still thankful, even when she looks like this

I am not a person to entrust with much of anything at 7 in the morning. It’s a wonder my daughter still allows me to make her lunch at that hour. Heaven knows what I might put in there. But today, I signed up to spend that hour in prayer as part of Alpha’s International Year of Prayer, a plan to cover the world in prayer in 2012. (

Not having found my guidelines for this project yet, I figured beginning with thanksgiving might set the tone. What did I have to be thankful for? What do I have that most of the world doesn’t?

This happened to put me in the car driving my youngest to school at the start of the hour. In the first five minutes, I found more things than I could keep up with, even given the 35 mpr heavily-enforced construction speed limit.

First and most obvious, the kid sitting beside me. Happy, healthy, and reasonably sane given her genetic inheritance. If she’s a little too attached to her cell phone and computer, well, thank you Lord she has ten fingers and can read.

I can send said child out in the neighborhood or give her the car keys with as sure a guarantee you get in this world that she’ll come back. I don’t worry about crossfire or kidnapping armies on a daily basis.

I can feed her and clothe her, and if we join the farm co-op I’ve got my eye on, I can feed her better. Can’t promise the same for the clothes. Get a job, kid. Which, she can. And I’m thankful for that.

A road. Even under construction for two years. A car. Even nine years old. Gas. Even at four bucks a gallon. I do know these are luxuries, even if I throw hissy fits about their inconvenience too often, possibly.

A cell pone in cae I run out of gas, an all-too-real possibility if her sister has driven the car last and I discover the empty gas tank only as we are pulling out with no time to spare. The phone is a far better option than walking three miles home in my pajamas and slippers, the usual driving-to-school garb of choice.

Thank you, God, for pajamas and slippers.

I am making jokes, but you know what? I just kept finding things everywhere I looked that reminded me: I should not spend one minute of my life in self-pity and complaint when I really recognize what most people do without every single day of their lives. What so many people have to fear every day of their lives. And I don’t. If I had spent the whole stinking 24 hours in thanksgiving prayer today, I would still not run out.

And thanks for friends who read this. Amen.

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