Thank-full-ness (originally published November 20, 2011)

Thank-full-ness….

 
Thanksgiving is just four days away!  I can’t wait!  I LOVE Thanksgiving – not just because of the food, but because it’s always about people in my family – we never know who will be at the table, but my parents always seems to find one or two people who NEED a place to be for the holiday….that just kind of seems to add to the mystery and wonder of the holiday!  Traditionally, Thanksgiving was always spent with my great Aunt Helen.  She loved Thanksgiving and taught my mom a lot about cooking, hostessing, and being a woman of grace.  More about her in another blog!…. today I want to list my top five things I am thank-full for….notice my play on the word, I just don’t think it seems right to write thankful…..in my so humble opinion, to be thankful one is truly FULL of THANKS, therefore, I am THANK-FULL! 🙂 

My TOP – FIVE – – – –

I am thank-full for:

1.  My dad~ now, I remember some times in my life, as a child, that I wasn’t so thank-full for him, but that was usually when I was learning a life-lesson!  I could list how thank-full I am for all the material things he blessed me with as a child – and continues to share with me today, but I am thank-full for the life lessons he taught me – for example, like being a hard worker, being honest and a person of integrity, and for being generous. 

2.  My mom~ my mom has always been my best friend.  How lucky is that?  I know a lot of women who struggle with their mother’s, but I have always been friends with my mom.  Now don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t one of those “being my daughter’s girlfriend-kind of mom”, she still was a MOM in the true sense – a disciplinarian, caring, loving, but she also was and always has been my FRIEND!  As an adult I am so thank-full that I have my mom as a friend – someone who I can pick up the phone and talk to each and every day (or two or three times a day!) and not have to explain how I feel – she just knows!  She listens, offers advice, and accepts me for who I am – even when I don’t take her advice!  I have learned to be a woman of grace, a woman of honesty, a woman of generosity, and a woman who demonstrates love and acceptance of others through watching my mom demonstrate all those things – and more!  I am so thank-full! 

3.  My husband ~ well, this is just simple!  We started out as friends – 25 years ago – and we’re still friends!  Now that’s something to be thank-FULL for!  We laugh, we cry, we pray, and we talk together.  Not that we haven’t had days when we didn’t talk or pray together – and there have been many days when I have done only crying and NO laughing, but one thing always remained throughout any and all of our struggles – LOVE!  He loves me for who I am and has not ever tried to change me!  I love him for who he is, and, yes, I have tried to change him, without success I might add, but that was because I was being selfish when I wanted to change him…..I simply wasn’t looking at him with love when I thought he needed changing!  I’m so glad that he never gave up on me when I was hell-bent on changing him!  I am thank-full that we have a life that we share….I love my husband and I love our life.  Thank-FULL!! 🙂

4.  My church ~ my husband and I went through such a “dry spell” for many, many years searching for a church – if any of you have ever shopped for a church, you know what I mean, it’s simply damn hard!  No butts about it!  Hard!  I’ll never forget the September morning that my husband and I visited our church, it was a contemporary service, which was a little “out of the box for this methodist raised girl”, but I felt at home!  It was like, awwwww, I have found my place!  I never would have thought that I would feel that way in a large church, but I do and I love my church.  I love that you can get yourself plugged into it and meet people, if you want, or you can remain just a person sitting in the back row and that whatever way you choose is perfectly o.k.  I LOVE that!  How nice is it that you’re not pressured into no more than what you’re ready for?!  I’m so thank-full that we have plugged ourselves in and have met some really awesome people, who we now call friends.  My life is so rich because of knowing all of our “church friends” and my faith is now stronger because I am challenged to see as Jesus sees, hear as Jesus hears, and act as Jesus acts – though I fail, sometimes miserably, at these things, I am challenged to never stop trying – and that is one reason why I am thank-full! 

5.  My dogs ~ I know, if you’re not a dog lover I just lost you – here I have been so “deep” in this blog and now I’ve taken you to “the dogs”!  Sorry if I disappoint, but I am thank-full for my dogs!  Cora, our five year old german shepherd mix is a rescue.  We welcomed Cora into our home when she was nearly twelve weeks old and she has been a blessing from day one.  She is smart, energetic, boisterous, protective, and my gal-pal!  She is not a cuddler, but she is loyal and never leaves my side.  She is a barker, which I am not so thank-full for, but she’s taught me to accept her (and others) for who she is!  I love her and have learned a lot about life and loving from her!  And, then, there is Sherman who we purchased from a breeder who borderlines “puppy mill”, in which I learned a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t – so I choose to look at Sherman as a very expensive rescue – thank God we got him away from that environment!  Sherman is my baby – and truly was a baby when we got him at six weeks, which is just way toooooo young to get a puppy and I highly discourage anyone from agreeing to take a puppy from a breeder before the puppy is, at least, eight weeks old (should have been my first sign he was in a puppy mill!).  When you get a puppy at that young of an age, it’s totally like bringing a newborn home – up every two hours, 24/7 to “potty” and every four – six hours to feed, for many, many weeks!   Sherman is my cuddler – he is a basset hound and even at the “light weight” of 53 pounds, he thinks he’s a lap dog!  Sherman will snuggle in close and keep me warm on a cool night, lick my tears when I’m sad, and act like a clown when he wants attention and makes me laugh!  He is a therapy dog, and while I believe he enjoys greeting people, I know he does a lot of it to humor me because truly his very favorite thing to do is just be with me – how lucky am I that someone on this Earth wants to be with me that much?  Pretty lucky! Sherman has taught me how to be a good mom, to be responsible, dependable, protective, and loyal – but most of all he has brought out the best in me, which is to love out-loud!  I am so thank-full for that. 

I would be remiss if I ended this post without mentioning a few more things I am thank-full for, like:  my niece, Maggie; my family; friends; meaningful job; a home to live in; a car to drive…..I guess the older I get the more I understand that it’s the “simple things” in life that I’m most thank-full for.  So, as I end this post, I challenge you, my friends and readers – look for the things in life that you are thankful for – and become thank-full!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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