So I was thinking of writing a big long list of things I was thankful for this year, but then remembered that that's what I did last year (hence my post yesterday!), and my list would be pretty much the same.
But I've been mulling over the words thankfulness and gratitude for the last few days, and I've realized that I need to keep those attitudes much more in the forefront of my mind. I've realized, particularly after reading my post from last year, that I take so much for granted. So. Much. Life gets busy, hectic, I just kinda end up living it, and don't take enough time to really see how blessed I am. Is it just me, or does it take a conscious effort to take a step back and be thankful? I know some people who have just made it a habit, so much so that they don't really have to think about it. "Oh, yeah, I need to remember to be grateful." No, it just spills out of them. I want to be like that!
Oh, but I am so blessed. A few things lately have really made me appreciate my family in particular. A friend commented to me the other day, "It sounds like you had a really good childhood," or something along those lines. And you know what? I did. I know nothing but a loving, supportive family, and for that I am so so grateful. My parents are awesome. They are always encouraging, always supportive, and more and more we talk about what's really going on in our lives. It's good. My brother and sister, too - we're getting to be better friends now, and I enjoy hanging out with them. I have grandparents who are crazy about me (hee hee!) and pray for me daily, and an extended family who are fantastic. The older I get, the more I appreciate my family.
I have a good job that I love, and a great environment in which to work. I have friends I know I can count on, be silly with, and grow with. I live in a place in the world where there is peace and, really, more wealth than we know what to do with.
Maybe it sounds cliche to list off these types of things: family, work, friends, peace... but really, the more I think about it, the more grateful I am for these things. Big and little, I'm trying to get better at seeing things through "gratitude glasses.*"
The biggest thing, though, that I'm thankful for is Jesus Christ. His sacrifice, his love. To remember to be thankful, really all I need to do is to just look up.
* Some kids story on tape when I was growing up was one of these "stories with a lesson" things. There was a song about "let's all have a gratitude attitude" and something about putting on gratitude glasses. Funny, the things we remember!