Five years ago I was dating a woman who requested that we start a Thanksgiving tradition listing 100 things that we were thankful for and sharing our lists with one another on Thanksgiving day. The list had to be 100 things and could contain anything we wanted but nothing could be repeated and some of the items on the list required a brief explanation for some reason or another.
Quite honestly, for the life of me I cannot remember why we had to give an explanation for some of the items on our list, but as you’ll see from reading mine, I gave an explanation for a number of items so there was obviously a reason for it.
Anyway, after rummaging through my hard drive cleaning up old files I happen to run across my list and thought I would share it with you. Like I said, five years had passed and even though I have not forgotten spending that Thanksgiving with her in 2011, I had forgotten that I saved my list.
So, without further ado…
100 things I’m thankful for
1) God’s gift of salvation – because I no longer live in the bondage of sin and it shows God’s great love, grace and mercy to me for something I don’t deserve.
2) Clean drinking water – it’s refreshing and there are places in this world that don’t have the benefit of a fresh, clean glass of water.
3) Toothpaste – because it provides fresh breath and keeps my teeth clean so I don’t lose my teeth.
4) My relationship with SJG – In just a few short weeks, with or without knowing it, she has shown me how to love another person unconditionally; without reservations and without fear. She has brought a joy and happiness to my life that only God could have orchestrated. I’m so thankful for her desire to pray and study God’s word with me and a desire to spend time with me and not be afraid to share her heart with me. I’m so very thankful for how she challenges and encourages me. I’m thankful for her heart and how she desires to see people change their lives and have a relationship with Jesus. I’m thankful that she prays with me and for me. I’m thankful that she desires to talk with me and spend time with me. I’m thankful that she is honest, caring, loving, motivated, energetic, smart, funny and full of life. I’m thankful for God leading S and I into each other’s lives at just the right moment. It’s only because of Him that we have this opportunity to grow with one another, to love each other and to share our lives with one another in such a special way. God really is a great and awesome God.
5) For my new job and home in Another City!
6) My parents – their never ending prayers for their family and their love for us is so humbling.
7) My nephews – each one has their own identity and I’ve learned a lot about patience and love through their relationships with me.
8) Future Marriage to SJG
9) Hot Water Heaters
10) The Smell of Fresh-Cut Grass
11) Cherry scented Cigars
12) Rainbows – because it’s a reminder of the promise God made to Noah not to flood the whole Earth again.
13) The Church – It’s wonderful to have a group of people to worship, pray and build relationships with in Christ. To have a place where we can learn more about who God is and what He desires of us as followers of Him.
14) Flushing Toilets
15) Every Holiday with my family.
16) My Car – it was an answer to prayer and little did I know that when I bought it, it would be my transport between Lincoln and Omaha to see a woman I am in love with.
17) Sunrises and Sunsets
18) Hair Dryers
19) My Old Barber – for 20+ years he was the best at his profession. He had a great personality and was so willing to serve people.
20) Facebook – it’s allowed me to connect with family and friends in other cities and who I haven’t seen in many years.
21) Skype – I can use this online tool to talk with and see my family who live in another state.
22) Digital Video/Still Cameras
23) Fishing trips with my dad – It was “our” time, just me and my dad, and I cherished those moments with him. He showed me how to bait a hook and take a fish off the line. We had some good talks and even when we just sat on the bank in silence, I was aware that he was there with me and wanted to spend time with me. Our time fishing together was important to me and I will always be thankful for those days/nights we had together.
24) My Grandmother’s jokes and laughter and her desire to have her family all gather in one place for the holidays.
25) The Ability to Walk/Run, taste and see and hear.
26) Freedoms to start a business, live where I want and speak freely in my country.
27) Grocery stores
28) Washing Machines and clothes dryers along with Automatic Dishwashers
29) My many failures and successes that have led to my growth in life. All the events have made me who I am today.
30) My childhood friends – We had a blast growing up! They were such a big part of my life for so many years and we shared some really great experiences. Riding bikes in the dirt trails, making forts, being my teammates in sports. Camping out in the backyard. Staying up late and running around the neighborhood. Having one another’s back in a pinch. They were my BEST friends for so many years. I learned a lot from our experiences.
31) My grandfather taking me to get a fishing rod – My grandfather wasn’t the kind of man to call his grandkids and request time with them, so the day he called to ask me to go with him to get a new fishing rod meant the world to me. We spent a couple hours together and he let me pick out anything I wanted. I really cherish that time we spent together and I miss having him around.
32) My Sisters – We had fun growing up and knowing that they are just a phone call away to talk with brings a bit of comfort.
33) The Godly men who have taught me over the years of my life.
34) Warm blankets right out of the dryer.
35) MP3 players
37) Naps – they refresh me for a few more hours.
38) Alarm Clocks
40) FM radio
41) Answered and Unanswered prayers – I’m thankful that God didn’t answer many of my prayers over the years for reasons only He knows. I know now that it was to either protect me or to help me to grow before I was ready for what I was asking for. But I am thankful for the prayers He has answered.
42) The safety that God provided moving my sister and her family to N.D. – The roads were icy and we were all running on very little sleep but God made a way for us.
43) Food – I am thankful for food that nourishes and helps to provide strength and vitamins to our bodies. I’m thankful that food is a way for people to gather and talk and get to know one another around a table. And I’m thankful because food can bring a smile to someone’s face.
44) Space Heaters
45) Scented candles
46) Toilet Paper – (for obvious reasons)
47) Paper Plates
48) Doctors and Nurses who are trained in their profession to help with healing wounds or performing operations, delivering children or caring for the sick.
50) Fiber Tablets – Thankful for these because they are a great way to lose weight and keep it off naturally.
51) My apartment – it has been a warm and safe place to live.
52) Comfortable shoes
53) The many friends that have encouraged me over the years to try new things like: country swing dancing, riding roller coasters, exotic foods, taking trips to new places.
54) Television Remotes
56) Soft pillows
57) Deodorant & Antiperspirant
58) Park benches
59) Pumpkin Spice Smoothies from Scooters
60) My Bible – I’m thankful that the word of God to direct my steps, correct me when I’m wrong and helps me know how to live as Jesus instructed.
61) Ice Cream – I’m thankful for comfort in a cup or cone!!
62) Holidays at my grandparents house as a kid.
63) Trips to the country or the lake anytime of year.
64) God’s provision in good and desperate times.
65) Hugs and Kisses while cuddling with S.
66) Wall Spackle
67) Online Shopping
68) Running on a hot summer afternoon
69) Really big Thunderstorms
70) Being able to pay for my college courses and books without having to take out loans.
71) Being able to get debt free
72) God’s protection from evil things
73) Learning to Snow Ski
74) Over coming my fear of heights to ride an extremely high roller coaster.
75) Taking a chance at playing the lead role in a church play
76) My high school music teacher who convinced me to try out for a jazz ensemble.
77) Hot Chocolate on a cold day.
78) Coaching a fourth-grade YMCA baseball team
79) People who are friendly and respect others.
80) Watching my nephew catch his first fish.
81) Being patriotic.
82) Knowing my dad made it back safely from the Vietnam conflict.
83) Good Health.
84) The Seasons of Fall and Spring.
85) Canoeing down a long river with friends.
87) Country Music
88) Maps and GPS
89) The kindness of strangers
90) Watching a funnel cloud form
91) Saturday morning Cartoons
92) Playing football in the park
93) Singing in a church choir
94) The peace and quiet that happens directly after a freshly fallen snow.
95) The summer family trips we would take to Mount Rushmore or Colorado in a car with no A/C.
96) A text from a close friend or family member.
97) The tiny hand of a new-born baby gripping my finger.
98) All the nights in the old neighborhood where all the kids would gather at the end of our driveway telling jokes and stories for hours.
You’re probably asking where her list might be?
Unfortunately, her list is in a landfill somewhere because a week after we made these lists and shared them with one another, our relationship came to an abrupt end. That’s when she requested I destroy hers because she . . and I quote . . . “didn’t want that stuff floating around out there.”