Friday, December 23, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Wrapping Up Edition (#LightTheWorld)

I know Thanksgiving is a day set aside to remember all that we are grateful for, but Christmas also gets me thinking in a similar vein. My heart is full as I ponder and recognize abundance, tender mercies, friends, and family.  I see others whose circumstances are different than mine, and I feel compassion and a desire to help.

This year, I've been even more focused than usual on really trying to do good, as I've participated in the #LightTheWorld campaign. Yesterday's topic was "Jesus Showed Gratitude and So Can You." Although I'm a day late in that particular challenge, I knew that a TToT post would be perfect for that topic.  I also recognize that the next few days will be filled with family activities, so I'm going to combine this TToT post with the few upcoming #LightTheWorld topics, and take a short blogging break.  I won't be gone for long; I'll be back by next weekend.

1.  This might sound counter-intuitive, but I am thankful for opposition. Opposition provides a point of reference.  If I didn't sometimes feel sick, I might not appreciate good health.  If I didn't live in the desert, I might not appreciate the rain.  

2.  While I am thankful for opposition, I don't like to flirt with it. Recognizing the role of opposition helps me to be thankful without being compelled to be thankful. I'm thankful that I can, through intentional thought, be thankful for things that are going smoothly in my life--things I might take for granted normally.  

3.  I'm thankful also that the exercise of thankfulness (in light of the role of opposition) helps develop a more compassionate and less judgmental nature. That's not to say I am perfectly non-judgmental, but I know that I have much to be thankful for that came to me "just because."  Likewise, many good people have challenges "just because."  I have a roof over my head and food on my table, but that doesn't make me better than those who don't, for example. 

4.  I'm thankful that the exercise of thankfulness helps spur one to action to help others.  Lizzi, the founder of this blog hop, is an excellent example of this to me.  She has really gone out of her way to help those less fortunate, and is constantly doing her part to support, encourage, and uplift those who need, as she would say, "sparkly goodness." 

5.  I'm thankful for the exercise of thankfulness brings a feeling of peace. When things aren't going well, it's easy to feel uneasy. However, being able to find things for which to be thankful helps bring a sense of calm.  Today's #LightTheWorld topic is "Jesus Was a Peacemaker and You Can Be One, Too." Through thankfulness, we can find common ground and recognize positive traits of others. We have a diverse group of people who participate in this blog hop, for example, but we are united in our efforts to find the "thankfuls" in our lives. We are a peaceful bunch.  

6.  Though I am thankful for friends, both near and far, I am especially thankful for family.  Oldest daughter, youngest son, and youngest son's girlfriend arrived here safely this week.  It's so nice to have them here.  Some other family members will be here on Christmas Day.  Some will spend Christmas elsewhere, but I am thankful for each family member.  

7.  The Christmas Eve #LightTheWorld topic is "Jesus Cared for His Loved Ones and So Can You."  I am thankful to have a current-day example of that kind of caring.  My mom takes such good care of my grandma.  I don't live close enough to physically be there as often as I would like, but try to do what I can from here.  

8.  As you might remember, my grandma's 100th birthday is coming up on January 4th.  I put out a call for friends to send cards to help her celebrate.  So far, I have received a few, and I'm thankful for those who have participated.  If you would like to be part of a 100th birthday celebration, there is still time! Just let me know, and I'll email you an address to send the card.  :-)

9.  I'm thankful for Christmas.  One little baby born so many years ago impacted the world in a way I don't think we can fully understand.  The #LightTheWorld topic for Christmas Day is "Jesus's Disciples Followed Him and So Can We."  I have really appreciated the #LightTheWorld ideas, and hope to be more intentional in following Him. 

10.  I'm thankful for John.  He knows I startle easily,  so he will walk heavy-footed when he is approaching a room when I am facing away from him, so I don't end up jumping when I see him. He also keeps me grounded in a less literal sense by helping me keep my self-expectations realistic.  It's easy for me to get carried away at Christmas time with plans for homemade everything and a picture-perfect house to boot.  He helps me let go of the impossible, and assures me that everyone is happy with the reality.  When the hot-water heater died the day before our kids arrived, John quickly diagnosed the problem, ordered the part, and had someone out to replace it the next day.  

I'm thankful for John, for hot water, and for each of you!  May you have a peaceful, joyful, merry Christmas!

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12 comments:

  1. Have a wonderful time with John, your children and other loved ones this holiday season.
    It's easy to think everything has to be perfect, but all that matters is being with eachother, enjoying the company and making memories. Who cares if the house is spotless or the food all made from scratch?! No-one.
    Enjoy, rejoice and count your blessings, for you are blessed for sure.

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    1. I am, and we had a wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying the time we have together before the kids have to go back. I hope you had a merry Christmas, too.

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  2. Have a Blessed Christmas with your family.

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  3. Abundance is hot water, for sure, along with all else you included here. I like the fist few and number five too. They are all things for which to be incredibly thankful. I am glad all of us here desire peace and we are thankful for so much. I wish the entire world worked harder for peace. No more war, but that's humanity. I want to make everyone see that peace is the answer, but sadly, not possible. I will keep being thankful here. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. I think that individually we have more influence than we often recognize. We might not have the power of governments, but we have the power to influence individual perceptions and behavior. You, for example, have reminded me of the importance of captioning my photos, and while I am not perfect at that, your openness in writing about blindness has caused me to act--to think about how to make my photos accessible.

      Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  4. "He knows I startle easily, so he will walk heavy-footed when he is approaching a room when I am facing away from him, so I don't end up jumping when I see him."
    What a perfect description of love.

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    1. It really is the little things that count.

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  5. Sounds like John saved Christmas!

    I've enjoyed reading about your #LightTheWorld prompts, and I think it's been a really good idea to share. It ties in well with thankfulness and what a wonderful way to celebrate the season.

    Hope your grandma has an awesome birthday - I suspect by the time the post office re-opens there's NO way a card would get to her in time from England, but that's an amazing record, and here she'd be able to send off for a telegram from the Queen!

    I'm so glad you're part of our thankful community, Kristi. You really have been one of the most absolutely staunch and determined members and I think I speak for more than just myself when I say the community has so benefitted from your attitude, your outlook, and your friendship. Thank you for being part of what we're doing, and such a good example of it <3 Happy Christmas to you :)

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    1. You are so sweet, Lizzi. I have enjoyed being part of this community that you created, and have made wonderful friends here. Thank you for letting me be a co-host! :-)

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  6. Having your hot water heater fixed so quickly, thanks to John, is a real blessing, especially with a houseful of people there. We might need to initiate the stomping in this home too, but that would mean someone not getting to enjoy the reaction. :-)

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    1. I've never reacted quite as dramatically as I did when you scared me that one time, but I think even the story of that scream has convinced John that scaring me is not a good idea! :-)

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!