News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 17, 2012

THE JOY LADY: On your mark, get set, start being thankful

Verna Davis
The Tribune-Star

---- — Tonight’s Bible study was a little different than most. My preacher/teacher/husband gave us some Scriptures to read about giving thanks: First Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 5:16-20: “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise … always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

We talked a little about giving thanks, then we each took an 8.5-by-11 piece of paper and for the next 10 minutes we did nothing but write down things we were thankful for. I came up with more than 100 things to thank God for. Here are some of them.

God Himself — His sovereignty. The Holy Spirit — His comfort. Jesus Christ — His sacrifice. The Bible.

My husband. Our marriage. Two great children. Four delightful grandchildren. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. My grandma Delsa Stewart. Mom. Dad (Vernon Legg was the best father in the world). Bob Adams, who made my mother so happy after my father passed away. My wonderful and much-missed sister, Diana.

Colors (especially purple and lime green). Flowers. Air. Water. Mountains. Lakes. Rivers. Snow. Diet Coke. Tomatoes. Grandma Stewart’s antique quilt. Music. Books. Authors such as Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Lisa Scottoline, Colleen Coble, Lisa Gardner, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Ken Follett, James Grippando, and James Patterson.

Soap. Shampoo. Hot water heaters. Air conditioners. The schools I attended: Collett Elementary, McLean and Otter Creek Middle Schools, Garfield High School, Indiana State University, Lincoln Christian University. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Milky Way Simply Caramel candy bars.

Rainbows. Grocery stores. The medication I take every day that makes me feel better. The shot I give myself every day that keeps my diabetes manageable enough to live with.

My house. My car. Good roads. Interstate highways. A reliable GPS. Scenic drives through the country on a lazy afternoon with my husband. Gloves to wear on a cold day. Umbrellas. Comfortable shoes. Great looking dress shoes (no matter how uncomfortable). Wind chimes. Telephones. Televisions. Freshly laundered sheets on my bed. Fluffy towels straight from the dryer.

Maplewood Christian Church, full of great people who helped lay the foundation for my faith; State Line Christian Church, full of loving and gracious people of the Lord; Frankton Christian Church, full of wonderful friends generous with their love.

Sunday school. Choirs singing praise. Noodles. Jobs God gave me: working at three great libraries—Lincoln Christian University, Indiana State University, and Frankton Community Library; teaching at Ivy Tech State College and John Paul II High School; writing columns for the Terre Haute Tribune-Star and the Anderson Herald Bulletin.

OK. Grab yourself a piece of paper. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Write down the things you are thankful for. Chances are your list will have more than 100 things, too. Ready? On your mark. Get set. Start being thankful.

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at