When I woke this morning, the bright white snow had melted into dark puddles, the world seemed gray and wet, and the only view bringing me joy was the sight of the tree branches swinging wildly in the wind. I wished for somewhere brighter, either with white snow or blue sunshine skies. And then, I looked around me and started counting my blessings:
1. Running my hands though my dog Lady's fur, and seeing her smile with happiness from the part of her mouth, through the expression on her face, through the wiggles of her whole body tail-wagging and the way she leans into me for a hug.
2. My Beagle's big brown eyes, and the tip of his white tail like a banner of happiness. The way he unashamedly expects a big back scratch in the mornings.
3. My husband's amazing love and support in everything I do. (And the fact that he unashamedly wants big back scratches and hugs too).
4. My family. I don't think I can mention them enough. My husband, who I can talk with, laugh with, dream with, cry with, cuddle with, argue with, and who holds my hands sometimes when we fall asleep. My daughter Anna, both fun-loving and thoughtful, who gives giant hugs. My daughter Trisha who is passionate and caring, and yet takes the time to cuddle and make silly faces for fun. My mom and dad, who love life and show it in all that they do.
5. I may have forgotten to type up some of my family names on my A to Z thankfulness post yesterday, but they are written on the original worksheet I filled out in church, and as always in my heart: Kathleen, Ron, John, Anna, Trisha, Amanda, Katie, Stephanie, Jessica, Jacob, Gary, Terry, Mary, John Sr, Teresa, Ken, Holly, Kelly, Logan, Darren, Julie, Pete, Brandon, Dane, Pete, Laura, Jeff, Linda, Aunt Beverly, Aunt Gail, Uncle Tom, Cindy, Mark, Madison, Shane, Jenny, Lawrence, Kayla, Vicki, Duane, Terri, Myron, Despina, cousin Lisa, Darcy, Tim, Carder and his new brother, Big Aunt Lynn, Big Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Bob, Steve, Selena, Evan, the twins, Big Aunt Naomi, Melissa, Jamie, Jenna, and everyone who I have yet to name. I love you all, and am thankful for you.
6. I am thankful for my friends, both here and now, past and present, on-line and in person. You bless my days with joy.
7. The smell of Moroccan Mint green tea.
8. The taste of that bit of raw honey that happened to drip from the honey jar, instead of into my tea.
9. The wind I will feel on my face when I step outside for my walk.
10. I am thankful for the Creator of the Universe, who gives us each life, paints beautiful landscapes for us to walk into, and who breathes joy and hope into us when we follow him. Thank you Lord Jesus!
11. Keeping to a daily Bible reading plan, but then sometimes, just flipping open my favorite, every day book and finding passages that speak to me in the moment.
"I lift my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."