I am not the type of person that will post one thing a day on Facebook that I am thankful for in my status updates. However, I am the type of person that will compile all 30 things I am thankful for in a blog post. :) I tried to stay away from, "I am thankful for my daily McDonald's diet cokes," which of course I am thankful for, but I find little gratitude in those kinds of statements (and actually think they are bratty statements), and believe that you aren't looking inwardly, and outwardly, enough at all the blessings in your life. Therefore, this post took me some time to stop and really think about what I am truly grateful for this Thanksgiving. I hope you have a million things to be grateful for this year!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
30. The Internet. It has been such a great way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends that live far away. I absolutely love hearing and seeing what everyone is up to and feeling connected even though we are hundreds (even thousands) of miles apart.
29. Conveniences of our daily lives that save so much time. I actually take many of our modern-day conveniences for granted and get highly agitated when they do not function correctly. For example, plumbing, electricity, automobiles, the ATM, self check-out lanes, the Internet, cell phones, auto-pay, drive-through, etc.
28. Beautiful weather. One of the fastest ways to a great mood is beautiful weather. There is nothing more blissful than enjoying the outdoors on a beautiful day, it refreshes and re-energizes the soul.
27. Silence is golden. I love the quite moments when it's just me and my thoughts. So very therapeutic to have a moment to decompress from a chaotic day (I think this is why I love baths so much).
26. Having a day off. Being in the mental health profession, I can firmly say we all need a "mental health day," or a personal day, every now and then. How wonderful it feels to have a day to yourself, to do whatever you want to do, however you want to do it. Completely freeing and enjoyable, I live for my days off! :)
25. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. I am not one for cleaning, however, I appreciate a clean home. Waking up to a clean home is absolutely intoxicating. When my home is spotless, and I have put in the extra effort cleaning it, there is no where else I want to be.
24. Busy hands. Staying busy helps keep my mind occupied and reduces the amount of idle time (when I have too much idle time I tend to do counterproductive things). I believe there is a saying that goes, "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop." I am thankful for my "busy hands," (a.k.a. my job and all the busy day-to-day activities) I know there are many people around the world that would love the educational, career, and social opportunities I have been fortunate to receive. Stay busy my friends. :)
23. A great teacher. Hopefully, everyone has had a great teacher, mentor, or coach that encouraged and helped them during their younger years. I have had several teachers that I absolutely adore and I loved my high school cross-country coach. They all bestowed much to my character today.
22. Fantastic co-workers. A few years ago I read a book, How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. The book is about work productivity and why certain people are more productive and happier in their jobs (and lives) than others. One of the key points from the book that hit home with me, people enjoy going to work with their friends. I feel very blessed to have met and work with some wonderful people that I consider great friends. Everyday they build me up, support me, and not to mention provide a great laugh every now and then.
21. Laughter. Moments in time with individuals that can only be described as a natural high. Laughing til your sides and face hurts, and you can see straight from the tears. Love those moments.
20. Fond memories. I have such fond memories of my childhood, teenage years, college, and today. Another great way to put me in a good mood is to remind me of something funny, or memorable, from the past. I always tell my students that are grieving, no one can take away your fond memories, they are here to stay. Not sure if it helps everyone, but it helps me get through rough days.
19. Something that "speaks" to you. I love it when a movie, book, song, conversation, or piece of artwork makes me think, challenges my way of thinking, and helps me see things from a different perspective. I have been known to re-watch, re-read, re-listen to whatever is inspiring me in that moment. I consider it a growing experience, and I hope that I never cease to continue my personal growth.
18. A genuinely nice individual. There are people who are just genuinely nice people, good to their core. I absolutely cherish these individuals in my life. Their goodness is a beacon and many people come to them when in distress. I seek them when I am feeling blue because they are always so authentic in their words and actions. I go to them feeling hopeless and desperate and walk away feeling inspired and thankful. I inspire to be more like them in my life.
17. Mercy. I am thankful for mercy and grace shown by others when I have royally screwed up. For example, the other day I went to hear a speaker at our church with several of my friends from work. I told Todd to pick me up at 7:20, which was a completely bone-headed moment on my part because the speaker didn't even start until 7 (which I knew but just got a little confused in the moment). Needless to say, he sat in the parking lot for an hour-and-a-half waiting on me. When I came out to the car, it dawned on me that I totally screwed up and told him the wrong time, I apologized, and yet, he never said one word about making him wait, or how tired he was, just asked if I enjoyed the speaker as we drove home. Complete grace and mercy, something I should exercise more within my life.
16. Hardships. Ok, I hate hardships while in the moment, who doesn't? But, I must say they create an attitude of thanksgiving and joy. Hardships help produce patience, creates a colorful character, and I find myself being most resourceful during hard times.
15. Furry companion. Love my dog! She warms my heart everyday (even though she peed on the carpet this morning and jumped up on the dinner table and ate half of the pumpkin pie roll), I am very thankful for her companionship, playfulness, and loyalty.
14. A challenge met. I love it when a task that seems so daunting at first becomes a challenge met and defeated. For example, fundraisers within the community, starting a new program, or beginning a new and uncertain adventure in life.
13. Feasting. I love me some green bean casserole on Thanksgiving day, but who am I kidding? I feast every day! I completely take the next meal for granted, I gorge myself at every meal, I look forward to "what's for dinner" options with Todd, I'll drop a dollar in the vending machine because I am bored so I guess I will eat, and I have never unwillingly skipped a meal. I must say I am not only thankful for this Thanksgiving dinner today, but for all the meals I consume without much of a second thought to how easy I have it.
12. Children. Life is about simple pleasures and children bring such simple happiness into our lives. They are little comedians and will say and do the most hilarious things. They have such an innocence about them, loving everyone for who they are, overlooking ones status, color, or religion. They help keep us grounded and remind us of whats really important in life.
11. Foundation Group. I touched on this in my last blog, about the importance of finding a group of individuals that will care about you and have your best interests at heart. I am appreciative of the individuals in our foundation group that support Todd and me in our walk with Christ.
10. My little apartment. I enjoy coming home to my little sanctuary with my little warm bed and the comforts of my own place. When I feel like complaining about my little apartment, I remind myself about the families that are living in shelters, in their cars, or on the streets and then suddenly my little apartment fills my heart up with complete contentment and satisfaction.
9. Great friends. My friends are the best! They know exactly what to say and how to cheer me up. They make me laugh and there never is a dull moment. I look forward to the moments I have with my good friends.
8. Modern Medicine. Many may, or may not, know my sister Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with a very serious disease this year, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. In a nut shell, overtime it leads to liver failure.We do not know what the future will bring with this disease, but I am forever grateful that we live in a country were she has access to some of the best medical care in the world, and that alone gives me much hope for her future.
7. Good Health. I think this is so taken for granted on a daily basis. Having been blessed with good health, I am at fault for rarely taking the time and thank God for this blessing. Yet, when others you love are suffering in pain from less than fortunate health issues, it totally brings a new awareness to how fortunate you are to have your health.
6. Power of prayer. I am overcome with the love and support so many individuals have shown my family and me this year, by means of prayer. It's extremely comforting to know that I have such wonderful people in my life that are praying for me. In a future blog, I might write about my case for Christ and how He is working in lives everyday.
5. Freedom. Extremely thankful for the military men and women that serve this great nation. I know that many of the service men and women are away from their own families this Thanksgiving, true sacrifice for my daily freedom and I am forever indebted.
4. My family. I have the best sisters a girl could ever ask for. The are smart, witty, creative, and beautiful inside and out. I, also, have the coolest, hippest grandparents ever! I hope you get to meet these wonderful people that have shaped so much of who I am today.
3. My parents. They are the epitome of sacrifice. They always put us before themselves, giving of their time, money, and energy. I know it may not have been easy at times, raising four girls, but they were selfless, courageous, and did their best. They always have been supportive and a great source of direction when I feel lost in a sea of decisions. Truly blessed.
2. Supportive spouse. My best friend, knight and shining armour. The one I come running to when I need a hug and to tell me everything is going to be OK. My husband who has endured and witnessed some of my worst moments, yet forgives with such grace it brings me to tears. The man who has biggest heart of anyone I know and loves to help his family and friends. I am beyond blessed with a great life partner.
1. My salvation. The best blessing of all when you receive Christ, but even sweeter when someone you care for receives Christ. Truly the best gift of life and my number one reason I am thankful everyday!
**1 Thessalonians 5:18