Countdown to Gratefulness

I know that we've just passed the holiday that encourages gratefulness, but as we count down to the season of giving (and getting), it can be difficult to maintain that spirit intact. In the world of remodeling, the constant focus on how to make things better, newer, or bigger can leak into the rest of life, at least without a balanced sense of true contentedness for things as they are. That old deck that you are hoping to tear out and replace? Grateful for hours spent eating picnics with the family or hosting the neighborhood kids for ice cream. The bathroom with its brass fixtures and builder-grade linoleum? Grateful to have the running water, a lavatory, true conveniences that very often we take for granted. The kitchen stove that heats too hot or takes too long to boil water? The eat-in kitchen that no longer accommodates your family of six? Grateful to have this place as the center of the home--the place the kids come in to grab a snack or do their homework, countless family meals teaching the minutiae of manners, the tantalizing smell of apple pie or pork roast or cinnamon rolls. 

Our homes, although they are just places, contain many opportunities to be thankful, to remember God's many blessings. Perhaps our push towards renovation and repair would be best balanced with this sense of remembrance. 

So, as you countdown to the holidays, why don't you add a companion list of things you are grateful for, too? It just might provide the ballast that your season is missing.