I love the Christmas song My Grown-Up Christmas List in which the singer wishes for a better world, a much more sophisticated request to Santa than the selfish desires of her youth.
It got me thinking about my own list of things to be thankful for and how much that’s changed since MY youth.
Of course, family and friends remain at the top of my list.
As does God, but in a much more REAL way than the abstract Guy in the sky of my childhood. I no longer feel that “way up there” separation but feel Him next to me always.
But there are more things that I’m extremely grateful for, things I took for granted when I was younger:
- Still having both of my parents with me (so many of my friends my age do not)
- Having had the love, memories, and influence of four amazing grandparents that I know will be with me in Heaven one day
- Growing up in an era that embraced God, community, and traditions
- Growing up with parents and other relatives who loved me, spent time with me, never gave up on me, prayed for me, and made me who I am today
- Living in a free country (you take it for granted until your liberties become threatened)
- Friends that are willing to put forth the time and effort to sustain connections even though we are miles apart
- The way God made me (intelligent with childlike wonder, slightly weird, extremely compassionate, creative, loyal, loving, passionate)
- The fact that I can see these positive things about myself without self-deprecation
- The ability to lie down at night and sleep peacefully
- A mind filled with happy (and detailed) memories from the past, a mental storage facility for tougher memories- accessible if needed but out of my line of sight any other time
- Building new relationships with my grown kids and watching as they settle into their own families
- Grandkids! They’re right…we should all have them FIRST!
- My dogs, who allow me to still be a “mom” every day but still give me the freedom to lie around and read all day if I want
- My church families…both the one I have now and the church I grew up in. They both helped shape me into the woman I am today.
- A husband who doubles as a best friend, loves being Grandpa and dog Daddy, and fiercely loves the Lord
I hope you have a list too of wonderful things in your life!