Everything We Want And What We Really Need

Today is a day for giving thanks, whether it be to some deity in the sky, or just to each other. No matter what your spiritual persuasion, today is for counting your blessings, or at least thinking of all the things and people for which you are grateful.

I haven’t in a while, but I used to regularly do what I call a “gratitude check.” Here is my gratitude check for today; may it spark a memory of something that you are thankful for, but may have forgotten about.

I am thankful that although my children work opposite schedules today which means we can’t spend the day together, it also means that in this fretful economy, they both have jobs. They both love where they work, so they are happy, which makes me happy.

I am thankful that my husband is also well employed, with a company that is making it clear they plan to advance him in the near future. His job is secure, and he also loves what he does.

I am thankful for my dogs and cat. For a while, it was somewhat questionable if we would have Oreo (our cat) around for much longer. After pulling all of his teeth and putting him on a gluten free diet, he seems to be in remission. When I started to write this, he was snuggled next to my arm, fat and happy. I’m sure he is thankful for his smelly fish and raw poultry.

I am thankful for our crappy house. I know that right now, a large portion of the northeast is either homeless or dealing with recovering from super storm Sandy. The incredibly small mortgage payment on this place has enabled us to start digging our way out of all our medical debt, for which I am also thankful. We may only have one bathroom, a hideous kitchen, and a laundry room that is primed but not painted, but everything is functional.

I am thankful for my incredibly talented children. With Matt’s newly learned skills in how to mic, record, mix and master, I am going to have the greatest Christmas card ever. Matt and Aubrey are working on recording five songs (two each and one duet) for a CD that I will send out as our holiday greeting. Who needs a Christmas letter about playing golf and traveling when instead, I get to show off my kids’ musical genius?

I am thankful for my incredibly patient, caring, supportive husband. He may drive me crazy with all of his nagging about my taking better care of myself, but he nags out of love. Ron bears the brunt of running this house, from shopping to cooking to laundry, all on top of his 50 hr work week. He is my gold at the end of my rainbow, and I cannot imagine my life without him.

I am thankful for my good days, even when they are far outnumbered by my bad days. I may have an excruciatingly painful illness, but it’s chronic, not terminal. In other words, I can live with it. I’m thankful for all of my pain management, be it chemical or physical, as it makes life bearable.

Lest I forget, I am thankful for you, my dear readers. You not only take the time to read my ramblings, you actually LIKE them. I may never be Erma Bombeck (rest her soul), but you certainly make me feel like it is somehow possible.

So on this day, let us remember that although we may not have all the things that we want, it is more important to have the things that we need. Face the world with an attitude of gratitude, and you may be surprised at all that you really have.

“Send some rain, would You send some rain? ‘Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud? Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down.
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today, maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case …

We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger’s view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case …

We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that’s the case …

We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace …

But, Jesus, would You please … “

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