For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart
Is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!
~VeggieTales "The Thankful Song"
I'll spare you the entire list, all 331 days of it so far. Here's my Reader's Digest version:
1. GOD -- His forgiveness, propitiation (Christ Jesus atoned for my sins with His sacrifice on the Cross and gave me eternal life in Heaven in exchange for my wickedness.), grace for today, the privilege of interceding for others (like Lincoln, Abby, and Abe). That God never lets me get away with one single thing. Never. I am talking not. ever. He has me on His Short Leash List. For grace through suffering which draws me nearer to Him.
2. FAMILY -- My husband, Michael and for our children, Marg, Ricker, Jackie, Evangeline, Elianna Ray, and the precious ones the Lord lent me for a little while, Gwendolyn Grace (Happy birthday, Gwennie.) and Gabriella Joy. For our wonderful extended family: Poppy, Mother, Buddy, Becky, Johnny, Lincoln, Charlotte, and baby Penelope Rose on the way, Lisa, Mark, William, Wesley, Zuzu, Morgan, and Matthew, Papa, Grams, and Grandmother, and all our uncles, aunties, and cousins... for everything they have taught us, for giving us solid roots, for being such dear friends, and for loving us unconditionally.
3. CHURCH -- for both of our church families, Vineyard Newport and Vineyard Anaheim. For worship leaders, youth group, fellowship, friendship, exhortation, and the blessing of being part of the Body of Christ.
4. FRIENDS -- Old friends, new friends, OCEAN friends, for special ones like Karen, Emily, Suzi, Lori, Susan, Xinia the Fabulous Ms. X, Sandra, Amy, Liz, and Deb.
5. GREAT ESCAPES -- My slippers, a bubble bath, my new Bible, going to the spa for a massage or facial, babysitters, housekeepers, and Elizabeth. For going to the grocery store, or any errand, alone... Ahhhh, the wonder of being aloooooone! Days off, the beach and everything about the ocean. For take-out when the last thing I want to do is cook.
6. GREAT READS -- For my all-time favorite authors (Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Bronte, W. Shakepeare, E. M. Forster, Henry James, George Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, James Herriott, Amy Tan, Pat Conroy, Robert Ludlum, C.S. Lewis, Brennan Manning, J.I. Packer, Randy Alcorn, Stott, Cloud, Yancey, Sproul, and Willard), for good brain rotting material (Catherine Coulter, Harlan Coben, and Sue Grafton) and for the one I really read (Danielle Steele... just kidding!).
7. GREAT TUNES -- Sting, U2, Prince, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Chris Cornell, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Patti LaBelle, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Steve Perry, Annie Lennox, Norah Jones, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Crystal Lewis, and Chris Lizotte.
8. FAVORITE SHOWS -- America's Funniest Home Videos (my fave), NCIS, 24, The Unit, CSI:NY, Monk, House, Heroes, Criminal Minds, Eli Stone, Numb3rs, and Alias (yep, I still love it).
9. FINE THINGS and "JUST FINE" THINGS -- China, crystal, sterling silver, fine linens, paper plates, plasticware, and paper napkins.
10. GOOD EATS -- Perrier, Diet Coke, frozen purple grapes, In-n-Out double doubles (animal style), sliced apples, mandarin oranges, blood oranges, The QW salad, whole wheat toast, non-fat milk, taco salad, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, and pretty much anything Mother makes.
11. PLACES I LOVE -- Santa Barbara, Kapalua, Carmel, Newport Beach, and Palm Springs.
12. MISC. -- For long walks, long talks, long kisses, holding hands, kind strangers, neighbors who wave, for all the people who love my kids, and that Not-Nice People are few and far between! For Tylenol PM and a glass of zin after a long day.
And, last but not least, this is one of my favorite entries, truth be told:
13. STUFF THAT MAKES MY WORLD SMELL BETTER Thank You, Jesus for wet wipes, carpet cleaner, Fantastic, stain remover, paper towels, Goo-B-Gone, deodorant and foot powder. For all the things that take the Wooftie! out. And cologne, thank You for cologne! Thank You so very much, dear God, for smelly candles and room spray (We call it "Smelly Good"... as in, "What on earth died in here?! Someone please go get another spray can of Smelly Good for the Scotty potty!").
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
And, for your listening pleasure, the amazing Yolanda Adams. (I think I may have posted this before.) When I get to Heaven, I'm going to sing like this...
You are my God, and I will exalt You."