Expressing Thanks; Counting Our Blessings

For the second time in two years, my husband and I find ourselves “displaced” for the holidays. We currently live in a twenty-year old motor home in the driveway of our house, which flooded just before Halloween. In the past, I have occasionally written to our granddaughter, Catherine. Today, I write to ourIMG_3251 fourteen-year old granddaughter once again. This time, I’m reminding myself instead of her.

 Dear Catherine,

Do you remember three years ago when nothing seemed to be going quite right for your family? During cold, dark mornings, you had to wait by yourself for the bus? Middle school seemed overwhelming with crowded lockers, pressured bell changes, and boys spitting in the halls?At home, things weren’t any better. With an impending move, your family spent hours sorting, pitching, packing, and preparing for a new way of life. In short, your young life did not provide the pleasant pictures you wanted to see. Do you remember what I suggested? Gratitude lists! I know that seemed crazy at the time. “Write gratitude lists, before you go to sleep at night.” Now, the time has come for you to say, “Grandma, you need to start writing some gratitude lists for yourself.”

If you were to suggest such a bizarre idea to me, I’d say, “Catherine, you are absolutely right!” So, what am I thankful for today? Please allow me to share a list of all the reasons I feel thankful at this time:

  1. My Aunt Maggie taught me to trust God. From that early foundation, I realize a daily strength and guidance beyond myself. I am thankful.
  2. Grandpa and I both give thanks that we walk this path together. As Grandpa said, “We have one another.” I am thankful.
  3. All of our children turned out to be caring, responsible adults who give to others. We have some “good folks” in this family. I am thankful.
  4. You and the other grandchildren fill our hearts with laughter and love. I am thankful.
  5. We enjoy good health. That’s a very important reason for gratitude. I am thankful.
  6. Each night, we enjoy the comfort of a clean, warm and comfortable bed. I am thankful.
  7. We eat a healthy diet and drink clean water. I am thankful.
  8. At the end of each day when I go into the damaged house and enjoy a warm bubble bath, I feel thankful. After the bath, I am grateful for the lavender robe, which you gave to me.
  9. Living in our driveway makes it easy to clean and sort things in the house. I am thankful that we do not have to drive in traffic.
  10. Insurance provides hope for a new future. I am thankful.
  11. Finally, when I was a child, I learned about a Teacher named Jesus who demonstrated a way to live. The lessons He taught still work today. I am thankful.

Catherine, I am also aware that thousands of people around the world have almost nothing. People who flee their homes with only the things they can carry must feel more devastated that I can begin to imagine. In comparison, Grandpa and I have so much. We have many reasons to smile. I have absolutely no reason to complain. Thank you for allowing me to share my gratitude list. I love you. Grandma