11 Things for Which I am Grateful in 2011

1) Seven trees tower over our house- majestic white oaks and enormous tulip poplars. When the wind blows, they sing.

2) Taco Bell. The love affair continues. Seriously, have you tried the steak chalupa supreme? If loving it is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

3) The Internet. When I got this weird insect bite on my thigh (there were three puncture spots…how does that happen?)…the internet. When I needed a recipe for Asian Maple Salmon…the internet. When I got curious about ancient pilgrimage routes after watching “The Way”….the internet. Muppets performing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? Sure. Stephen Colbert infiltrating Occupy Wall Street dressed as Che Guevara? Got that. Even cats that look like Hitler. The thing is magic, but we forget because we use it all the time.

4) Earthquake, hurricane, floods, and all we had was some damp carpets. They took down the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument, but couldn’t crack 1950s post-war brick housing!

5) Every time we sing “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow” in the Doxology at church, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my kids. They are truly blessings. I’m also grateful that the liturgy reminds me of that once a week between amist all the “she pinched me” and “he stepped on my toe” and “that’s not my slimy bowl of mac and cheese behind the bookshelf” and “a C means average. I’m doing fine” and “the dog doesn’t WANT to go for a walk.”

6) Our boys and girls in Afghanistan and Iraq and Germany and Japan and around the world and stateside. You make us proud!

7) Speaking of our soldiers, we got Osama. Justice served.

8 ) The movie “The Tree of Life.” This rare film reframed my faith, giving me hope in beauty and truth while living in a world that seems very dark. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to give it a chance.

9) Grocery home delivery. Shopping for food is my least favorite chore, right up there with cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, doing dishes…pretty much all of them. Which is why I love living in the Jetsons age and ordering groceries online. I can shop in the car on my phone! Who thought that would be possible? The man even carries them into my kitchen. Plus, he never comments on all the gunk on the floor. That’s worth a tip right there!

10) I married the funniest, sweetest, most wonderful man in the world. Sorry, ladies, you’ll have to settle for second best.

11) 11:11 on 11/11/11 was pretty cool, I have to admit. And it happened twice!

What about you? What blessings fill you with gratitude?

About Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a lead critic and editor of entertainment at Patheos. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey

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    I saw it, but didn’t read it. I’m therefore biased toward the movie version, which I thought was quite good. I don’t know if I’d want a more Randian-style heroine, but then again, I’m not a fan of Randian-style protagonists in general. I liked Katniss’s character—interested in self-survival but also self-sacrificing. I also thought it was a strong enough indictment of totalitarianism the way it is.


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