48. Stupid stuff like magic cards and Farkle, card games and Scrabble, I love playing these things with my kids, and I'm grateful they're willing to play with me.
47. My brother Danny who talks on the phone with me and makes me roar with laughter when we get the chance.
46. My husband's love of history is something that keeps educating me.
45. The power of the list. I don't know why it works but it does. If I write it down, somehow things happen. If I don't, nothing gets done. So I'm grateful for the tool. Now I just have to a) remember to use it and b) not lose it while I'm doing the things on it.
44. My son John is sweet, kind and smart. He also gives generously of his heart to his classmates and his family. He leads the younger ones in play, he helps daily by baking the snack, and he's always up for a game. He also does his homework without nagging which is a double bonus for me.
43. Barbecue Beef brisket and ribs, Bluebell ice cream (pralines and cream) and real coke-cola in a glass bottle from Mexico. Three samples of heaven on Earth that I will never turn down. So glad I can still have them.
42. Memories. Having lost my dad to Alzheimer's, I know how fleeting recall can be. I forget when I walk into the next room why I walked into the next room enough now. It is a gift to retain knowledge, deep awareness of what came before, especially in a day and age that flits from moment to moment and has half a twitter tweet span's worth of attention.
41. The struggles of every day are a gift, because they are opportunities for grace. I know I carry a light cross by comparison with so many in this world, both past and present. God puts up with me constantly asking to make it lighter.
40. My favorite person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. I suppose it should be Jesus, but I've always felt close to the advocate, I've always loved Confirmation most, and I've always worn a dove necklace representing the Holy Spirit. So I'm grateful for the gifts and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39. Furniture! Sometimes, we've not had what we needed and all of sudden, bam! We have a table that way, and two beds and two chests of drawers from three separate occasions where this sort of thing happened. Today, we get twelve folding chairs. :) March on. God will provide.
38. Opportunities like meeting Marie-Helen Matthieu of Faith and Light, and Gregg Gannon's family at the Food drive, that come from being a Freelance writer.
37. The vision of Heaven, the promise of it if we seek. The other day, I went to adoration and found myself singing in my head, a song sung at mass, the words of the good thief, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom." and as I allowed myself to follow the memory, I imagined the giant receiving line one would find at a great wedding. We did not get to have a receiving line at our wedding reception as we would have spent the entire time greeting everyone. But in eternity, time is not an issue, and so we would have the distinct pleasure of getting to really converse with each person who led us to this moment, culminating in the one who gave us the opportunity to be here at all. It brought great joy to vision it, and to hope that this is part of the experience of the great wedding feast.
36. My intellect is dusty and clunky, but I'm grateful for all that my brain can do, even if the rest of me sometimes doesn't make what it thinks up, happen.
35. My body is dusty and clunky and clumsy, but I'm grateful for all it can do, even if the rest of me sometimes (read often) doesn't make what it should do (exercise) happen.
34. The gift of hearing stories, having an understanding face. Sometimes, I'll be just in the process of going about life and someone will tell me a story that is so heart-breakingly beautiful, I can't stand it. Whenever I get the privilege of hearing one of these tales, I know it is a gift.
33. Growing up with lots of Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I don't get to see them often, but when I do, it's like breathing in childhood, it feels comfortable, and I'm so grateful to have all of them.
32. The Happening Team. My parents belonged to a retreat team for young adult Catholics in the early 70's (hence the name), and the people I met there (as a child aged 4-8 I think), are still my friends today. They sang at my wedding. Some of them taught me in school, and when I hear songs at mass they sung, the way the songs are sung now, doesn't sound right to me without their voices.
31. Long road trips with my family are a gift my husband organized over the years that now is an expectation. Of course people always grouse when we say the magic word "Camping" but that complaint gets destroyed by the actual beauty and fun of doing it.
30. Unexpected Snow days. They are my favorite. We sleep in. We dig out. We make hot chocolate and everyone just unwinds. It's what makes winter (after Christmas) bearable for me.
29. Lunch dates with my teens. It's a tradition I began back with my oldest. When they get a half day, we go out to lunch. It's nice to get to visit with just the older ones and to give them that sort of solo time (or close to solo as it comes in our house).
28. My daughter Anna keeps making me rediscover the joy of toddlers. Because I've had toddlers for so long, I sometimes gloss over the events I should notice. She revels in everything as a first child, and so I get to re-experience the newness with her.
27. I'm almost done with this boast and I've made good on it. Good thing I didn't say 1000...though I probably could....stop...don't say that Sherry. Okay, that I'm part of the Catholic Conference 4 Moms.
26. Catholicmom.com's weekly column of Small Success Thursday which began over at Faith & Family and became my project --a gift from Danielle Bean to me, and has led to other opportunities to write for publication and also a weekly habit of cultivating gratitude. Come over and see the last twenty-five posted and leave your own list!