This time of year gets everyone in the mood to list their blessings, naming them one by one. I find myself in that place, too. Sure, I have my share of struggles, heartaches, and frustrations...just like everyone else. However, I am living a very blessed life. God has given Brad and I four little boys who are healthy, happy (mostly), growing, loving, and very busy. Our home is full of laughter, tears, chasing, hide-n-seek, tickling until you get that deep belly laugh, hugs that warm your heart, and a faith that is growing. We are blessed to be in a home that is more than adequate - elaborate by global standards. Our neighborhood is safe, our friends are caring, our family is supportive, we have access to great medical care, running water, vehicles that are safe and reliable (although aging and high mileage), educational opportunities abound, our shelves are bursting with books to help us grow in knowledge and understanding of God, we have several copies of The Bible, our closets and drawers burst with clothes to keep us warm, the refrigerator is never empty, and our bellies are always full. Sometimes I find myself wondering if we have too much to be thankful...you know, truly thankful.
Don't misunderstand, I think we are all appreciative. My kids know that not everyone has a room full of toys and a nice warm bed to cozy up in each night - and they sometimes appreciate their belongings and one another. Brad and I fully recognize that we are blessed to be living this life - while it's often stressful, we have it easy! Somewhere, there is a mother who is uncertain if her young children will have food or clean water...and she is thankful when it comes. Somewhere, there is an elderly man who waits for a friendly visitor to come sit and talk for a while...he is so thankful for friendship when someone makes time to listen to him. Somewhere there is a family who loves one another deeply, but will be split up because they don't have a home that is safe...these folks are thankful for an opportunity to be together for a holiday or any day, for that matter. Somewhere, there is a little girl who waits in an orphanage or foster home praying that her "forever" family will come soon...she is thankful for a mommy and daddy when they arrive.
So, this year I am going to try to remind myself and teach my children to be really thankful for all that we have and what we don't have - and more importantly, to be generous enough to share the blessings. We are living a good life.