The darker the night, the brighter the stars.

It’s been a Monday.

I am grateful for a very busy day.

I am grateful for fires to put out, for fires that CAN be put out, for the opportunity to put those fires out.

I am grateful for the simple pleasure of pressing a chocolate kiss into a hot peanut butter cookie and creating the sound of the squish.

I am grateful for enough money in the bank to send birthday presents.

I am grateful for safe trips.

I am grateful for encouragement from my CASA supervisor.

I am grateful for a nice next door neighbor.

I am grateful for Christians who are not afraid to love their neighbors and who stand up for them and with them, no matter their race, religion, gender, age, or behavior.

I am grateful for baked potato soup with fresh baked bread.

I am grateful for my Dad who works so hard just because.

I am grateful for a lighted wreath above the garage.

I am grateful for Christmas at Resurrection this weekend.

I am grateful that at least we have choices in this election season. I’ve never wanted to move to Timbuktu before, but it sounds like a pretty good place about right now.

I am grateful for more than one pillow.

I am grateful for diversity in my world.

I am grateful for commercials that make me laugh and cry. But not at the same time. Actually, that would be okay, too.

That makes me grateful for memories of a former brother-in-law laughing so hard he had tears. He did that quite often. Good memories…

I am grateful that I no longer live in a divisive Christian community but one that is inclusive and seeks to serve and love as Jesus taught.

I am grateful for a little travel sized toothpaste tube, since I ran out.

I am grateful for REALLY GOOD MUSIC. Thank you, Jordan Smith, for making REALLY GOOD MUSIC. Oh my word I am stunned and can’t get enough. THAT was a performance. THAT was a memory to cherish.  Okay. Breathe, Rhonda. It’s just a song. Huh-uh, no way. This guy can SING:

I am grateful for people who sneeze funny.

I am grateful for Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

I am grateful for a closet stuffed with jackets and coats that need to be shared with others.

I am grateful for clementine season. $3.99 is a whole lot better than $6.99.

I am grateful for the smell of Lysol Clean Linen scent. Mmmmm.

I am grateful for Judge Sloan.

I am grateful for people who keep their gum in their mouths and don’t chew it all hanging out for the world to see, because I am around someone quite often who does this, and it kind of makes me ill. Like my daughter feels when she sits at a table with someone who chews and smacks with their mouth open. So I am grateful for people who chew their gum in the privacy of their closed mouths. Kinda like clipping nails in the privacy of a bathroom, the only place one’s nails should be clipped. Ugh, just typing it makes me a little queasy.

I am grateful for Jimmy Fallon’s funny.

I am grateful for a heating pad, a heater at my feet all day, standing next to a vent that is blowing hot air, the comfort of wrapping my fingers around a cup of hot cocoa or hot tea, heated seats or as I call them heat seaters, and the feeling of having a hot face after sitting in front of a roaring fire in a fireplace.

I am grateful for the reminder this Christmas season that Jesus is the Light of the World, but He calls us to be a light in the world. There is no better time of darkness than 2015 to shine…

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