Monday, November 21, 2011

100 Blessings

This week is Thanksgiving.  We should give thanks.  Even in this economy, with all the unrest, all the agitation in our society, we should be overwhelmingly grateful.  A friend of mine starts her day counting her blessings before she even puts her feet on the ground.  What a way to start every day!  She is also (no coincidence) one of the most grounded people I know. 

It isn't cliche to count your blessings because we so often forget to do this, that it isn't a common practice.  Rather, it's common to Not count your blessings, to take them for granted and presume that they are somehow acknowledged in the non-acknowledging of the gifts in one's life.  We need moments like Thanksgiving, and older traditions and celebrations than this, to remind us to think beyond today and tomorrow, to think about our past and about all the things in our everyday that give the everyday salt, light, heat, truth and beauty.

Numbering these was done only to keep count and in no way designates priorities, because all of them are simply blessings; simply things and people and experiences for which I feel tremendous grattitude, some serious, some not so, all blessings that bring joy, comfort, and make the day no matter what the day, Thanksgiving.

100. Being alive.
99. Chocolate.
98. My health.
97.  My children.
96. Flowers.
95. Our Parish.
94. Answered prayers.
93. Old friends.
92. New friends.
91. Listening to my children play music.
90. Watching my youngest daughter learn to dance.
89. Date night.
88. Having my best friend/husband of 21 years.
87. My inlaws.
86. My parents.
85. My brothers
84. My sister.
83. my 2 nephews and 7 nieces.
82. my extended family
81. my degree.
80. Good books.
79. snow.
78. the rosary.
77. the beach --Caplen, Texas.
76. homemade pumkin pie
75. this country.
74. our house.
73. the 24-7 Christmas music radio station even though it started before Advent because it brings my littlest children great joy.
72. 18 years of being a stay at home mom
71. phone calls from family and friends.
70. mail that isn't bills.
69. foot rubs.
68. writing
67. the level of wit and education of my children, always delights.
66. the occasional talent to shock my children by proving 1) I can paint and 2) I can dance.
65. a sense of humor.
64. going to see sporting events.
63.  Unexpected good music that somehow makes wherever you are, a more perfect moment.
62. mass.
61. the school that shelters and educates and has loved all my children.
60. flowers that still bloom in November.
59. Seeing deer with full antlers still makes me watch with a touch of awe.
58. Soup that cooks all day.
57. Warm fires on cold nights.
56. the way the kids love to decorate for every holiday by making 1000 pictures to tape on the walls.
55. the feeling after exercising.
54. getting enough sleep.
53. unanticipated art --in architecture, displays, flashes of deliberate beauty both manmade and not.
52. listening to my husband read to the children for bedtime.
51. when the older ones do the dishes or some chore unasked.
50. when any of them do a chore because it is asked.
49. All the things I've yet to learn.
48. freedom
47. being asked to pray for someone.
46. seeing my children grow in grace and wisdom.
45. occasionally experiencing it myself.
44. when I don't give in to fatigue.
43. seeing the generosity of those around me.
42. miracles.
41. dreams told over the breakfast table.
40. rediscovering talents that have laid fallow.
39. discover new ones.
38. sunrise.
37. sunset.
36. the gifts that each child has.
35. the gifts that each child requires of me.
34. the gifts that each child reveals I need.
33. vine ripe tomatoes
32. shooting stars.
31. sensible advice
30. Having a four day weekend.
29. Sleeping in.
28. Being on time.
27. unexpected presents.
26. visits from friends.
25. finding a lost earing/shoe/brush/picture/paper/book.
24. eating together as a family.
23. playing football outside.
22.  drinking hot red raspberry tea inside.
21. seeing one of my kids lost in a book.
20. being asked to play by them.
19. the seasons of the Earth
18. the seasons of the Church
17. the promise of Summer.
16. finding that perfect gift for someone.
15. good photos.
14. recognizing and then making time because someone needs it.
13. giving a rub  Paul puts my hand on his back or feet when I put him to bed, and when I pull back to leave, he grabs my hand and says, "Mommmm" so I know, he wants to be rubbed to sleep.
12. having your baby fall asleep in your arms.
11. the night sky
10. being invited out to do something.
9. the beautiful state we live in.
8. cooking for my family and having it well received.
7. learning new things.
6. winning when I play cards or chess -rare either way.
5. getting better at playing the piano.
4. the kind people who are educating Paul so well.
3. 45 years of life that feels almost luminous, it has been so fun.
2. having so many people to love.
1. the Eucharist

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