(Click here to go to the TToT blog)
Showing up to help celebrate this wonderful occasion… The Sixth Anniversary of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, is something I am excited to do! You see, learning to be thankful… to develop an attitude of gratitude, has changed my life entirely!
When I initially joined the TToT, I wrote a post each week as a mental exercise. I quickly discovered that making a list of ten things I was thankful for switched my focus from what had gone wrong to what had gone right. I would start my list scratching my head and grumbling, but by the time I reached ten I was feeling much better about my life! The items I listed ranged from silly to serious, from struggles to celebrations. At the TToT we shared it all with our fellow bloggers and found comfort, encouragement, and lasting friendships!
Although I haven’t blogged much in the past year or so, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing or being thankful. I’ve been journaling my thoughts and going through a life transformation that finds me in a much better place than I was when my job ended three years ago. What I have learned is that being thankful is much more than a mental exercise or a way to refocus. It is more than an attitude… it is a way of life. More importantly, being grateful for everything in our lives is essential to our spiritual wellbeing and growth. It is realizing that everything that happens is a blessing and something we can learn from.
I begin each morning and end each day expressing my gratitude for all the ways that God has blessed me and those around me, and all day long day I whisper prayers of thank you as I learn to live more in the moment and become aware of the many things I used to overlook or take for granted. God is good, my life is good, and I am more thankful for each and every day than I ever was before!
That being said, I believe that talking about our blessings encourages others to find hope and things to be thankful for in their own lives. Since the TToT blog hop is all about sharing, let me tell you about just a few of the things I have to be thankful for at the moment…
1) My older sister has completed her chemo for bladder cancer and received a wonderful CT Scan report today. She is scheduled to undergo surgery next week. God is walking this journey with her and we believe that she is going to have many more years of life to share with us!
2) My husband, my beloved Papa Bear, will be celebrating his 66th Birthday tomorrow, June 7th! There has been more than one occasion in those sixty-six years that his life could have ended prematurely, but God has seen fit to bless him, and to bless me by having him in my life!
3) Last month we spent a week in Nashville with my son, his partner Krista, and her nine-year old son. It has been a long time since I got to celebrate Mother’s Day with him, and it was such a joy to my heart to see how well they are doing in their lives, and how much they care for each other.
4) My daughter and her husband are doing great in Dallas. She has settled into a job as a psych nurse there, and they are busy decorating and landscaping their new home. We got to see them in March!
5) All five of our feline furkids ranging in age from three to fifteen are doing great, and we are blessed to have Jennifer, a wonderful lady to care for them when we go away. She loves them as much as we do, and they love her!
6) God has blessed us financially and continues to make it possible for us to keep the bills paid and have everything we need. Papa Bear will start drawing Social Security in July, while continuing to work. That will help too, as the cost of everything continues to rise.
7) I went without health insurance for two and a half years – until I turned 65 in February, due to the exorbitant cost of coverage. I am so thankful that I encountered no major medical problems during that gap, and I’ve now been able to update all the various exams etc., that old folks should have. Medicare is a blessing, and Medicare supplements are moreso, despite the clumsy aspect of multiple insurance policies required.
8) It has rained here often during May and June. This is unusual for us, where it is not uncommon to have just a few total inches of rain all year, if any. While there have been many places with disastrous flooding, West Texas is not one of them, and we are always thankful for the moisture, and cooler temperatures. Our weeds are green and thriving, pollen allergies are off the charts, and we don’t care! We haven’t hit those triple-digit temps yet, AC bills are reasonable, and the risk of grassfires is low. We are thankful!
9) I am thankful for our peaceful little home in the country filled with love and laughter, quiet time for myself, rest when my body requires it, heat and cooling as needed, lots of sunlight streaming in, plants growing in all the windows, easily cleaned floors, and yard visitors in the form of birds, rabbits, ground squirrels, feral cats, tiny lizards, fuzzy tarantulas, and the occasional roaming farm dog. They all make me smile.
10) I am thankful for the many personal freedoms we have in this country that we all too often take for granted. We can express our opinions on anything and everything, associate with whoever we desire to, choose our own education and career paths, profess and practice whatever religion suits us, and defend ourselves if necessary.
I am thankful for the life I’ve been given, for all that I have learned along the way, and for all the amazing people I have come to know and love through the magic of the Internet!
Blessings to each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!
If you’ve never participated in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I encourage you to check it out, Kristi is doing a great job as administrator! Here’s to another six years and more, gratitude never goes out of style!