Nov 11, 2010

Thankful Thursdays: The Second Seven

During the countdown to the holidays, I'm taking time each week to take stock of some of the blessings in my life. Last week kicked off with the first five.  There are too many to count them all, so I'll just offer a weekly summary of one per day as we head into Thanksgiving.  Here's the second seven, but above all, today is Veterans Day - a day to honor all our vets.  I pray for God's blessing on all our combat veterans and their families - past and present, along with those actively serving today; may they become the veterans of a peaceful future time.

So what else am I thinkful for this week?
  1. My faithful pooch.  That may sound like a trivial thing to include on this list, but there are days when the dog may well be my best friend - she's certainly among the most loyal and patient of those who know me.  We've had several wonderful canine companions over the years; Spice (aka Big Dog) is my nearly always at my feet - all 80 pounds of her.  Statistically, her remaining years are numbered, and so I treasure the time I have with her while she's still in good health.  If you've never seen the "GoD and DoG video by Wendy J. Francisco, it's well worth the 1.59 minutes to watch it.
  2. Farmers and ranchers.  What would we eat if it weren't for the men and women who keep us in food?  I love having a summer garden, but heaven help us if we had to depend on my gardening skills to feed us all year 'round.  I am grateful to those who raise and grow the food we take for granted.
  3. The innovators.  We'd be a sorry lot if no one had ever conjured up innovations like corrective eyeglasses, utensils to eat with, clocks to keep track of our time, a microscope to see germs (and antibiotics to kill them), and countless other products and devices that we use every day, and barely notice.  But we would surely notice if we had to do without them!
  4. The poets, artists and philosophers.  Their contributions have added richness and depth to the human experience, giving us phrases to express our rough thoughts, beautiful objects to behold, and challenging us to think deeply about our existence and relationship to one another, and to our creator.
  5. The United States Postal Service.  Seriously - is there anything better than opening your mailbox and finding a handwritten card or a package, delivered promptly and cheaply by the good ol' USPS? They do an amazing job, day in and day out, of getting everything to its destination, interpreting terrible handwriting and correcting transposed addresses and ZIP codes.
  6. Friendliness.  A stranger holds the door open for you, a fellow driver lets you ease into their lane of traffic, or someone simply smiles a friendly hello.  Those small acts of kindness are game-changers for our moods, sometimes making turning a miserable day into a tolerably good one.  Paying it forward not only feels good, it is good.
  7. Changing seasons.  I'm not a big fan of winter, in fact I grumble most years when the days get shorter and colder.  But having four seasons is truly a blessing.  There is beauty in each season, and as they change, it's a perfect reminder that we don't have to orchestrate everything in this life for ourselves.  There is a creator who is in control.  The beautiful blaze of fall leaves can leave us speechless, if we stop long enough to take it in.

Happy counting,