1. I’m thankful for fall. I’m thankful for the absolute  joy that shoots through my being every time I see the flames of autumn leaves sparking through the trees and around my feet when the wind blows. I’m thankful for the coolness in the air and the first time each year that I can see my breath in front of my face. I’m thankful for the scents and flavors of fall foods that spice up my palate. I’m thankful for boots and sweaters and scarves and having to pull back my hair so the wind doesn’t blow it into my face. I honestly don’t think I could live without it. I would be so depressed if I didn’t get my autumn fix every year. This is the time of year when God really got creative. He starts the entire world over again, renewing and replenishing, preparing us for new life in the spring, and He does it in such a colorful, beautiful way.

2. I’m thankful for Norman Rockwell. I’m thankful that he took the time to remind us of those “Four Freedoms” that we assume we deserve and take for granted that everyone else has. There’s freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Do you have any idea how HUGE all of those are?? There are countries in which people are imprisoned, tortured, and executed for saying any negative word about their country’s leaders. We openly mock ours on national TV, and no one bats an eye. The same consequences are doled out in other countries for performing the unthinkable crime of worshiping God. We take for granted that we can just sit in a pew for an hour every week (or just neglect it altogether) and be satisfied with our relationship with our incredible Provider.  Ever feel the feeling of real hunger? I don’t mean the vanity-inspired hunger of having to be a certain size. I mean real, honest-to-goodness, having no idea where, or if, you’re getting your next meal: hunger. No. I haven’t. I have freedom from want. I can sleep at night in a safe home with a deadbolt, with very little fear of someone taking my freedom away from me on a whim.

Thank you, God.