Giving thanks

By Renae Brumbaugh

It’s my year to do Thanksgiving.
(Note to self: Be thankful for doing Thanksgiving at my house.)
The thing is, I was hoping to have a new kitchen by Thanksgiving. I have one of those old, Brady-Bunch style double ovens. Which would be great, if both ovens worked. But the door on the bottom one doesn’t actually close, so you can’t really cook anything in there. So now, the bottom oven is used for storage.
But, at least I have an oven, right? I mean, think of all the pioneer women who had to cook over an open fire. (Note to self: Be thankful for oven. And for being born in the twentieth century, instead of the nineteenth.) 
Not only that, but my house still has its original 1977 yellow gold countertop and sink. (Note to self: Be thankful that the retro look is in right now.) But new kitchen or not, the fact remains. This Thursday, I’m going to have a house full of people. 
So as I prepare myself and my refrigerator for more food than we will ever possibly consume, I’ve decided to make a list of things I am thankful for. And lucky for you, I’m going to share it.
1. Superman. He puts up with my blonde-ness and my forgetfulness and my navigational disability, and still acts like he got the better end of the deal. I’ll let him keep on believing that.
2. Pre-cooked turkeys.
3. Instant mashed potatoes. Is it cheating if I stand over a bowl with a potato masher and pretend to work the lumps out of them?
4. Candles. If I light candles, they make the house smell like I’ve been baking, and my guests will never know I bought the apple pie at WalMart. Also, I can dim the lights, and my guests will be impressed with the mood lighting. They’ll never know I’m trying to hide the fact that I hate to dust.
5. Paper plates. If I put a pretty tablecloth and centerpiece on my table, maybe no one will notice the Chinette. Then I won’t have to do dishes.
I can hear you saying, “Doesn’t this woman do anything? She doesn’t want to cook a turkey or bake or do dishes. What does she do all day long?”
The truth is, I will cook for Thanksgiving. I’ll bake pies and make desserts and casseroles and cute little veggie trays. But I have to leave a little time so that I can sit here and type this article.
Thus, the pre-cooked turkey and the Chinette.
But in all seriousness, I have more to be thankful for than I could ever hope to fit into this space. I am thankful beyond measure for my wonderful family, who loves me. I am thankful that, at present, we all are healthy and happy and strong. I am thankful for my children, who fill my heart with joy, bubbling over. I am thankful for my husband, who makes me feel loved and special.
I am thankful for my mom, who, even though I am $^ years old, still thinks I’m young. I’m thankful for my sweet, grumpy older brother who still treats me like I’m a child. Some things never change.
I’m thankful for a roof over my head, a car to drive, food on the table, and money to pay the bills. I’m  thankful that I live in a land of possibility and promise, a land where, with a little integrity and a lot of hard work, any of us can reach our full potential.
I’m thankful for the men and women who’ll be spending the holidays in a far-away land, separated from those they love most, so I can enjoy the holidays in peace. I’m thankful for their families, who sacrifice so the rest of us don’t have to.
Most of all, I’m thankful for a God who loves me, even when I’m not lovable. I’m thankful that He wants to be my friend and spend time with me. His is a love that will never end. It just keeps going and going.
Yep, I have much to be thankful for. My cup overflows.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

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