Two years ago I wrote each day during the month of November on Facebook about something or someone I was thankful for. Very little of those things have changed. I wanted to get them all in one place so I copy and pasted each days post into this blog post. Many of ya’ll are mentioned in here and I want to tell you I am still thankful to have you in my life. I updated the thanksgivings that needed updated and added a couple of new thanksgivings in places I skipped the first time. This was such a heart and life changing thing for me when I first did it that I encourage each of you to take a few minutes each day to write down the various things and people you are thankful for in your life. We get in ruts, get depressed, and sometimes get downright unthankful. This type of exercise shakes off all those things and surrounds you with all the mighty good things and people you have to be thankful for.
It is November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, I plan to post something I am thankful for everyday. Day #1 – I am most thankful to God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me, and his mercy and am terribly thankful for His Grace that I don’t deserve.
Day #2 of things I’m thankful for– I am thankful that God loves me even though I am a sinner, a dumb blonde, don’t deserve it and make it extremely difficult for him to love me. But he consistently and overwhelmingly loves me. I’m very thankful for the secure feeling of knowing he’s walking with me every day as a child of His and that my eternal life will be in Heaven with others who have given their lives to Him. UPDATE: More thankful than ever for God’s unconditional love.
Day 3 – Today I am thankful for my husband of almost 40 years (November 25, 1972). He looks past my fat old self and treats me like the young chick he fell in love with. He puts up with my mind slipping away with love and kindness. The saying that some things get better with age was meant for my honey Roy! Looking forward to hitting the road with you and enjoying our beautiful country side by side! I’m also real glad right now that you insisted on buying so much “stuff” during our marriage cause now that we’re selling them all I get to share in the profits!!!
Day 4 – I am thankful for the two Baptist churches I’ve had the privileged to be a member of. Lakeview Baptist in New Orleans and Trinity Baptist in Pumpkin Center. The people at Lakeview grew me up in the Christian faith and showed by their example what I needed to aim for in adulthood as my beliefs matured. I came to know Christ as my Savior at Lakeview and cherish the guidance my Sunday School, etc. teachers gave me there. My church family at Trinity have been an amazing support for my family the past 25 years since moving to Hammond. So many of them have been my rock through really horrible times and been there to rejoice with me through the wonderful times. When we hit the road they will always be our “home church”.
Day 5 – I am so thankful for my pastor Randy Davis at Trinity Baptist Church in Pumpkin Center. He’s always been there for me and doesn’t make me feel stupid for all the dumb things I’ve said and done! I’ve poured my heart out to him more times than I can count. He’s always there to support me and provide tremendous wisdom in his guidance. His preaching is something I can always count on to be truly Biblical and most of the time I think he’s preaching to me and knows just what bad things I’ve done that I need preaching to! Between Rev. J. Richard Randels at Lakeview and Dr. Randy Davis at Trinity I’ve been blessed to have such strong men of God as my pastors.
Day 6 – I can’t show thanks for one of these ladies without the other. Barbara Davis is my pastor’s wife who is also truly a dear friend. She’s also our banker at Whitney who saved us from the bad guys in Texas last month! She gives so much of herself for our church. Every little child in our church comes through Ms. Barbara’s 4&5 year old Sunday School class and the little girls are taught about missions in her GA class. I first came to be thankful her for her messages in song. Her voice is my favorite Christian singing voice and the heart she has for Jesus is very apparent every time she opens her mouth to sing. I can still remember the first time I saw she and her then little daughter Jessica sang together at church. Jessica had to stand on a chair to be as tall as her mama. Since that time I’ve had the extreme privilege to witness Jessica Davis Bryan grow into a beautiful Christian young woman with a voice that touches everyone’s heart. She’s been the music director at our church for several years and sings for us on occasion songs she’s written herself. What a blessing to see so many of Jessica’s truly God given talents used for His Glory! UPDATE: Jessica has moved on to doing her Christian work in another state but Mama Barbara is still sharing her love for the Lord through music at Trinity.
Day 7 – I’m thankful for my oldest son. His intelligence growing up blew me away at times and I couldn’t believe that he was really my son. His independent nature allowed him to travel to France with a group from school without shedding a tear like most of the other 10 year olds did. His love for America lead to him join the Army and serve in Iraq. He became a Captain in the Army before resigning his commission. He has a beautiful family of our oldest son’s wife who he requested that we do not use their names and three children. I’m very thankful for all the memories we have of getting to watch our oldest son grow from an adorable little boy to a gawky young boy to a handsome man. I’m also very thankful that he’s always known what he wanted in life and went for it without asking for much from anyone. UPDATE: He now has four children.
Day 8 – And then there was Chip!!! That’s how we use to put it when we tell how our oldest son was such a perfect baby that we thought we’d have another – and then there was Chip! He’s given us multitudes of reasons to be proud of him while growing up. I’m not sure he’s finished growing up(!) but God is definitely at work in his life right now and I see a bright future for him. He has been a huge support to me during difficult times, the first to show love for me and do anything I ask him to. I have so many memories of him as a little boy needing his mom and always being so appreciative. I never felt taken for granted by Chip (until this year). He needed so much help getting through school with his ADHD and a learning disability but I’ve always been thankful for that because it made us very, very close while I helped him learn and deal with life’s challenges. This past year has been a challenge for all of us where Chip’s concerned but I know God has great plans for Chip and he’ll always be my little one! UPDATE: So thankful for the direction Chip’s life is now going in. Also, he has wonderful Kimberly, Braxton and Bentley in his life.
Day 9 – We have four grandchildren now (three girls and one boy) and are so thankful for each of them. The one we get to see is Chip’s little girl Madisyn and she is truly the light of our life. Her little girl love puts a smile on my face during even the worst of times. She’s always so thankful for anything you do for her or give her just like her daddy was. Her pure innocent little heart took ours in from the first time we met her. We get to see her one weekend of the month and that is truly the brightest spot in our old lives! UPDATE: Our grandchildren total is now five (four girls and one boy). We still only see Madisyn and miss her terribly when we’re on the road. While we’re back home we see her as often as we can and are very thankful to get to watch her grow up.
Day 10: My thankfulness for my mama Josie Blum Traylor should have been nearer the top but she always put her husband, children and grandchildren above herself so I did too! She was the single biggest influence in my life during her lifetime. She taught me how to be a wife and mother and from her example I knew the kind of grandmother I wanted to be – just like she was. Having the privilege of her living with us at the end of her life was a gift from God. We created memories, crazy as they sometimes were, during that time that I can hang onto for a life time. I’m thankful for her deep love and pride in her family, the family traditions she passed on, the caregiving she provided my children when I couldn’t be there, her love for God and living a devoted Christian life, how she stopped the kids from running in church and wouldn’t let anyone bring drinks in the sanctuary or scolded folks for wearing shorts to church. She was one of a kind!
Day 11: I’m thankful I have a mama that deserves two days of thankfulness! I was able to visit with her often and have wonderful memories of her sitting in the living room and just letting me vent, cry, or rejoice. She’d stop whatever she was doing to pray for me when I’d call telling her I needed prayer. Her advice on marriage and parenthood were always spot on even though sometimes I didn’t want to listen at the time. I see now how very wise she was. My sons respected her so much that when they would do something bad they didn’t mind so much us finding out but please don’t let Grannie know cause she’d be disappointed in them. God gave me the mother that I needed and I miss her presence and support in my life each and every day.
Day 12: I am especially thankful for my sister Harriett. Even though she is several years older than me we are very close. She has always been a second mama to me and in recent years I’ve come to appreciate all she did for me and our family in my younger years. We are very different types of people being raised in two different generations but we were both raised by our mama and that makes us very similar in many ways. She is a giving, compassionate person who is always doing for others and I admire her a lot.
Day 13 – I’m very thankful for my father Leroy Blum. Daddy died when I was pregnant with Chip 31 years ago. All of my memories are childhood memories and they are wonderful ones. He taught me to fish and crab off the seawall in New Orleans and how to clean the fish. He was a Deacon at our church and I was very proud of that. I don’t think I was the best behaved Deacon’s child however. He taught me how to type on a manual typewriter, how to budget on paper – not on a computer. He was a wonderful gardener who grew peanuts, watermelons that he’s make baskets filled with straw for so they wouldn’t bruise as they grew and lots of other vegetables. He taught me about growing plants which I’m much better at than the vegetables. Mine all die! He taught me a love for collecting stamps which we’d work on for hours on end, helping out at church doing whatever was needed, and enjoying the simplest things in life to their fullest. I hang on to these memories, and many more as the time passes since he left us.
Day 14 – I am thankful for the pain and suffering I’ve experienced in life. It’s done many positive things for me. Once I pulled up my big girl panties and stopped whining about whatever it was, it has always drawn me closer to God. He is the one that I know I absolutely can always count on being there. Having a relationship with God has given me grounding and a strong rock to always be able to turn to. The pain and suffering has worn me down but when I come out on the other end I find I am stronger, wiser, better able to empathize with others and have a keener ability to sense when others are struggling and just need a friendly ear to listen to them. It also brought me closer to my dear husband Roy. He’s seen me at my weakest, at my most sinful and stood by me through it all with his steadfast support. We always think it would be great for life to be nothing but roses and sweet songs but I’m very thankful for what the pain and suffering has brought into my life.
Day 14 – My niece Dana and my nephew Greg are two semi young people I am tremendously thankful for and very proud of. Not only do they live their lives in a manner that makes me very proud, they have raised amazing children who are also my nieces and nephews.
Day 16 – I am thankful for holidays like Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving because we get to spend the day with sister’s family and our family. It’s the two times of the year when we all make sure we’ll be together. Everyone cooks something wonderful and we spend the day visiting, playing games and taking pictures to capture the moments! When mama was alive she was always Queen for a Day and thoroughly enjoyed seeing her whole clan together, loving each other.
Day 17 – I am thankful for weekends! They are what keep me motivated to make it through Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Getting up on a Friday morning I can start to feel the freedom that the weekend brings. I know I must work to eat and pay the bills so M-F have its purpose, but weekends are the bomb. Time to take things slow and do things throughly, put everything in order, create things, catch up on TV, go to church and rest. I know I’ll fit well into the slower lifestyle we are planning for.
Day 18 – I am deeply thankful that I’ve been blessed with dear friends who genuinely care about me and are there to support me through good times and bad. Some of these are ladies I rarely see now but have been close to in the past. Yesterday I was blessed with a visit from one of them. I haven’t seen her in forever, but I knew I could share our family difficulties of this past year. We hugged, I didn’t feel judged but felt understood and my heart was full with thankfulness for her friendship. I’m a fairly open person as you can tell on facebook but there are but a few people that I trust with the true hardships we’ve faced. I think God has sent me these dear friends at just the right moments along the way. I thank them all, they know who they are.
Day 19 – I am thankful for the New Orleans Saints and especially thankful that they are now 5-5 this year. I grew up in New Orleans and believe firmly that how the Saint’s play on a Sunday affects the mood of the city for days afterwards. They are the heart of the city of New Orleans. My devotion to the team is deep. I’ve lived through the losing seasons, bags on our heads, the Aints, and experienced the exhilaration of the Super Bowl win and the season preceding it. I have specific clothes I wear on game day (the ones I wore when they won the Super Bowl) and a necklace with Sproles, Colston and Brees on it that I wear to work the Monday after a win. Earlier this season I didn’t get to wear it at all! They are my guys and if they win we’re happy and if not “There’s always next year!” Through thick and thin I love the Black and Gold and can’t wait to spread Saints Spirit around the USA as we travel. UPDATE: We certainly have spread Saints Spirit everywhere we’ve gone. We have banners, signs and other spirited decorations for our RV. Being in Minnesota during 2012 preseason was torture since they don’t seem to understand the importance of showing the Saints games on TV up there and we had to really improvise to catch the games. Very thankful to be back in the New Orleans area for this 2014 season.
Day 20 – I am thankful that I have such clear eye sight now. It only took four surgeries and almost 20 doctor visits this year to get here, but I see perfectly now without contacts and without reading glasses. I’ve found almost 10 pair of reading glasses that I hid all around so I could always read. No more buying contacts all the time or glasses once a year. Two wonderful doctors made this happen. Dr. Eric Greiner and Dr. Sean Allison. Dr. Greiner did the 2 cataract surgeries and Dr. Allison did the two surgeries to remove the huge numerous floaters I had in both eyes. I am thankful for their training and caring nature that helped me through all this. One last follow up visit with Dr. Allison and I’m finished with this eye adventure that began back in January. UPDATE: I now have macular degeneration (a little) so my eye sight is no longer perfect but I am still so thankful for modern technology and these same doctors for their brilliance and continued care. Dr. Allison is now replaced by Dr. Noguchi whose care I feel quite comfortable in.
Day 21 – I am thankful for the years I’ve been employed at Southeastern. Working on a college campus like Southeastern is unique. I enjoy the beautiful oaks, seeing the students change over the years, seeing the campus change and grow, seeing football come back and one odd thing I loved was hearing the crack of the baseball bat during baseball season for 10 years when my office window was open in McGehee Hall. The friends I’ve made I will treasure forever. My boss Donna is the best. Not only is she one of my very best friends she is someone I admire tremendously and have learned a lot from. The ladies I work with know me inside and out and still like me. I am thankful for that.
Day 22 – I am thankful I have a husband who can do anything! He can build, repair, create, figure out and fix anything! He’s tired of doing all that now and doesn’t let his brilliance in these areas be seen too often lately but when he does I can say he’s still got it! Madisyn learned to say “Paw Paw can do anything” early on and man he will do anything for her!!!!! UPDATE: Roy’s still real tired of being able to do anything but I’m even more thankful for these abilities of his.
Day 23 – I am thankful that I am an American. I have become disheartened in recent years with the direction in which our country is going and the lack of Christian values becoming more prevalent. Despite that, I respect the flag, the principles our country was founded on, our military men and women who give so much of themselves for our freedom, our ability to freely vote (even if the wrong person wins) and being able to freely worship without the fear of harm. I am thankful to be a woman in a free country where I have considerably more liberties than other countries give to their women.
Day 24 – I am Thankful this Thanksgiving Day for the Word of God, his Holy Bible. I read it, learn from it, try to live my life by it and as the years go by I realize how very much it is the only instruction manual a Christian needs. I was blessed to have the privilege of teaching the Books of the Bible to 3rd and 4th graders for many years and teaching them to cherish the Word of God. They knew this was just the first step to learning the wonders and mysteries of God’s Word. There is nothing like hearing a sermon from The Word. It helps me understand how to look in His Word for the answer to my life questions and to draw me closer to Him. UPDATE: So thankful we’ve had the opportunity to hear the Word of God preached by many pastors throughout the United States.
Day 25 – Today is Roy and my 40th wedding anniversary. We were married on November 25, 1972. Me a blushing bride of 18 and he the handsome older man at 21. We’re saying we gave each other the RV for our anniversary gift and he’s promised we’ll eat dinner at Olive Garden. I guess that’s about as exciting as two old goats get after 40 years. We’ve changed so much over the years and I’m thankful we’ve changed together and are still together. UPDATE: #42 anniversary will be this Nov. 25th
Day 26 – I am thankful that I can proudly say I am a Class of 1972 John F. Kennedy Cougar. The school buildings are being torn down now having fallen victim to Hurricane Katrina and that is very sad for all us Cougars. It was a beautiful, modern school sitting on Bayou St. John in New Orleans next to City Park. I was the Captain of the Dance Team as a Junior and on the flag team as a Senior. Our skirts were worn 2 finger widths below our butts and this was normal. How did we sit down??? Wow times have changed! I’ve been able to reconnect with many of my Cougar classmates on FB and to all of them I want to say “Thanks for the Memories!”
Day 27 – Skipped this day in the original Thanksgiving month. Though this seems very low in the month what I am thankful for now is the addition of Kimberly, Braxton and Bentley in our lives. Kim has been Chip’s girlfriend for over a year and a half now and has brought so much love and joy into our lives! When they get married the addition of the boys will give us 7 grandchildren. Kim has shown a genuine love to me and even though she now knows the crazy side of me still loves me and I’m so thankful for that. The boys grin like little monkeys when they see us now and it is so warming to my heart to feel their hugs and see their smiles.
Day 28 – Another day that was left off the original list. I am so thankful that God has allowed us to change our lifestyle and enjoy our time on the road. The travels we’ve enjoyed and our discovery of the beautiful elements of nature around this country is indescribable (though you know I try to describe it whenever I can). The lack of stress, responsibility and freedom experienced living in an RV on the road is something everyone who is retired should get to do. I’m so thankful we chose to do those and can’t wait until we’re back on the road again.
Day 29 – I’d like to be able to say I am thankful that we have a buyer for our house but it seems we’ll have to wait a little longer to be thankful for that. Our adventure to discover America is just waiting for that right person to say “This is the one we want!” It will happen one day and on that day I will be very, very, very thankful to that person! UPDATE: We now, two years later, do have a buyer for the house and hopefully before early December that buyer will be residing here!
Day 30 – I am Thankful for this month of Thanksgivings. It has opened my eyes to the abundance of blessings God has given me, the special people in my life, my dear family members, true friends and most of all God. There really should be more days in November because I have much more to be thankful for than 30 days can cover!