Thanksgiving is next week! Woot! I love turkey day. I love all the cooking, the gathering, the stuffing of mouths and the bellies full of satisfaction afterward. I also love hearing what everyone is thankful for.

I’m grateful for so much in my life throughout the year and thank God every day, but I don’t always get a chance to specifically say it aloud to the world. So in celebration of Thanksgiving, each Thursday in November here on the blog I’ll be sharing some things I’m thankful for.

This week I am thankful for the material things I have been blessed with:

  • I have a home. It is by no means Better Homes & Gardens worthy – in fact, is not even guest worthy most of the time – but it is a roof over my and my family’s heads. It isn’t new with all the latest and greatest upgrades, but it is spacious enough for a family of five (sometimes six). It needs repairs and appliances have needed to be replaced, but I am grateful that I own it (well, I’m paying a mortgage on it anyway), that it gives us more than just a space to lay our heads, but a place to actually live.
  • I love my car! After years of driving the mom’s requisite used minivans and SUV to fit all the soccer players, I have something I love to drive. And it’s mine with room for only one other person. Of course, that means we still have a family vehicle, too, and the teens have what they need. They may not have the vehicles they would prefer, but what they have gets them from Point A to Point B safely and reliably, which is all a mom asks for. The insurance bill is painful, but I’m grateful for what it means each time we pay it. I’m also grateful we can afford the fuel for all the places we need to go.
  • Then there is The Man’s Harley. This is a luxury that we’re determined to hang onto as long as possible. We worked hard for it, waiting many years before allowing ourselves to indulge, and it has rewarded us in so many ways. Riding on the back allows my mind to roam free, which has done wonders for my writing. We’ve also met new people and made friends that we otherwise might not have made. This is one of those guilty pleasures I’m grateful to have.
  • We have clothes, dishes, food in the fridge and cabinets, comfortable furnishings, computers and cell phones and extra little gadgets. I love my Kindle even if it’s old by today’s standards and my iPad, especially because it was kind of free. We don’t have every game system in the world and we don’t even have television except what comes in on the airwaves, but we have so much more than many and I am so grateful for that.
  • Books! I have hardbacks and paperbacks, some even signed, overflowing my shelves, and ebooks stacked up on the Kindle. Each of these provides an opportunity to escape into another world, providing much more substance to my life than any of those electronic gadgets. God has given me so much and He can take it away in the blink of an eye. If He does, I hope He at least leaves me books. I can survive without the rest if I can have books to escape within.

Writing this has made me feel so spoiled. It’s easy to wont for more and for better – the house needs this, the kids need that, I want this, we want to go there – but I really do have so much. I think of what Katniss would think if she saw how we lived – what people in our real world who don’t have a home, food or even clean water would think and I become disgusted. But thinking about it also makes me that much more grateful because there’s only one reason I have what I have – I’m blessed. I’ve been given a good life, full of opportunities and choices not everyone is offered. Yes, I’ve worked for it all, but only because I was born and put into places and situations where I even had that chance to work for it.

We can complain about the laundry, but at least we have clothes, a washer and dryer, water and electricity. We can complain about the dishes, but at least we have cooked and served food to our families. We can complain about grocery shopping, but at least we have the means to provide. We can complain about housecleaning, but at least we have four walls around us and a roof over our heads, beds to sleep in, places to clean our bodies. So many people would give what little they have to enjoy our complaints.

So what are you grateful for?