It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least in my opinion. I absolutely love chilly days, apple cider, "seasonal" coffee creamers and special blends, and of course, the wonderful feeling that you get when you are able to bless people with gifts. I have been fortunate to have always had enough to buy gifts for those important people in my life. And I think it helps that I start shopping months early and like sales. :-)
This is also the time of year when nostalgia sets in and I think back on past Thanksgivings. Some were not so wonderful. Some were full of surprises, like my first Thanksgiving in Poland, where I made a pumpkin pie from scratch for the first time (and from scratch I mean there was no Libby's canned pumpkin). But all Thanksgivings I remember how blessed I am and how much I have...how good God has been to me.
Shannon cleaning the kitchen after it was declared a "disaster" from the Sweet Potato Soup adventure.
I try to remind myself that I have too much to be thankful for to complain. Sometimes it's hard, knowing that my peers are out there working "real" jobs, making "real" money, starting families and settling down. I'll be 30 in a little over a year, and I think the only "worldly" accomplishment that I can say I have is that I'm not in debt. Not a penny. And I know that's worth a lot. But still, in a world (or maybe just a country?) where who you are is most often defined by what you have, I often feel that I come up short.
So that's when my "remind myself of how blessed I really am" activity surfaces. It goes like this: make a list of everything you're thankful for. Everything. Nothing is exempt. And after you've filled pages with small things that you're thankful for, you start to realize...there's not much to complain about. Here's a part of my list:
Almost 2 months of living expenses in savings
Health insurance (not great coverage, but in an emergency it'll help)
My new computer
A camera to capture memories
A great small group
A full tank of gas and a fresh oil change
Gas at less than $2 a gallon
A husband who, while he never cooks, always does the dishes
Stores that double coupons, allowing me to make our $60-a-week food/toiletries budget every week, without fail.
Graduation in May
A warm comforter and soft towels
Lots of fuzzy socks
Treadmills only 5 minutes from home
Coffee and the newspaper in bed on Sunday mornings, courtesy of Shannon
A job that pays well
My sister and her hubby being close enough to spend holidays with
In-laws that I actually like and enjoy spending time with
2 classes finished and only one left for the semester
The right to vote
Good health, no recent cavities, and another year's worth of contacts
Knowing that God is not surprised by our circumstances and that he will not leave us hanging
How about you? What are you thankful for this holiday season?