Dear friends in Ohio shared with us their daily practice of expressing gratitude. Each family member mentions one specific thing for which he or she is thankful that day, and the list is written down. Audra and I have made this a habit for our family, and we are going on four years of doing it almost every day.

Henry will sometimes pick up our blessing book, as we call it, and ask, "What are you thankful for?" In addition to writing down what we are thankful for today, we look back at what we were thankful for last year. We started this tradition while Avery was still with us. Continuing it in the years without him has helped us remember that we still have much for which to be thankful.

Today on my 36th birthday, I will take the liberty of sharing several things for which I am thankful.

  • My amazing wife, Audra, who is my best friend ever. She makes me laugh and encourages me to keep going.
  • My five kiddos, each of whom has enriched my life. They have reminded me that it's okay to be silly and have fun.
  • Work that I find rewarding and challenging. Growing a family business takes a lot of effort, but it has provided a great deal of flexibility and opportunity.
  • A church that loves my family and gives us ways to learn and grow.
  • My parents, who brought me into this world, gave me a solid foundation, and taught me to think about things for myself.
  • My wife's parents, who loved Audra first and welcomed me into their family.
  • Jesus, who is not ashamed to call me his brother and is preparing a place for us.

Since we don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, we might as well do our best to celebrate today and live with gratitude. What are you thankful for?