Note: I wrote several blogs over the past two months and I’m only finally publishing them. So sorry for the onslaught of late posts!

I turned thirty today, and I thought I’d write 30 things I’m grateful for as I celebrate 30 years on this earth and ask God for another 30 blessed years.

1. God and his everlasting patience and love.

2. my husband.

3. my son James for teaching me everything I need to know to be mom.

4. my baby in utero, Joseph. Can’t wait to meet you and have my world rocked!

5. my parents for unending support.

6. my in-laws, for accepting me and making me laugh.

7. my church, a welcoming community.

8. my priest, a kind man with a heart of service.

9. food – we never have had to wonder about our next meal. I can only imagine that fear.

10. our home – it’s spacious and heated/cooled. It has clean water and electricity. Toilets work. How can I complain?!

11. the Bible. A guide for life. So glad I have an easy reference for so many of our human afflictions.

12. friends. People who love you for you even with faults. Those are good people.

13. forgiveness. Grateful to get it and give it. Working on giving it more freely.

14. flowers. I love having bright, colorful flowers in our yard and home. 

15. the beach. I see God in the water and the waves and feel him in the warmth of the sun. Thank you for beaches, a place of your majesty.

16. clothing. Again, I’ve never had to worry about whether my child or myself could afford a new pair of pants or shoes. Bless those who are in need.

17. family. My brother and my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I wouldn’t be who I am without all of them in my life. 

18. my health. I b*tch and moan but I really should be more grateful – my body does amazing things, including growing other humans – and I need to take better care of it. 

19. my dog. She’s a mess, but she’s my mess. And I feel like we’re wild kindred spirits… Who cry and whine together.

20. books. I love to read. I’m blessed to be entertained by books in all categories. I don’t want a life without books.

21. reliable transport. 

22. prayer. And more specifically, learning traditional catholic prayers. Grateful to speak to God whenever I want. 

23. sadness and grief. You can’t experience joy without sadness. 

24. music. Most types. Especially something you can dance to!

25. pens and paper. There is something so cathartic about sitting down and writing something out, be it a budget or a bible reflection (as I type this on my phone – ha!).

26. technology – to an extent. Socially, I like seeing what is happening in peoples’ lives but I don’t want to lose that personal connection. Technology has made so many lives easier, around the world.

27. travel. I dream of going back to places I’ve been and traveling to new places. Grateful for those opportunities to view God’s creation.

28. kindness of others. Always a reminder to be better myself.

29. our country. No matter how bad things get (and they don’t look too good sometimes), we are blessed to live in a free country, given to us through sacrifices of more noble men and women than we. (And God bless Texas!).

30. Jesus Christ on the cross. The ultimate sacrifice. Lord, help me remember that you died for ME when I’m being difficult and ungrateful. Thank you.