Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

It's Thanksgiving day.

Time for family, food and football.

Time to meditate on our blessings and thank God for all that He has provided for us over the past year.

I wonder how many people really take the time out on this busy day to do just that. We need to. I'm going to take the lead and list out ten things I'm thankful for this year.

  1. Jesus. My lover and my spouse. I know I should always put You first, yet, You still love me when I don't. I know You have great things in store for me, and I can't wait to walk the path as it unfolds. 
  2. I have a good job. Not too many people can say that this year. I praise God for mine. 
  3. Economic Stability. Money has been tight for me, but it could be worse and I thank You, Jesus, that I'm getting by. 
  4. My friends. They keep me shored up by their prayers and intercede for me daily, I know. 
  5. My health. It has not been that good this year. I've had a procedure on my right eye (a cryopexy to treat a blood-vessel tumor) and a mysterious illness that seems to be getting worse involving intense cramping in my feet and legs, lethargy and migraines. Will see rheumatologists and neurologists in the future to try and get diagnosed. Still, I can walk and talk and breathe. Praise the Lord!
  6.  My gifts. My writing and speaking abilities have served Him in the past year in remarkable ways. He has used my skills to work miracles and has let me see it. I am doubly blessed. He is probably less than thrilled about my fiction writing, but I try not to go out on too far of a limb there. A time may come when He leads me to work only for His Kingdom. If that's what He wants from me, He'll get it. I learned long ago that my arms are just too short to box with Him.
  7. My faith. As a convert, I have a profound love for my Catholic faith and sometimes suffer persecutions for it. I try to suffer them as Jesus did, as a lamb led to the slaughter, silent and always praying for my enemies. My faith is the foundation of my life. There was a time when I didn't believe in God and I honestly don't know how I made it out of that deep well of despair, but I'm glad I did.
  8. My family. Scattered and dysfunctional as we are, I recognize that they shaped me into what I am today and I'm grateful for their presence in my life.  
  9. My saints. My intercessors and protectors who have watched over me this past year and have saved my life a few times by keeping me from bad car accidents (narrowly missed serious crashes at least twice that I know of). St. Michael the Archangel, for lessons in spiritual warfare. St. John of the Cross for teaching me self-emptying love of God and neighbor. St. Therese of Lisieux for showing me the "Little Way" to God by the virtue of humility. 
  10. The Little Miracles. I am eternally grateful that God has opened my eyes to the wonders of His world. I always have appreciated weather and nature. I love them all the more dearly now since I am able to see His hand in all things. Even the tragic. I had a non-believer friend ask me, "How can you believe in God, after seeing the death and destruction an EF5 tornado does?" My answer was this: "God's purpose is not clear. I do know I've seen people who were once enemies reconciled and complete strangers helping one another. But, I've also seen people come apart. I don't know. I'm just hopeful that one day it will all make sense." Sure, God brings the tornadoes and hurricanes. I believe He also brings the rainbow, the cool breeze on a hot day and a much-needed rain on dry lands. I always try to look for the Little Miracles in everyday life. They are everywhere, for anyone who wants to see them. Just open your eyes and look around you.
My prayer for all of you reading this is that this Thanksgiving Day you will examine your lives from this past year and reflect on some of the ways the Lord  has blessed you. You may not be able to find ten of them, but I'd be willing to bet that you have many blessings that perhaps you are not even aware of.

Ask God to reveal them to you.

And then thank Him for them.

May God continue to bless you in the coming year.

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