Thanksgiving Prompts 2021

November 30, 2021 1 By Mirm

Gratitude is a choice. Being thankful takes discipline. Since we were married 41 years ago we intentionally set aside the month of November to practice aloud counting our blessings. Still thankful. Still choosing. Still counting.

This year I am answering self-written prompts to think afresh of the things for which I am thankful. Please feel free to join me!

  1. Nov. 1 – I am grateful for a place I love to visit: There are many places I could say that I have been that have been favorites. There is a place I go, though not often enough, for which I am super grateful and that is the Tuten home in AZ. The relationships and the hospitality make it my happy place. There is comfort in a place where I can be myself and honestly loved, where Jim is remembered and where my kids also have godly friends.
  2. Nov. 2 – Modern inventions I can’t live without: First I want to say that I am extremely thankful for the ingenuity and creative problem solving of so many. There are too many things I could list that I can’t live without and for which I consider a blessing. I love the refrigerator, the lightbulb, cars, planes and TV/movies/cameras. But I must say that I would be very hard pressed to live without my phone these days. Thank you Alexander G. Bell.
  3. Nov. 3 – A favorite podcast: I love listening to podcasts on my way to work and I have several “go-to” podcasts. 100+ Significant Moments in Church History with Mike Woodruff and Armchair Experts with Dax Shepard. Let’s Talk to Lucy and Wait Wait don’t Tell Me are other regulars on my list. My all time favorite has to be My Sister Said it – but they haven’t dropped any new episodes in awhile. Thankful for this medium and the way it makes me laugh, think and feel a sense of perspective.
  4. Nov. 4 – Someone who inspires me: If I could list all the people that inspire me I would run out of room. People are surprising me all the time with their creativity and kindness. There are people I know personally, people throughout history and people I have not met but still am touched by them. Today, I am especially thankful for Colleen E. She pushes me to think biblically and live generously. She is a good neighbor, a good listener and good friend. She is a woman of character and I want to be just like her when I “grow up”.
  5. Nov. 5 – A difficult experience for which I am thankful – It is hard to say I am thankful for Jim’s illness and death but there is perspective at 11 years out. I know many people have gone through so much more with much less support and love and I am grateful for a few things this tragedy has accomplished. I am thankful that I am still choosing to live and to care. I am grateful for kids who live to make their dad proud (and their heavenly Father too). I am grateful that there is more ahead. More love. More life. More pain. More joy. More hopes and unexpected blessings. More friends. More memories to make. Never do I ever want to stop being grateful for the fact that I have so much more than I deserve.
  6. Nov. 6 – Something I use every day – Okay – There are many things I use every day for which I am thankful, but I must say today I am especially grateful for indoor plumbing, especially my toilet. Think about it.
  7. Nov. 7 – Something I like about my job- I wish I could say it was the salary or the meaningful ministry but it is the more important privilege of the people I work with that have become my friends. And since ministry happens best in the context of relationship I am blessed beyond measure.
  8. Nov. 8 – A gift I have given or received this year – I have been given many “things” this year, and I am grateful for them but I think that after a long season of isolation I am most thankful for the gift of time. Time given and received to laugh, to play, to visit, and even time to help.
  9. Nov. 9 -Something in nature- I love when God paints the sky at night! Sunsets come earlier these days but I like them better than sunrises because I am woke! They are one of my favorite things. By the way If you stay up all night to see where the sun went it will dawn on you! My other favorite thing are rainbows – God always keeps His promises and that gives me hope!
  10. Nov. 10 – Something that makes life easier – There are so many things that make life easier for which I am grateful. It may sound “cliche” but the computer has made the isolation of the pandemic easier. Shopping. School. Church. Work. Sport. News – et al… are just a few ways that the computer and internet have kept me connected. Easier is not always better, of course, but today I am glad for the benefits I receive because of people like Ada Lovelace, Bill Gates, Bob Kahn and Steve Jobs.
  11. Nov. 11 – A favorite song – My nephew and his bride danced to OneRepublic’s Something I Need.(… I had heard the song before but it struck me in a fresh way as I considered the question that if we only get one life, what are we going to do with it? I am grateful for lyrics that embrace a life committed to another person rather than one’s own small problems. Perspective is everything. This is why sharing gratitude breeds gratitude – you all have something I need!
  12. Nov. 12 – A recent small success – I have friends who’ve got skills I do not have! One sweet friend with the a superpower of clearance (purging) has been helping me let go of “stuff” without too much pain or regret. Learning to travel this life lighter is a small success for which I am grateful! And I am thankful for Lauren Sopp who has been holding my hand!
  13. Nov. 13 – One thing that cheers me up – I used to say walking down Main Street USA in Disneyland, but not since the pandemic and giving up my annual pass. There are other things that definitely cheer me up but today I am grateful when I am remembered with a text, an email, a phone call, or a lunch date.
  14. Nov. 14 – A basic skill – I am so glad that I can read. I am thankful for those who craft words, pen stories, create worlds through writing.
  15. Nov. 15 – The best thing that has happened this month so far – Perhaps celebrating Jim’s birthday with my kids. That is not to say that it was amazing and everything else pales in comparison, only that I love spending time with my kids and it doesn’t happen too often these days!
  16. Nov. 16 – 3 things that always make me smile – Emily. Clayton. Connor. (they aren’t things but they are my happy thoughts!) I am grateful for my kids and I think God for them every day (well at least most days! )As far as things go today I would say: Disneyland. Dodgers. Puns.
  17. Nov. 17 – A valuable lesson learned this year – I am learning to be grateful for the “down” time that the pandemic has brought. Believing that self care is not a luxury but rather a discipline is an ongoing challenge. Taking time to prioritize myself reminds me that life is meant to be enjoyed. It builds resilience so that I can serve and give and share with others better.
  18. Nov. 18 – A Favorite holiday memory – This year there were no holiday celebrations, but we did celebrate my dad’s birthday in October. He turned 88 and everyone in the family was able to stop by and tell him how much they loved him. It was a happy day and I am thankful for chance we had to see each other in person again and celebrate Rex.
  19. Nov. 19 – A talent or thing I am good at doing – I am grateful for the things I used to be good at like playing an instrument, teaching and ministering to junior high students, writing curriculum. I can’t say I am good at them anymore because I no longer do them – at least not with regularity. I am still a good mechanical thinker who likes to figure out how to fix things and be helpful.
  20. Nov. 20 – An act of kindness I have received – 2 yrs ago I had a total knee replacement and dreaded the recovery because I didn’t want to burden anyone to care for me. My Marji came down and cared for me. She is coming again as I get my right knee replaced. I am blessed by this woman who has been my bestie since high school.
  21. Nov. 21 – Something I take for granted – There is something so ubiquitous in our lives we use it without thinking about this amazing resource: electricity. Yet over a billion people live without it. I am grateful for it and I am taking this moment to think about all the amenities on which I am dependent that I take for granted. I have a thankful heart.
  22. Nov. 22 – A favorite activity or hobby that brings me joy – This has changed over the past year as I have let go of things I enjoyed because of the pandemic. I wish I had taken more time to focus on some of the quarantine related fads like making bread, crafting or binging television shows, but I didn’t. I really didn’t have much free time. Having said that I am grateful for the chance to do things that make me happy. Watching movies, reading books, playing cards and boardgames, spending time with friends – These are a few of my favorite things.
  23. Nov. 23 – A dream come true – I am grateful for the realized hopes and dreams that have been fulfilled. I am especially happy that my son-in-love is finally catching a break in the job field (having said that I really don’t want to jinx that!). I am still hopeful that the dream to go with my kids to Chicago will happen. We had planned to go for the 10 year anniversary of Jim’s heaven day but the pandemic has gotten in the way so far. Until then I will wait and sometimes with ‘patience’!
  24. Nov. 24 – A family tradition I treasure – I love my extended family and miss the community we occasionally enjoy. I am looking forward to Christmas! I also am extremely grateful for the treasure of my kids. I love spending time with them and though our traditions have changed and morphed over the years, my favorite thing is the time playing games and laughing together.
  25. Nov. 25 – A good experience with customer service – This one is odd since I really don’t shop anymore. I cannot even remember when I needed customer service! It has been a long pandemic and I am really thankful for all those who are working in retail with a good attitude and are having to put up with selfish customers who refuse to comply with safety measures. I will also say that there have been some amazing Etsy sellers who have stood behind their products and been very helpful with making sure their customers are satisfied. I love people like that and more all the time as it is increasingly rare.
  26. Nov. 26 – Something that was put off but finally accomplished – I went to a lawyer and made a will. Grateful for a husband that planned well and saved. Also, I set a deadline for something I have been working on for my kids – writing down memories and thoughts of a life of ministry.
  27. Nov. 27 – When was one time this year that I did the right thing even when it was hard – I think that speaking my mind has been difficult. The divisive and polarizing nature of our culture today has been intimidating at best and extremely destructive to relationships and families. “Unfriending” toxic relationships on social media and holding fast to convictions based on biblical truth has never been more difficult for me. I wish we could agree to disagree but the anger of others has become so toxic.
  28. Nov. 28 – What verse sums up my life this year – Phil. 3:13,14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
  29. Nov. 29 – What does “give thanks” mean – Giving thanks is more than an expression of gratitude, which we can say and not really mean it. Gratitude is more than words communicated; it is ultimately a mindset, a mentality. It is a keen awareness of our dependence upon a particular thing or person, and then demonstrating that appreciation. Thanksgiving is not really a holiday of indulgence and football, it is a lifestyle that actually sacrifices and succumbs to the reality of grace – undeserved favor.
  30. Nov. 30 – How have I served gratefully this year – I am thankful for the time I have gotten to spend with my parents. The fact that I still enjoy their presence and can serve them is a rare privilege fI never want to take for granted.