Daily Thanks, Day 15: A Week's Worth of Blessings

I’m several days late on writing out my thankfulness for this week. I was cognizant each day on where I was focusing my gratitude, I just never got around to writing it down. So, I guess I should start by being thankful I’m so busy. That means I have work and already that makes me far more blessed than so many people in the world right now. In the country. In our neighborhood.

On Sunday I was thankful for my husband. I’m always thankful for my husband, really. He’s an amazing person. We have been through a lot together, and I’ve seen him grow in ways I didn’t know he would, could, or needed. But that’s not why I was thankful for him on Sunday. I was thankful for him loving me enough to see past my weaknesses, my meltdowns, my deeply-rooted character flaws and still want to hold me and tell me he’ll help me along the way while we work towards making everything okay. I was, and am still, thankful that he is the man who God had in mind for me, to share a life with me, to endure and embrace this journey with me.

On Monday, like many people, I was thankful for our veterans. I was a military wife during the first Gulf War. My dad and my stepdad both served. Some of my closest friends are married to active duty service members right now, other friends are reservists. I’m thankful for all of them. I’m thankful for the ones whose birth and death dates are clinging to back windshields with the words, “In Memory Of,” and for the ones whose names are tattooed on the biceps and backs of their brothers and sisters still on the front lines, and the ones whose dogtags are clenched in the fists of devastated young brides and heartbroken husbands, sons and daughters, moms and dads... all of the other loved ones back home.

Also on Monday I was thankful for my stepmom. It was her birthday. She’s been doting on and been devoted to my father for 36 years. For one-third of their marriage she has been living her life as his wife in a far different role than I imagine she ever dreamed she would. She is his caregiver, his cheerleader, his fierce, unrelenting advocate, his friend, his comfort and his companion. My respect and admiration for her has grown immensely over the years. My gratitude for her and her commitment to my dad is almost beyond words.

On Tuesday, I was thankful for a good old fashioned talk on the phone with an old friend. I was thankful to connect with someone who always makes me feel better about wherever I am right then. No matter what is weighing on my mind or my heart, talking with him always helps me feel like I’m … normal. Or at least that there are other people who’ve been where I am and get through it. He recommended a great book. I ordered the hardcover before we hung up the phone. I started reading it as soon as it arrived. On page four, I wanted to stand up and cheer.

“People can take your job. No one can take away the brand you’ve created and your ability to create again. Let them smash what you’ve been saving, let them burn what you’ve built – when you can create, the power is yours, not theirs.”

From Unlabel by Marc Eckō

On Wednesday I was thankful to have a skill set that can help someone else. I used my brain. I edited. I rearranged words. I made a résumé look pretty for someone who needs a job, and helped make sure a project was perfect for someone about to throw her soul out into the world on the pages of her first novel. I felt useful, and I felt blessed to be involved in the processes of someone else’s growth and steps towards their successes.

On Thursday, I was thankful for learning new things. For one, that little “get a number and tell my Facebook friends that many things they don’t know about me” was everywhere. I delighted in reading silly secrets about some, and felt so proud of others for opening up and letting go of things they felt they needed to hide. Also, I was invited to my husband’s office to watch rehearsal for pledge during Downton Abbey. I spent a couple of hours there watching his team work in concert, and I learned that that teamwork is part of what makes the station successful. I met new people, I learned what goes on behind-the-scenes at our public television station, and I left there with an even bigger respect for my husband and what he does for a living, and ultimately for our family.

Today I was thankful that I have the capability and the ability to do things for other people. I gave platelets and whole blood, which is a process I do not enjoy at all. It makes me anxious and sleepy in a place where I’m uncomfortable. But I know the people undergoing surgery, or chemotherapy, or who simply need a little healthy blood to get their systems running smoothly again are dealing with a lot more than the annoyance of 66 minutes with a needle in their arms. And so I do it anyway, as often as I can. And I feel blessed to be able to give that gift to someone, a stranger. Not everyone can. I also gave a dollar to a guy on a corner today. “Vet Will Work,” his sign said. I used to do this a lot more frequently until I heard that many of the people who panhandle that way make more than I do in a day. This guy may or may not have been a vet. He may or may not have been homeless. He may even have a job. But he humbled himself enough to ask strangers for help, and I am lucky enough that I could spare a dollar, so I gave him one. And he said thank you like he meant it. And that made me feel good about giving.  

Really, there are so many things I am thankful for each day. I'm glad I'm able to step back long enough to recognize the blessings all around me, even when I can't find the time to write them down. 



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