so fun to try new tastes and ingredients. Joel and I recently discovered Indian cuisine with him now a firm fan of naan and chicken saag. Watching him sample every kind of sushi at an event last night was pure joy. Tonight, making parsnips and kale stew, the kale fresh from the garden. So many choices! So much fun.
- Grandkids! Thanksgiving programs with memorized lines, learning to talk (and use the potty!), adjusting to kindergarten, smiling and running right into a hug, and video chats and phone calls from afar. The milestones and new found knowledge is pure joy to watch.
- Good work, serving people, in more ways than one. On a number of levels, this brings great joy to me. A pastor commented recently that he prefers the term “serving” to “volunteering” because one implies an option and the other is a life style. I get that. I like that.
- Life on purpose with no regrets. “No regrets” in the sense that I sleep guilt-free at night and go out into the world with little fear or worry about who I might run into or see. There are relationships I would like to be closer. There are experiences I wish I had known better to avoid. But, I have learned to “live at peace with all……as far as it is possible,” to ask for forgiveness and to forgive.
Being thankful should be a way of life, not just a once-a-year Turkey Day outpouring. But this week, Thanksgiving 2016, is a good time to be overtly grateful along with almost everyone else!