31. I am thankful for airplanes and skype. Good to see the faces of friends and family and know that they are only a plane-ride away.
32. I am thankful for grandparents who love us, and our children, with lots of energy, lots of time, and lots of themselves. And a mom who talked to me about the 3-finger approach of "Praise the Lord" that I secretly rolled my eyes at, but that set the tone for my own journey of gratitude. It made the vocabulary not so foreign to me. Thanks, Mom.
33. I am thankful for the opportunity to sit on a couch in Melbourne, FL on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a book while watching the restless sleep of my new-mom best friend, kindred spirit, or in the words of Anne of Green Gables, bosom buddy. What a gift just to be in the same room with her!
34. I am thankful for kids who work hard raking leaves. $1 a bag with no help from Mom or Dad. That would be 10 bags. That would mean Dad is out 10 bucks.
35. I am thankful for the little street urchins we call neighbors...the gang of 4th Ave. I love watching this array of kids playing in our yard. I love their persistence and their acceptance.
36. No, I'm not 36. But I just couldn't stop. I am thankful for the gift of grace. And mercy. In the words of Voskamp, "The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it’s the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn’t joy the art of God?" But I am finding, as I am seeing more deeply and practicing the art of gratitude, that I fail as often as not. I can in a split second recognize something to be grateful for and then give into the urge to feel stress, frustration, overwhelmed. I turn on the precious ones in my way, or withdraw in self-comsumption from my dear husband.
But... there is grace. And mercy. And its new every morning. I am flawed. But I am grateful for that, too. It is a constant reminder to look outside of myself. To the only one who did it perfectly, knows me fully, and loves me deeply still.