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2019 Thankful List

Every year, I make a list of 50 things I’m thankful for, and I publish it on Thanksgiving Day.

Ceramic Christmas Tree

However, this year Thanksgiving week was a rough week and I did not get my list finished.

I thought about just deleting the draft, but several of you have asked about my list.

Aaand just the other day one of my brothers texted me and mentioned how helpful a gratitude list can be.

So, I figured that this might be a message telling me that I needed to dust off this draft and finish it. I wrote the first fourteen in November and finished the rest up in December.

I am thankful:


That I am held in God’s hands, and that He is working everything in my life for my good. Not for my ease, but for my good.

That is the bedrock that is there to hold me up when life feels like a freefall.


For the gift of writing. I don’t love talking nearly as much as I love getting my words out while typing. Somehow, a keyboard opens the floodgates!


For my little group of good friends who are there, no matter what.


For the fact that even though this world is full of hard things, there are also bright spots, and places to find joy.


For the really, really good sermons that my pastor preaches each week.


For a good physical therapist, who has worked on Mr. FG, Sonia, Zoe, and me all in this year (mostly knee issues!)


For EMTs. We used their services three times in a week recently, and it reminded me how grateful I am for people who help people in dire straits.

ER clock


For coffee, chai, and other lovely hot drinks.


For books. My life would be so much less rich without them.


Related: the library. My life would literally be much less rich without the library. Ha.

I’m grateful I don’t have to buy all the books we read.


For the opportunities my church gives us to practically serve local people in need.


For changing seasons throughout the year. There are upsides and downsides to all of the seasons, and I’m glad things switch up so I can experience a different set of good and “bad” things all year long.

snow on split rail


For air conditioning. Because I really, really do not like to be hot and sweaty.

And because humidity makes me crazy.


For encouragement from other people.

The idea of going through life without encouragement feels almost as daunting as going without food. So I am grateful for people who encourage me!


For older people. The older I get, the more I really, really appreciate hearing wisdom from people who have been around the sun more times than me.


For Amazon Prime. I know there are issues with shopping at Amazon, but right now, I am just really grateful for fast delivery of presents.


For hugs from Mr. FG. There’s nothing quite like a reassuring hug.


For my children. They are all a gift from God.


For our funny tree.

Clay the Christmas Tree

Clay the Christmas tree has made a lovely addition to our living room this year. 😉


For you all, my readers. I love how responsive you are (not many blogs still have active comment sections these days) and what a lovely community you all are.


For blogging. I love combining words and pictures, which means blogging is the perfect thing for me.


That the shortest day of the year is almost here.

The days are going to get longer again soon, people!

(Well, for those of us here in the northern hemisphere, at least.)


That there’s been a nice long break from teaching a new driver. Lisey got her license almost two years ago, and how it’s just about time for Sonia to get her learner’s permit.


That my problematic mole was not cancerous.


For my older brother. We were not very close when we were kids, but now that we are adults, I really find it helpful when he shares his perspective on life.


That a string of sunny days is in the forecast.

I can handle the cold a lot better when it is accompanied by some happy sunshine.


For a reliable car. Other than preventative maintenance (and squirrel damage!), my van hasn’t had any issues so far (it’s a 2012).

And the Sienna I had before this one was also fabulously reliable.

Yay, Toyota!


For music with encouraging lyrics that remind me of truth. Lately, I’ve been really appreciating the lyrics of some of Lauren Daigle’s songs from her Look Up, Child album.


For our cat. I didn’t think I was a cat person, but apparently I kind of am.

At least, I am into this particular cat.

I am particularly thankful for the joy that the cat brings to our kids.


For the funny filters on Snapchat.

We downloaded this app recently, and all we use it for is to send ridiculous selfies to each other. Mr. FG faithfully sends filtered selfies to the girls, and they love it.

(Somehow, his account is always loaded with hilarious new filters that the rest of us don’t have!)


That I live in a day and age where medical care is good.

My life would be so much worse if I lived 1000 years ago.


Speaking of which, I am grateful for vision correction.

Left to myself, I can only see clearly for about five inches from my eyes. I am so grateful for the way contacts and glasses allow me to function!


Also speaking of living 1000 years ago…I’m grateful I live now because as a woman, I have so many more choices, opportunities, and rights than I would have had then.

(Is everything perfect at present? No. But I’d sure choose now over 1000 years ago.)


For my height.

I’m 5’8″ tall and I just really like being this height. 

Tall enough to reach things, not so tall that it’s hard to buy clothes.


For the available funds to keep our house warm.

We used to keep it pretty chilly in our leaner days, and I am grateful to not be freezing now when I hop into bed at night.


For Aldi.

Probably my favorite thing about Aldi is that it makes higher-end foods so much more affordable.

Smoked gouda on my crackers?



For texting.

2/3 of my closest friends live multiple states away from me now, and I am thankful that texting allows me to stay in touch with them so easily.


This is a bit of a weird one, but I’m grateful for the ability to talk to myself instead of just listening to myself.

Basically, I’m grateful that although feelings seem a little out of our hands, we are designed to be able to change the direction of our thoughts.

For instance, if I feel ungrateful, I can decide to hunt for things to be grateful for, and that hunt can change my feelings.

I can say, “Ok, Kristen. I know you think things are tough, and they are, but there are also good things. Remember this? See this? It’s not all bad. There are mercies here.”

And that is much better than just listening to the not-so-thankful words my mind wants to focus on.


For the hilarious times we have at dinner.

They especially happen when Lisey is home to eat with us. 🙂


That we chose no-deductible windshield coverage on our car insurance.

windshield crack

It was a good decision because this crack makes the fourth windshield we’ve replaced on our cars in the last two years!


For a safe, comfortable home.

Perfect? Ideal? No. But it’s good.


For parents who love, pray for, and support me and my family.


That Mr. FG and I share our faith. I am so grateful that we share this common ground that is foundational for both of us.


For so much readily available information. The internet has its downsides, but boy, I really love being able to learn things and find answers to questions so easily.


For the good education my parents gave me.


Related to the prior item: the can-do attitude that I think I maybe picked up by osmosis.

I don’t really remember my parents talking about this a lot, but somehow, I came out of my childhood thinking I could do almost anything I wanted to as long as I was willing to put in the work.


me in 1985

And maybe that’s part of it…my parents consistently expected hard work out of us.  I did not love it at the time, but I appreciate it now. 🙂


For 41+ years of life.

Not everyone gets as many years as I’ve had, and I’m grateful for each one of them.


For a mostly healthy body.

Nothing is perfect, of course, but overall, my body works pretty well most of the time!


For the good things happening in the world, amidst the bad news.

For instance, according to this article, The Global Burden of Disease Report said that between 1990 and 2017, the number of kids and teenagers dying around the world decreased by more than half, from 13.77 million to 6.64 million.


For optimism.

I keep thinking I should get a t-shirt that says, “Relentlessly Optimistic” because even when I am down in the dumps, I do still always kind of have a sense that things are going to get better in the future.

Maybe I’m crazy; maybe I’m wrong. But regardless of what actually happens in the future, optimism brings me joy now. 🙂

Fifty is a little long for a blog comment…but if you’d like to make a shorter thankful list in the comments, I’d love to read it!

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Jem Horwood

Saturday 28th of March 2020

I am thankful for your thankful list! Just what I needed to read today. :)


Sunday 29th of December 2019

Thank you and may your 2020 be blessed.


Monday 23rd of December 2019

So much for which to be thankful this year. Some highlights:

1. Marco Polo to continue relationships with friends who have moved away (or when I have moved away). One of my richest friendships is through Marco Polo.

2. My church who has supported my family through deployment, surgeries and other medical challenges, and living very far from family.

3. The luxury of staying at home with my 3 littles. Because of of medical exceptionalities in now 2 of our children, shuttling to and from therapies, appointments, and school in addition to talking to supply companies, insurance and 7 medical providers is literally a 30 hr/week repsonisbility, and there is no way I could do that without my husband having a stable and well-paying job. Spending time in the exam room or waiting area isn't my idea of fun, but I get to do it with my children rather than being distracted by work that I'm missing or trying to get done. I know this is a luxury, and I am so tremendously thankful for it.

4. Extended family that live only a day's drive away. Grandparents are far away and our kids don't get to have those special times with them nearly as much as I'd prefer, but we have a few people locally and an extremely large and generous family just a day's drive away that loves to love on our kids as if they are their own.

5. My kids. My oldest is 21 months older than my youngest, and the 3 of them have no memory of a day without the other as a result. They hold hands in the car as they sleep because they can't hug each other in carseats. They have so much fun with each other, and I wouldn't wish it any other way.

6. God's healing hand. THis year my son had his trach removed and breathes through his mouth and nose like God designed us to do. And since then he's handled flu and pneumonia without needing oxygen support or a hospital stay. 2 years ago a mild case of pneumonia (so mild that it took a while for the doctors to decide that it was in fact pneumonia) landed him in the hospital for 2 weeks, and at one point he went critical enough I wasn't sure he was going to make it. But no more. He's not medically fragile anymore. He doesn't have to see a pulmonologist anymore.

7. Hugs.

8. so many gluten free products on the market that allow for a decent sandwich or pizza when I want one.

9. The ability to run. I ran a 1/2 marathon last month and I remembered how much I enjoy running.

10. The all gracious God who invites us to rest from our work every week, who gives us freedom from the evil in our hearts that seeks to destroy us.


Monday 23rd of December 2019

Thank you for sharing your list. I had wondered about it this year. Sounds like you are going through some difficult times. I hope things are better/get better soon.

I should really sit down and make a list of 50 sometime. For now I will just do just 3:

1. My family is not perfect (whose is?) but I sure am glad I got the folks I did for family members. Despite our differences and distances, I never feel I am really alone out there. Same goes for my friends.

2. A veterinarian who is open on Sundays and could see my sick kitty yesterday so there is one less thing to stress about over the holiday.

3. My tiny house. It may be 70 years old but it is well-built and snug and has a good roof! And because it is small, it keeps me from wanting/collecting too much stuff.

Hawaii Planner

Monday 23rd of December 2019

A lovely list. My list is pretty short, but the older I get, the more thankful I feel I become. It's important for me right now to block out so much of the negativity & things that worry me. Not because I don't want to be an educated person who works for change, but it cannot consume me. And, if I spend too much time on it, sometimes it can.

1) My family. Both extended and immediate. I am incredibly grateful to have a marriage with someone I enjoy, two kids I adore, and parents & a sister that I legitimately want to spend time with. When I hear about how other people dread the holidays, I reminded of how much I enjoy time with my family. 2) Good jobs, and enough money to pay for all that we need, plenty that we want, and enough to help others. 3) My best friend, who has been in my life now for 25 years! 4) My health. I have a chronic disease, but it's been mostly "in remission" for years, and I'm incredibly grateful. 5) My own optimism, spirit, & capabilities. Much was gifted to me genetically & by my parents, and much of it I work at all the time. Every day.

PS. You & I are also very different. Our families our different. But, you are one of the reasons I've been blogging for close to a decade & I adore your blog, your optimism & your approach to life. So, I'm grateful to you, for putting out content that I always look forward to reading.

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