Thanks for another year of blessing

Dear Lord of heaven and earth,

Thank you for another year. It's a blessing. All of it. Life is a gift.

Thank you.

Thank you for my family, friends, children, and the means to communicate with them and enjoy them. Thank you for my marriage and my home.

Thank you for a safe neighborhood, running water and electricity, new clothes, food choices, electronics and appliances, cars, heat, air conditioning, comfort. Thank you for the ability to get things I want or need. Thank you for all that I take for granted in this country. I'm ashamed that I ever complain about what you provide for me.

Thank you for the police and fire departments, for civil services, hospitals, schools, government. Thank you that although our institutions are flawed, that fairness, equality, and justice are still important in my country. Thank you for the right to vote and get an attorney if I need one. Once again, I'm ashamed that I feel entitled to better government and perfect living conditions when most of the world suffers under theirs.

Thank you for the freedom to worship you however I want, for the church of my choice. I can serve, I can minister, I can sing, I can share. I can go to other countries and help there. I can learn about God in church, on the internet, in books, and in my own Bible. Thank you for the chance to do better--to start again, to make resolutions, for the hope of re-beginnings.

Thank you for education, a job, the freedom to learn more, do more, try more. Thank you that I can fail and start over or adapt to a change I didn't want. I can have a career and change my mind to start a different one. I can make my own choices, and so can my children. Thank you that I can read and enjoy books, that I'm allowed to be educated, own property, be married or unmarried, and raise my children how I want. Live where I want. Enjoy what I like. It's unconscionable.

Thank you for all the extra, beautiful extravagances of life. Thank you for the gorgeousness of the world I live in. Your creation is extraordinary and breathtaking.

Thank you for joy, sorrow, excitement, discouragement, happiness, remorse, guilt, compassion, grief, etc.--all the highs and lows that make me human and compel me to turn toward you.

Thank you for your love, for your salvation, and for the promise of eternity in heaven.

I have so much to praise you for! You overwhelm me with your love and grace! May I focus on you this year, and therefore not be overwhelmed by the pressures of this world. Ultimately, nothing here matters. Only you.

In Jesus' holy name,
Amen

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