This month of November is wonderful. Signs of thanksgiving are everywhere. And what a wonderful mantra, not just for November, but for each day, circumstance, person given, to be thankful. Well, of course it is easier said than done, however, once you start saying "thank you" it just might become addictive.

Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts is all about thanksgiving. A friend encouraged Ann to write down one thousand things she was thankful for. Rather than the emphasis on thanksgiving, Ann's book actually spoke to me in other ways. She boldly penned hard things, relationships, circumstances, but they were written in a discreet, non-wallowing, real way. I found commonality in her situations, her struggles. However, the theme of thanksgiving, receiving what you have been given, cannot be looked over, so between her book and this month I feel compelled to list my own gifts (it won't be one thousand!) for which I am thankful.

1. the garden laid to rest for the season and the hope of Spring

2. his little voice, now reading by himself

3. strong legs able to move at the gym, unlike the struggling lame man receiving help to do his exercises

4. the hope of a friend's baby, a new life for their family

5. a well-stocked freezer, so many items from the garden!

6. letters (real letters, not email or Facebook) from an old and true friend

7. preparing Christmas cards

8. her "I love you, Mom" coming out of seemingly nowhere

9. good memories of the past urging me to the future

10. "come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls"

11. the Truth taught at my church

12. an (seemingly great) opportunity that did not come to fruition (there is something better for us)

13. a sweet, caring babysitter for my children

14. how far I can stretch the meat from a whole chicken (!)

15. Autumn fires accompanies by hot tea and sweet corn

16. eggs from the hens, few and far between this time of year and treated like gold

17. an inspiring read: When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy by John Piper

18. the ability, choosing to move on from something not good

19. chocolate cake (it's Autumn so shouldn't I be moving on to pumpkin?!)

20. children excited to go to the library

21. bright pink sunsets

22. making the time to go to the gym, and still able to maintain my other responsibilities

23. my husband working from home

24. legos - do I need to explan? - if you're a mom, 'nuf said :)

25. the gift of work and not being overwhelmed by it

26. an understanding ear

27. bloggers who also create (I purchased a cuff from her etsy shop last Winter - it was a splurge for me (not designated to a holiday or celebration!), but it is great quality and I love it!)

28. charlotte mason and many c.m. resources

29. a 4x16 garden bed planted (by my gardener) with hollyhock seeds

30. perspective