G is for Gratitude
I am currently blogging, along with my daughter, all the way through the alphabet. Check out how the idea started, and get the rules here.
With this being Thanksgiving week, the first thing I am thankful for is that the word Gratitude begins with G so I can do something on that theme. Here, in no particular order, is a list of other things I am thankful for. This list might get kind of long. I hope.
Three boys who, as far as I can tell, are very good to my daughters
A wife who loves and supports me, and continues to seek growth in her life
A church where I can work out my journey, and have a few other people to take it with me
A handful of friends who have, in the past couple of years, saved my life
That 25 years after graduation, some of my dearest friends are still the friends I made in Jr. high school
My brother — my closest companion on my spiritual journey through life
That my parents are still here and still enjoying good health
The three best, brightest, most beautiful daughters any father could ever hope to have
That at age 42, I still have dreams — things to accomplish in my life that excite me, horizons I have still not crossed over, and potentials I still have not fully explored
That I have begun to make a new friend this year — myself
Those who have guided me spiritually this past year — especially Richard Rohr, Brennan Manning, Peter Scazzero, M. Scott Peck, Laurence Freeman, John Main, and Paul Thompson. My life is so much richer because of what I have learned and been able to put into practice from these men.
Our new church building. We’re home.
The house we now live in. It’s beautiful and we are blessed.
The unexpected pleasure of organizing my 25 year class reunion
The view from my office window
The view in my rear view mirror, on those increasingly rare days when all three of my girls are sitting in the back seats
The immense, unspeakable pleasure of continuing to see people we have loved and invested in for years make enormous strides in life
Learning to do nothing and enjoy it, with no guilt
A newfound ability to live well with what is mine, and let go of the rest
Seeing new fruits growing in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, and a few others
A deeper appreciation for people and their value
The opportunity to have spent almost a year seeing clients professionally
That my girls surround themselves with beautiful, loving, amazing, energetic, funny, high quality people who love and care for them
That 20 years ago to the day, come this December 5, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but that I have been able so far to accomplish everything I have wanted to do with my life
That I get to spend my life teaching, speaking, writing, and helping people. I did it! I set out in high school to craft a life where I 1) didn’t have to use math hardly ever; 2) got to work for myself without actually starting a company; 3) would get paid for doing what I love to do; 4) had a wide range of options open to me. Check, check, check, and check.
Free vacations on the lake, compliments of friends who love us
With the exception of Sandi (and that’s a big exception), I haven’t lost any of the people in the world I care most deeply about since last Thanksgiving
I didn’t receive any seriously bad news on any medical tests this year, and spent 0.00 days in the hospital
My worst fears about our finances have not materialized
Books and music
New rhythms in my life
The chance to make all I can make of this one life I have been given, and the privilege of having great people around me on the way
That the kid in John Mellancamp’s song was wrong. Life does NOT go on long after the thrill of living is gone. It keeps providing endless thrills, if we are up for the challenge of meeting them.
That this list was as long as I suspected it was going to be, and that I’m only choosing to quit here