Thursday, October 17, 2013

35 Gifts

I turned 35 on Tuesday. (which is approaching crazy old, btw)

Fun birthday always follows Columbus Day. Every year. Second Monday in October and then comes my birthday. Inevitably.

In honor of my birthday and the gifts I have been given my entire life, I decided to make a list of 35 things I am grateful for. Some from this year, some span my lifetime. There is no particular order and they certainly aren't ranked in importance.

Without further ado, I'm thankful for...

1. The internet. I spent 20 hours without any online connection from Sunday to Monday. It freed up a lot of time, but it made me so grateful for the connections and convenience of the internet.

2. Date nights.

3. Polka dot tights. (that rhymes)

4. My washer and dryer.

5. Water. Refreshingly cold and clean-to drink. Steaming hot for dishes and showers. Relatively crispy for morning lap swims.

6. Paint. Big old cans of new paint that miraculously transforms a room when applied to its walls.

7. Coffee. I love the robust scent and the rich flavors. I love how it wakes me up and provides the perfect back drop for conversation.

8. Pizza. Salty pizza covered with bacon and green olives.

9. Bicycling. And my bike. There is nothing that clears your mind and makes you feel blessed more than a bicycle ride in the sunshine.

10. Traveling. Still a proponent of "beam me up, Scottie" type travel. But, I really enjoy visiting new places. We are stewing over a shorter and more local winter trip this year. Plus we are stewing over a dream. I will maybe share that dream one of these days.

11. Christian parents. The longer I am a parent, the more thankful I am for my parents, and for the fact that they are Christians. They taught me well. This is an unfathomable blessing.

12. Music. Hymns. Pop. Classical. 60's. Motown. Big Band. Music speaks to my soul both in joyful and melancholy moods.

13. Chocolate. In all forms except white. And mint. Those are both wrong. Chocolate that isn't chocolate colored or flavored? 

14. Reading. It amuses me, and challenges me, and grows me.

15. Beautiful books. Now I am talking ascetics more than contents. Who doesn't love a gilded edge book or a coffee table book full of gorgeous pictures?

16. Libraries. For letting me indulge in reading and beautiful books and quiet study spaces, without costing me a penny. Except in occasional late fees.

17. In-laws. Parents, sibs, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. They have added another dimension to my life. Most of which is good.

18. Little black dresses.

19. Humor. Funny re-runs, movies, Reader's Digest jokes. My own little family's corny concoctions.

20. Salad spinners.

21. Reliable transportation. Of the Honda brand in particular.

22. These offspring. They have grown me into the person I am today. Including contributing a number of the grey hairs on my head and the bulge of my belly. Because of them, I am a mom, one of my proudest roles. They are my helpers. They make me laugh and have made me cry. I am so thankful for my girls and my boys.

23. My siblings. I am thankful that we have grown closer as we've grown up. There is not many people I'd rather hang out with.

24. Asics running shoes. Perfect fit for my wide feet, but narrower heels.

25. Races. They keep the pep in my step and the glide in my stride throughout months and months of training. They are the reward for said training.

26. Pinterest inspirations that actually pan out. Tune back tomorrow for my newest Pinterest project. It was delicious....

27. The United States and the freedoms I currently enjoy here. And the men and women who have fought to make these freedoms possible.

28. The Bible, God's Word. And in particular, my Thomas Newberry Bible. It is an old, familiar friend.

29. Art. It makes my world more beautiful.

30. Food. Fancy and simple. Meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, bread. I am thankful for food and for variety.

31. Friends. My bff. Plus friends new and old. Online and in real life. Some of you I have never met IRL. Some of you I have known over 20 years. Some have only been friends for a few months. Some have been with me in the best and worst days of my life. You all are my sunshine and my rainbows.

32. The gifts and calling of God. The strengths God has graciously equipped me with. The skills He has cultivated in me. The capacities and ministries in which He has allowed me to serve Him.

33. The Great Outdoors! Sunshine. Sunrises. Sunsets. Crisp breezes. Thundering waves. Mountains.

34. Mr. Hippie. My best of best friends. My anchor and knight. My inspiration and sounding board. My soul mate.

35. Jesus Christ...the one who died on the cross to pay the price of my sins, so I can spend eternity with Him.

Man, I almost wish I was older so I could keep adding to my list. Almost.