I know that I have a lot to be grateful for. Growing up in the church, that gets beaten into your head on a regular basis, especially whenever a missionary on sabbatical comes to visit. Clean water, food, not having to be mutilated when you forget a hat--despite everyone's best efforts, these aren't things I'm grateful for; they're things that I pity others for not having. Maybe not the best attitude, but beyond going to a third world country for a few months, I don't know that there's much that I can do to change that.
Recently, I've had an upsurge of gratitude about the little things, which feel more meaningful to me than all of the big things put together.
For example, my husband and I went out to dinner tonight. I know that is a luxury that my parents and grandparents didn't have often (if ever) in the early days of their marriages. I'm grateful that we have jobs that let us indulge occasionally, and I'm especially grateful for the sacrifices of my parents that got me an education (and a myriad of free meals along the way).
It looks like our duplex is going to be rented sometime this week. Not only will this save us two month's rent, but the timing is so perfect that we won't have to rush moving. I'm grateful first for the savings, but I'm also grateful that B.J. and I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck, and that two month's rent isn't going to break the bank. I'm also thankful that God's timing is better than mine; if I'd had my way, we would have been moved into the new house two weeks ago and wouldn't have the time to organize things the way that we want.
Yesterday was my Grandpa's 80th birthday. I called to say hello, and we spent 45 minutes talking about our memories of camping trips, the most recent news from the family, and the good things that are happening in my life right now. I'm thankful for the relationships in my family--I have siblings who all like each other, and the older I get, the more I realize what a gift that is.
Overall, I'm grateful for all of the answers to prayer that I've experienced over the past weeks, and thankful for the things that I have, without even having to ask for them.