The euphonic ancestor, Mya Angelou once stated, “Be present in all things and thankful for all things”.
The other day in preparation to enter into the season of Thanksgiving, I asked one of my children considering all that has transpired in the year 2020, what are you thankful for?
The look on her face immediately gave away her inner intentions!
She said well 2020 has been kind of terrible! Corona, a bunch of people got sick and died, quarantine, on-line school, we can’t go anywhere, we’ve been stuck in the house all this time… AND my birthday is coming up!
Ok kind of the response you would expect from an about-to-be 10-year-old. Right?
But how many of us who are adults, have let all of the CAN’T DO’S get in the way of overshadowing what God has STILL DONE for us during this most problematic, pain-filed year?
With that as a backdrop, I want to list 40 things that we still have to be thankful for.
1. You’re still alive – *see below
2. Persevered during the pandemic – Think about it! At the time of this writing, over 56 million people world-wide and almost 12 million people in the US alone have tested positive at one point for COVID. And even though not all have any physical symptoms, imagine the anxiety you would feel if it were you (given everything that is still unknown)? Of those individuals, 1.3 million (worldwide) and 255k (in the US) have died due to this terrible disease.
3. Are you feeling bad? Go through a real difficult time currently? – At least you are still able to feel something. Sometimes it’s therapeutic to be thankful that we are not numb.
4. Talking, walking, control over mental faculties – We get out of bed most days without ever giving it a second thought as out feet hit the ground. What would it be like to need assistance daily with simple task like washing, brushing our teeth, our using the bathroom?
5. Somebody(s) who care about you – They may frustrate you at times, but there is no better time to reflect on the benefits and blessings of having people to call friends and family
6. Roof over your head – Can you imagine living outside being exposed to the elements (EVERYDAY/ALLDAY)?
7. Heat in your home – My central heat has gone out a couple of times thus far this Fall. So, I’m particularly aware of the blessing it is to feel warm inside your home.
8. Clean drinking water – Think about the millions of people who woke up today around the globe, who’s soul desire was to find water clean enough to drink? It kind of puts it in perspective when we can’t have our choice coffee (late, frape’, macchiato) on a given morning.
9. You didn’t starve yesterday (and probably won’t today) – Think about it where you claim as your residence, you probably have access to something to eat. It may not always taste the best or be exactly what you desire but something always beats nothing!
10. Clothes & shoes – If you don’t think this is a big deal, try wearing a coat and boats during the Summer or flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt in Winter for an extended period of time and see how that turns out.
11. Any money you have – There are not many (if any people) that I know who couldn’t use more, but if you have anything at all it’s never a bad idea to expressed gratitude for what you already possess. My gratitude could open up the gateway for you to receive more?
12. Transportation – Whether you drive a luxury vehicle, an old jalopy, or are dependent on the services of public transportation think about how long it would take to travel if you had to walk everywhere you went?
13. Employment – It may not be the ideal or dream job, but consider all the millions of people aren’t working right now. That ought to be reason enough to cause us to appreciate it if you still are.
14. Breath, Sight, Touch, Taste, Sounds, Smell – Basically all of your senses that you never think twice about using and only notice when they aren’t working.
15. Working Wi-Fi/Internet access – You may be sick of Zoom but how would you get your job done remotely or see family and friends if it stopped working indefinitely?
16. Amazon – Ok well this might be a curse or a blessing depending on who you talk to. But what if you had to go out and expose yourself by getting all those goods that you have delivered to you? … Well maybe that wouldn’t be so bad for some as they would have to limit the amount of spending. But I digress…
17. Sunshine, sunsets, trees, birds, and breeze – When was the last time you thanked God for the beauty and simplicity of nature?
18. Laughter – No matter how you find it sometimes it feels good to get in a good laugh. Go laugh and then while doing so be thankful for that you can still do so.
19. Joy – A lot of things may be bad, but not everything. There is still joy out there waiting for you to experience. Make the choice to rejoice!
20. Music – No matter what your preference, you can still enjoy all your favorite songs (and discover new ones) that are just the push of a button away.
21. Technology – There may be a ban on travel, but thankfully because of technology we can still go and visit great places and see wonderful sites at places like YouTube, national geographic, etc.
22. Books – I have read some really great books in 2020 that I may not have had the time to if things were different and back to normal.
23. Little to no rush hour traffic and gridlocks – Need I say more?
24. Less dressing up – Even if you are like me and enjoy looking your best for business and work, hasn’t it been great to roll out of bed and “go to work” sometimes while still in your pajamas? … At least, you’ve saved a bunch on dry cleaning bills.
25. Netflix, Amazon TV, and other streaming services – You know I had to give a little love to the places that we can go to find some entertainment to take our minds off of the madness sometimes. Imagine if this quarantine would have been 10, 20, 30 years ago without access to all of these digital platforms filled with our favorite shows and movies? Can you imagine doing quarantine with a cassette tape or VCR? … Ok< I know I’m probably dating myself here.
26. Good food – Anybody besides me had some awesome meals this year that you may not have had the time to cook or try otherwise? I know one thing I’m thankful for is my grill! LOL
27. Pets – Personally I more comfortable with animals outside. But even I have acquired and aquarium this year and am thankful for the ambience it brings to my home office (even if it is way more work than I thought it would be).
28. A nice bed to sleep on – For years, I slept on a bad bed but this year my wife and I made the choice to invest in our sleep hygiene and boy has it paid off! (It doesn’t hurt to have comfortable pillows and sheets too!)
29. Alone time – I have re-learned the value of spending time contemplating and chilling this year. Finding quiet in the chaos is certainly something to be thankful for!
30. Money saved – Sure our options were limited this year, but at least we got save a lot of money while we were stuck inside. If you are like me, you took the opportunity to save/invest more (hello Stash App) or reallocate some spending (like all that money you would have burned up in gas going to work every day).
31. New opportunities – Whether it was starting a new business, reshaping or investing in an idea, or learning a new skill, this year has given us ample time and space to explore new things.
32. Health – This year, if you still have your health or are at least not hospitalized, isn’t that reason enough to be grateful?
33. Faith – I know the old folk used to say in church, “If it was not for the Lord on my side, where would I be?” Well, I thought I knew the meaning of that expression until this year! 2020 has given me the opportunity to discover a different kind of faith, that is not tethered to outcomes changing but more about exhibiting endurance through difficulty.
34. Hope – What are you looking forward to being able to do in 2021 that you weren’t able to do this year? For me, let’s just say, “wheels up!”
35. Love – I don’t know about you, but for some people in my life this pandemic has proved that I love them, and they love me. If not, someone could have easily, but chose instead to stay. However, above all, we are still able to experience the unrelenting love of God!
36. Resiliency – Have you become more resourceful this year? Had to make do with less? Or get creative with how you get certain things done? We all can be thankful for all of the adjustments that we’ve learned to make.
37. Prayer – When nobody answered the phone calls or responded to the texts, when there was nowhere else to turn to make it all come to an end, it’s great to have a God we can go to at any time about anything.
38. Grace – Yup! We should continue to be grateful thank God has given us so many things that we don’t deserve, including the ultimate gifts in His Son Jesus and the ever abiding presence of our Help, the Holy spirit!
39. Forgiveness – This season is a great time to be grateful for all of the things that God has forgiven us for. And maybe so places where places where we can be more forgiving to others?
40. Jesus – Need I say more?