When I was little, my family had a tradition that we would do every night before bed. I remember it best from when I was about five or six, when we would be out in the village. We lived in a little adobe (mud brick) house – one bedroom for me and my sister, one for my parents, one for the kitchen/bathing room, and the eating room/office/living room. The outhouse was right out the front door and a few steps down the dirt path. (Dad and a few other guys dug it out themselves. I was always a little afraid that I might fall in – or that one of the pishtacos (pasty-white skinned bogeymen) would come get me. It was only later that I found out that the villagers initially thought WE were the pishtacos…)

Every night, once we were ready for bed and snug in our onesie pajamas with the slipper feet on them, my mom and dad would gather my sister and I into their room. We’d all get under a blanket as they would read to us. And at the end of story time, my mom or dad would ask “What were you thankful for today?” We would go around saying each thing we were grateful for that had happened or that we had noticed – and then we would pray together. I loved that.

And in the spirit of cultivating a heart that is grateful, “What were you thankful for today?”

I’ll go first –

– A great, relaxing weekend which included all-you-can-eat mexican buffet (guacamole and salsa and corn chips…), the beach, great waves, fun surfing, time spent with friends, and coming home smelling of salt, sun, sea, and sunscreen…

– The water in my house is back on (it mysteriously shut off this morning, and wasn’t fixed until I got home late this evening).

– Advil

– my guitar (samantha)

– friends on the street, worship, and laughter

– my (kinda) soft bed at the end of a long day

– friends, family, and loved ones all over the world…

– community

How about you?



Filed under gratitude, memories, thanks

5 responses to “Gratitude

  1. Anonymous

    i am thankful for lice shampoo.

    my ice cold diet coke in my tacky green florida coozie.

    my red sheets.

    the three kids i got to hang with today. they made me love life.

    my celtic daily prayer book given to me by my friends lilly and allistar

    for the game boggle

    from kristin in Kolkata

  2. Cara


    Tango lessons

    Snow-capped mountains and dreams of climbing them

    The unexpected, especially when it involves chocolate

    Solitary cave moments

    Long, unbroken hugs

  3. marci

    I am thankful that my surgery went well and that I was able to have it in a timely manner and to afford it.

    I am thankful that I have a Christian friend at work who constantly challenges me and that she was able to drive me in last week while I was recovering.

    I am thankful for the beautiful rose bushes that are blooming in the backyard.

    I am thankful that I was able to meet all the women on the Austin Outlaws football team and that I will get to play full contact football when I recover.

    I am thankful for our new house, and that we have all the space we could ever need, and that we are able to open it up for Bible study every week.

    I am thankful for our church and the vital service we attend, and that we have been able to help so many people in so many ways.

    I am thankful for my husband and his support of all my crazy dreams.

    I am thankful for chips and queso, and mexican martinis, and friends.

    I am thankful for so many things. I recently came across an old journal of my husband’s when I was unpacking, in which he wrote down daily prayers of thanks while he was in college. I thought it was a great idea – thanks for reminding me of it.

  4. ben

    =) good stuff. thanks, yo.

    by the way, for anyone who is curious, it wasn’t “phish-tacos.” it’s pishtacos. But it’s in Quechua, so it’s pronounced “peesh-tacos…”

    jeez jenna…

  5. Aaron Nystrom

    Ah, pishtacos. I have some great stories about people assuming I was one. I guess that’s what you get for being very tall, very white and very blonde in Peru.

    I am so thankful for the godly heritage I was blessed with growing up – from parents, grandparents, neighbors and even senior class trip advisors.

    I am thankful that He chose me before the foundation of the world to be adopted as His son, that He has taken upon Himself the consequences for my sin and that I am now holy in His sight, and He has seen fit to reveal Himself through His Word. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

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