An email from a friend this morning reminded me that true thankfulness will cause us to stop looking at our own miseries and turn our eyes to the grace we have been given.
Thus, my 2012 thankful list (in no particular order):
I'm thankful for being an American citizen, particularly in the month of November. We have a cultural reason to stop once a year and really think through what we're thankful for.
I'm thankful for my family. Family is usually at the top of most thankful lists, which does not necessarily make it unique. But my family is. My parents are the most generous and thoughtful people I know, and I'm thankful that they take the time to invest in others (particularly, their grand/daughters)!
I'm thankful for electricity. Yet another modern amenity that we tend to take for granted. While living without it on a regular basis (life in PC Africa) simplifies life, having a fan and source to charge my computer by is a true blessing in PC Jamaica.
I'm thankful for relationships. Before you jump to conclusions, I mean that I'm thankful for friendships. Life has been rather transitional since leaving high school, and I have met incredible people along the way. Though I cannot keep strong ties with every last person, I'm thankful for the opportunity to call many of you "friend."
I'm thankful for hope. As a Christian, my hope is sure. My hope is finished. Because of this hope, my circumstances--the ones I cannot control, the ones that I cannot explain, the ones I cannot fix--are bearable. There is more to life than circumstances.
Finally, I'm thankful for health. I'm thankful to be alive, in a functioning body made to heal itself in an incredible way.
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, GIVE THANKS in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. " - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18