One of the joys (and there are many) of my life in this season as a mother-in-law, has been watching each of my daughters-in-love cultivate the discipline of intentional gratitude in their lives and the lives of their children. I see it in lists on their walls and blogs, in creative yet simple thank you notes with the children, and hear it from their lips. It gives me joy because thanksgiving has made such a huge difference in my life.
Looking back over these past almost 35 years of living, loving, and learning with my husband and family, I think intentional thanksgiving would make my top 3 list of "it-has-changed-my-life-time-and-time-again" disciplines. Deliberately expressing gratitutde for the big and small gifts and challenges in my life has gotten me out of a funk, out of a negative, complaining or self-centered attitude more times than I can rememember. Thanksgiving has broken through at times when all other mental gymnastics proved powerless. Thanksgiving: It does a body good.
I realized when Amber began posting her deliberate thanksgiving on her blog a few weeks ago, that it was probably time for me to move back into the discipline of frequent, deliberate thanksgiving instead of waiting for it to overtake me with joy. So I am beginning today to keep my word to join the Multitude Monday community.
I am so grateful:
1. for life...multitudes of people do not make it to 55. I am thankful for abundant health.
2. for my husband...he has continued to love me through all the seasons of our 35 years of marriage
3. for my two grown sons...they are wonderful men and husbands and fathers...and it is such fun to getting to know them in this season as "friend" in addition to "son"
4. for my two beautiful, intelligent, and loving daughters-in-law....it is such a delight getting to know them, and they are both teaching me things and expanding my view of the world through their unique views, gifts, and skills
5. for my four grandchildren....for the health they (and we) have, for the joy and learning they bring to our lives
I am so grateful:
6. to have been born in this great country, with all its freedoms and promise and people
7. to have been born to incredibly loving and nurturing parents
8. that my parents moved to Florida in my childhood,
9. and for all the opportunity of a new life that came our way with their move
10. for the church family that welcomed and nurtured me and my family all the rest of my childhood and youth, for the strong foundation of belief and trust that was laid
I give thanks:
11. for the safety I had growing up...I never feared that my parents would hurt me or neglect to feed me
12. for living in a place of abundant sunshine
13. and green growing things
14. and tropical plants wearing such glorious foliage of outrageous colors
15. that I live so close to the beach I can be there in 20 minutes by bike
I am grateful:
16. for my bicycles
17. for the Pinellas trail
18. for bike lanes on the beach
19. for padded biking shorts for those long rides
20. for moisture-wicking exercise wear that I come close to wearing 16 hours a day during this menopausal season of life
I am thankful:
21. for the legacy of a gentle heart and contented spirit from my father...somehow he managed to sidestep the alcoholism that had cornered his father and replace it with gentle patience
22. my mother, also, modeled contentment, gentleness and patience with us
22. for the gift of opening our eyes to appreciate beauty from my parents by continually taking us to parks, walking trails with us, pointing out things of wonder in nature
23. that I live now within a half mile from a wonderful park
24. for the amazing abundance and variety of birds in my area...one of these days I will do a post of just bird pictures
25. for the tadpoles that grew to froghood in my front porch fountain this past month
I am so grateful:
26. that I can read...my life has been immeasurably enriched
27. that I have had the chance to read so many amazing books
28. that biographies and memoirs have opened my eyes to see the world from others' eyes
29. for computers and
30. four-in-one printers and
31. digital cameras and
32. amazing software and
33. cell phones (even though my husband insists he can never reach me when he needs me)
34. the world-wide web with all the innovation and staying in touch and sharing of knowledge it has spawned
35. for the blogosphere...so much to learn, so many people to enjoy
I think it is appropriate to say "Thank You" for your kind words, for loving me, and for joining multitude Monday!!
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