This is a continuation of giving thanks for all my many blessings from the previous blog.
K: I am thankful for puppy dog kisses. I know that sounds trite and somewhat silly, but, it really is something that lifts my mood, my attitude, and my spirit. We had Clifford, our Westie, for over ten years. He was about fourteen when he passed with a cancerous tumor. Robert, my husband, and I were heartbroken. Our cat, Skipper, passed away two months later. We have not had another dog, cat, or any other pet since. So, I frequent the Humane Society on a regular basis to cuddle puppies and talk to them as well as to the older dogs. I’m in heaven when a puppy snuggles under my chin and starts kissing my neck and chin. As soon as I walk into the puppy area I start talking to each and every puppy and it is as if there are no humans in there, just me and the puppy dogs. Thank you, God, for these precious loving puppies. They give so much, freely, without judgement, without expecting anything in return. Puppies are special gifts. Thank You.
L: Lou is one of my sisters-in-law. She has such a sweet heart and would do anything to help someone if she could. Lou and I have traveled together-we love learning about new places. We also share a love for plants and gardening. I am thankful to have Lou in my life.
Lauren is my sister Anne’s daughter. Lauren is my neice and an English teacher at a local high school. We haven’t been close over the years, but, with Anne, her Mother, gone, I hope to be there for Lauren in whatever capacity I can be of help or support. As we both are teachers that gives us a common frame of reference. Lauren is married and she and her husband Matt seem like a fun-loving pair. I pray she will call on me and know that I will be there for her. I will. I will. I am thankful that Lauren texts me and tries to keep in touch. That makes my heart smile.
M: Margaret is another sister-in-law. Margaret has been many things to me, sister, friend, confidant, and at times, Mother. We enjoy getting together in the afternoons for coffee, a sweet treat, and catch-up chats. Margaret and I are texting and email buddies. I am thankful that Margaret is in my life.
Mary is yet another sister-in-law. Living in another city, I was not able to see Mary as much as I would have liked. She and I were both teachers. We liked to share teacher stories. Mary was a sweet, humble soul. She loved me without question. We lost Mary suddenly a few years ago. We were all together for Thanksgiving. While that was such a shock and sadness, it was important that we were all together to support each other at that sad sad time. I am thankful to have known and loved Mary. She was a true lady and an angel on earth.
I am thankful for my step-daughter Molly. She is the most unique individual I have ever known. There is nothing she won’t try, and no place she won’t go. Molly has friends all over the world. Just keeping up with Molly and what she thinks, loves, and has accomplished is a blessing to me. I am awed with her thirst for knowledge and love for all people.
N: I am thankful for the neighbors we’ve had over the years. Quentin, an older gentleman used to live next door. He was like an adopted Grandaddy to me. He loved to talk and share stories from his past. He watched out for us as much as we watched out for him. He is gone now, but, he is in my heart and will forever be.
We now have new neighbors and they are a couple that have very quickly become close friends. They are there for us to help in any way, and we are there to help them in any way. We also just like to talk and share how our days went. We have become a part of each other’s lives. It is a good feeling to know friends live right next door.
O: I am thankful for older people. Even as a child I liked to be around adults and listen to their conversations. Today, I enjoy the company of senior citizens. They lived in a simpler time. They lived in a world that knew right from wrong. They have lived through experiences and come out wiser and stronger. The conversations always bless me. I am thankful they don’t mind me being around.
P: I am thankful that my parents provided piano lessons for my sisters and for me. When we didn’t even have dining room or living room furniture-we did have a baby grand piano. Because of their support of our musical education we taught ourselves how to play the guitar. The three of us formed a folk singing group. We sang in church, radio, TV, and from there we became involved in musical theater locally.
Q: I am thankful for the quiet mornings I spend on my deck watching the birds and chipmunks and squirrels in our backyard. By quiet, I mean there are no distractions. I enjoy only the sounds of nature. It calms the constant chatter in my mind, and helps me to connect more deeply with You, Dear Lord, where You and I can enjoy nature’s peace together. Thank you!
R: I am so very thankful for my husband Robert. He is first and foremost my best friend. We love to be together whether we are working in and around the house, traveling, enjoying our porch swing, laughing and being silly together, walking, and playing like two children. Usually outside, we love being in God’s Magnificent Natural Creation. Robert is a good, kind, gentle, and patient man. I have been blessed beyond measure that we met and married. Thank You, Dear Lord.
My brother-in-law, Al, is a Reverend, a Pastor, a Minister. I had never been related to a reverend, which was intimidating at first. I quickly grew to love Al. Tall and thin and quick with a laugh and a story, Al changed the ideas I had about ministers. Al loves to work in his garden, loves his golden retrievers, his boys, travel, grandchildren-all girls, and his lovely wife Mary, who recently passed. I am so blessed to know and love Reverend Al.
S: I married into the Stenhouse family. I am thankful for the many ways this family has taught me how love relationships are a two-way street. For them, love is a verb, an ongoing connection between two or more people. Good, bad, and in between, the connection, and staying connected, is a priority. Not only connected, but the relationships grow deeper and the love grows stronger. I thank You, Lord, for knowing what I needed to learn, and finding the family that could lovingly teach me.
T: Taylor is my oldest step-grandson. He is funny, fun-loving, and always has a smile and a hug ready for the taking. His motto has always been to live life optimistically, and that positive attitude is blessing his life in directions that surprise even him. He now works at the church with editing, planning, and leading programs for the grade five and six children. He also works in editing with a film company. We are proud of his ability to find employment doing what he loves.
Twins are another on my list of blessings. My mother was an identical twin, and my sisters are identical twins. Living so closely, I was able to see, if not totally understand, the ins and outs of twin relationships. Comparisons aimed at each other as well as comparisons from others upon them, have lifelong consequences-good and bad. Not just an observer, I became intrinsically part of the relationship equation. I am related, yet free standing. I am one connected to, but outside of the twin bond. Having seen the ups and downs I am thankful to be just me, yet, blessed in so many ways to be part of the twin connection. Thank You, Lord, for what my mother, my aunt, and my sister’s lives have and continue to teach me.
U: Uniqueness is an attribute of mine, I have no doubt others would agree. I am able to feel emotions more deeply than most. I see the detail in nature and am able to appreciate Your Magnificent Creation, Lord, in ways that open my heart, mind, and soul and allow those wonders to pour themselves into my being. I cannot thank You enough, Dear Lord, for allowing me to absorb so much of what this world has to offer. I pray that I will be able to see, touch, and hear even more of the beauty of this Earth.
V: Veneal is a friend of mine I have only met once. She and I are the same age and have both spent our careers in education. Veneal daily writes devotions and sends them out to a list of local subscribers-Christian teachers in our area of the state. I have learned much from Veneal over the years. I think of her as my teacher, my mentor, my friend, as we strive to live our lives as God intended for each of us, with our own particular talents and gifts. I thank you, Dear Lord, for placing Veneal in my life. You have shown me how a love connection can be vital-sight unseen. Bless her as she continues her ministry. She is one of Your special angels here on Earth.
W: Dear Lord, I am so thankful for my birth family, the Warwick Family. Mother, Daddy, me, and the twins, eighteen months younger than me, Anne and Fran. As all families do, ours was unique: complicated, restrictive, fun-loving, supportive, critical, expressive, silent, angry, and warm-hearted. Mother and Daddy reared three smart, beautiful, successful young ladies. We were noticed wherever we went and considered good in every sense of the word. I am who I am today because of my Warwick birth family. I am thankful for the influences of my parents and my sisters and how their lives impacted mine. There are only two of us here on Earth. Mother, Daddy, and sister Anne have gone to their Heavenly home. Sister Fran and I have work still to do here and I pray that You, Dear Lord, lead us to a closer and deeper relationship. We are on our own now. Please father us into the women You want to eventually bring home.
X: Dear Lord, thank You for the X-ray vision You have that shows me who I am down deep in my soul. Not that I really want to see all that is hidden from the light of day. It is a scary place and holds thoughts and feelings I’d rather no one see, especially You! But I know that unless those serious flaws of mine are brought to the surface, they’ll not be clean and polished to a bright shine. So, X-ray my heart, mind, and soul, Dear Lord, until only the light of love shines through.
Y: You, Dear Lord, are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Master Designer, Creator, Counselor, Healer, Provider, Protector, Teacher, Friend. I thank You, for wanting to be with me, and patiently waiting until I decided to make our relationship a priority.
Z: I am thankful for Zion, another name for the Kingdom of Heaven. As never before, I look with hope and faith that Heaven is my forever home and I will be reunited with my loved ones, especially Daddy, Mother, Anne, and Mama, who have recently passed from this life. I miss them and long to be with them. Zion, Jesus said, is where he would go to prepare a place for us all. Thank You, Dear Father, and leave the key under the mat.