What Are You Thankful For?

It happens at almost every Thanksgiving dinner: “Let’s go around the table and everyone say ONE THING they’re thankful for.” By the time it comes around to me, everyone’s already said “Jesus” or “my family” or “my spouse” and I’m left looking like a copycat. 😛

When I’m asked this question, I usually start from the top and work my way down: God, hubby, writing, etc. But every Thanksgiving, sharing just one thing is never enough. We need to get more specific. Of course I’m going to be thankful for my husband and for Jesus’s sacrifice. And of course I’m going to share those ones. I don’t want to be the one person who says, “I’m thankful for books” and look like a shallow dork.

But there is so much that I am thankful for, that I forget to think about. I would much rather our Thanksgiving look like this: “Okay, let’s all go around the table and share 10 things we’re thankful for.”

Yes, it’s going to take a long time and the nieces and nephews will probably squirm in their seats or ask to be excused. Some people may not want to go that deep (because they’re in a turkey coma and I don’t blame them!) But it’s good for us. It’s good to start honing in on the things that we forget to remember to appreciate.


This time, I’m going to give us an opportunity to dig into those 10, 20, 50 things that we want to share beyond, “I’m thankful for my kids.” Let’s go deeper.

So here are mine (in no particular order.) I am thankful for:

  1. Having the Bible in English. (How blessed are we?)
  2. My husband’s patience. (Seriously the most patient and amazing human ever placed in my life.)
  3. Being born in a century & country where publishing books is actually possible for me. I used to think that Jo March and Anne of Green Gables and Beatrix Potter were so “romantic” hauling their handwritten manuscripts around for publication. Can you imagine how hard it would have been to get published back then? Thank you, God, for putting me in the 21st century.
  4. My health. This year I seem to have run across a lot of people and friends who are dealing with health issues that I can’t even fathom. AND they are staying cheerful through them! It’s incredibly humbling.
  5. My coffee shop, Java Junction. When living in Wydaho there wasn’t a coffee shop I could go sit at and work. Now I have one–it is my office of sorts and writing comes much easier because of it. I understand what a gift that is only because I went without it for so long.
  6. My nieces and nephews.
  7. Core friends. brandes_371You know the ones–the ones who fill you up instead of drain you. The ones who will enter the deep with you and ask the hard questions. I have a few of these and realize how very blessed I am to have that. It’s rarer than I knew.
  8. Hardcover books. Maybe this is silly, but I think they’re BEAUTIFUL and I realize that they’re not everywhere. My poor friends in Australia have such a tough time getting hardcovers! *weeps for them*
  9. My readers. (You bring me to tears at least once a week. Thank you for loving me so well. 💙 )
  10. My writing space. I have a whole ROOM in which I get to write. And it’s packed with inspiration.
  11. Imagination. Do you realize how amazing it is to be able to dream and imagine and create just in our minds? God didn’t need to give us imaginations, but He did. Because He is the Creator…and He wanted to share the glory of creating and imagining with us.
  12. Writer friends. When I first started writing, no one really got it. I didn’t know other writers. I always dreamed of having even one writer friend. Now I’m surrounded. 💙 💙 💙



Okay, I cheated. I shared twelve things I’m thankful for. (For shame! 😉 ) And I could go on. But, because the mashed potatoes are getting cold and you’re next according to the seating…I’ll bite my tongue and let you take your turn. 😉


Share in the comments some things your thankful for. It doesn’t have to be 10 things, but try to make it more than 1. 🙂




About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Because I just sat down and checked my email, I’m the first to post WHAT? lol
    I’m thankful for my beautiful girls, an ever-faithful God, for writer friends I have made (TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU about no one understanding for so long) For the ability to see well enough to drive (though that could change), for the ability to read and write, for my in-laws (yes they are amazing!)

    • Aww I love these–especially the ability to see well enough to drive. I know several people who are unable to drive because of this. Also, literacy is so underrated. What a blessing that we are able to read and write!

      Thank you for sharing! <3

  2. For being born into a Christian family. Whenever I witness, I feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness that I had the blessing of Christian parents grounded in the faith.
    For the beauty of the God’s creation. Whenever I’m traveling, I’ll see the mountains or the valleys. Or when I’m at home, looking out at the ocean. It reminds me of the power and might and creativity of my Lord.
    For the friends of mine who encourage me to continue in the Lord, both young and old. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
    For fun. God didn’t have to let us have a fun life. Despite the fact that we live in a fallen world, we can still laugh and tease and play.
    And of course, there’s the obvious ones: My Lord, My siblings(well. . .), having a roof over my head, etc.
    When we actually stop to think about it, we really have a endless amount of things to be truly thankful for. Thanks for this post!

    • Oh yes! What a blessing to be raised in a Christian home! When I was growing up, I always wished I’d had a more “interesting” testimony, and now that I’m older I realize how rare it is to be raised to love Jesus and to have Him a part of my life since I can remember!

      Thank you for sharing!

  3. Okay, here we go.
    1. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit and how He helps me and that Jesus didn’t leave us as orphans.
    2. I’m thankful for the Bible and that it is absolute Truth.
    3. I’m thankful for my parents and their examples to me.
    4. I’m thankful for my siblings and what good friends they are.
    5. I’m thankful for hot showers.
    6. I’m thankful for deep discussions.
    7. I’m thankful for my cat and his soft fur and deep purr.
    8. I’m thankful for my dogs and their kisses.
    9. I’m thankful for language–all its intricacies and how we can communicate with it.
    10. I’m thankful for music and all its different forms.

    This was fun!

    • I love these. I love how you dig into the deep things and also the small blessings. 🙂 I, too, am thankful for deep discussions! Those have helped me grow in many many ways.

  4. What I am thankful for:
    God’s saving grace and fellowship with Him.
    A good church.
    To own a copy of the Bible.
    Writer friends, especially those that are fellow Christians.
    The autumn season and spring season.
    Running hot water.
    Animal companions (especially cats 🙂 ).
    The many books to read and stories to dive in.
    The many mysteries in nature and in outerspace that God has given us to explore.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop myself at 10. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share!

  5. I was going to copy a couple of yours then I got creative.
    1. Daily finding something big (or small) to be thankful for. I did a Facebook challenge 3 years ago and kept going.
    2. I’m thankful that I got to arrive early at Realm Makers. I might have squeed when I saw my face (and an alien turtle) in your photo of writer friends. Cheese steak and Philly train adventures!
    3.I had friends push me along to run a half-marathon this summer; one of them and I completed the race (on fumes).
    4. My kids are thriving in school. Both of them moved up to new schools this year, so lots of changes, and they’re doing great!
    5. My husband doesn’t procrastinate; he encouraged me this season so all I have to do is send out some Christmas cards and buy a couple of gifts. Now I’ll have time to bake and enjoy family time.
    6. I have a day job that I love! While full-time author is my dream, I’m more than satisfied with what my life is like now.
    7. Our home in our mountain paradise. It’s truly beautiful here even if we’re 2.5 hours from a Costco or Sam’s Club (the thing we miss most about the city)
    8. Our church – our pastor is brilliant, I have a mentor who challenges me to go deep in my faith, a good small group, and close friends
    9. Traveling. Whether it’s one of our big cross-country trips or a day trip across the state line, I love exploring new places
    10. That God has called me to write. I’m still hoping for that full-length contract but in the mean time, I’ve learned so much, had short stories published, and made some amazing friends!

    • In regards to #2 — That was easily one of my favorite moments from all of 2016.

      I love #5, #8, & #10!! Actually, I love your entire answer, but those ones stood out to me as particularly beautiful. 🙂

I love hearing from you!