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When I thought about the title for this blog, I began to think I would post some thankful thoughts on the last Thursday of each month. I have since decided instead to end each month with a list of things/people for which I’m thankful. One item for each day of the month. By the end of the year I’ll have a list of 365 reasons to be thankful! I’ve heard, and science has confirmed, being thankful makes us happier. One of the things that triggered these thoughts was looking for a new Bible study for the ladies at Church. Our next study will be Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts”.  Onethousandgifts.com says of the book, “This fresh, heart-wrenching book unveils the long forgotten wonder that through the imitation of Christ’s thankfulness, we too can experience a life of joy.”

So here are my 31 thanks gifts for January:

  1. New beginnings. Every moment is an opportunity for new beginnings. The Bible is full of stories of new beginnings. Even the last book speaks of a new heaven and new earth.
  2. Opportunities to celebrate people, even if it’s just because they’re another year older.
  3. A job with co-workers who are also great friends and encouragers.
  4. Enough money to pay the bills and a little extra.
  5. A good report from the doctor.
  6. The ability to think, ponder, remember, dream and imagine.
  7. Time with family.
  8. Prayer.
  9. The laughter of children.
  10. Enough snow to add to creation’s beauty but not so much that it takes a lot of shoveling.
  11. Shelter from the storm, cold and/or wind.
  12. Ways to keep in touch with friends around the world.
  13. People who serve/have served in our Armed Forces.
  14. The folks at the local fire company – all volunteers.
  15. Comfort in times of grief.
  16. My car continues to get me where I need to go.
  17. People who are examples of being overcomers.
  18. Forgiveness.
  19. Confirmation that God is speaking to me.
  20. Circumstances that trigger fond memories.
  21. The technology to capture photographs.
  22. Sandy – the lady in Chicago who answered my customer service call with a pleasant voice, kind attitude and helpful information.
  23. Books.
  24. Knowing my identity is in Christ Jesus and it doesn’t matter what other people call me or think of me.
  25. Not having to always be original – I can share something from someone else that touched my heart.
  26. Music which stirs your soul without words.
  27. Reminders to keep pursuing my dreams.
  28. Warm days in the middle of January, even if it is raining.
  29. Waking with a song of praise.
  30. Eyes able to see people smile.
  31. Making new friends.

As I was making my list, I remembered the hymn “Count Your Blessings”. Looking at the words to the verses, the hymn suggests to count your blessings when things are not looking good. I challenge you to start your own list or journal of the many gifts that come your way. May you have more than 1000!