I didn't get on board with writing something I’m thankful for on every day in November. But here’s a list of things that have crossed my mind lately: (In no particular order.)
Finally having someone else in the family who wants to play games all the time. When I was about 8, I wanted to play games all the time. Now Ryland is in that phase and I’m enjoying playing games with him. Dutch Blitz is our favorite right now.
Warmth. So I hate being cold. Absolutely hate it. I've always felt that way, but now that I've traveled to tropical climates, it’s even worse. I’m dreading the rest of fall and winter and wishing for sunshine. Also, hating socks and being cold is a terrible combination. I drove by a homeless man the other day and his cardboard sign mentioned being cold. It made me really sad. Living in a place where there are a lot of people standing on corners, I’m kind of calloused about it. (And I have mixed feelings about giving them money.) But I was just thinking how horrible it would be to have no shelter when it’s cold. So I’m thankful for sweaters, tights, jeans and legwarmers, an insulated house, a heaters, hot tea and coffee, and warm food.
Friends. All through high school I struggled with making close friends for various reasons. In YWAM I got close to a lot of people quickly, but it’s really hard to stay in touch beyond Facebook. But since I’ve been home I’ve really reconnected with a lot of old friends and I have a really solid set of wonderful, Godly friends in my life. I have friends I look up to and some that might look up to me, friends to go to movies with, friends to do crafts with, friends to study the Bible with, friends to dance with, and friends to party with.
Family. I just never get over how much I love my family. Seriously, I can’t imagine that anyone has a better one. My dad, who provides for us, and is helping me (way more than I deserve) with starting a business, and how gets me because we have such similar personalities. My mom, who listens and understands when I get angsty and stressed, who makes sure that everyone is happy and has what they need all the time. Gabriel and Peace, who I can hang out with for hours, who make me laugh all the time, who make doing the dishes fun, and who put up with me dragging them to watch movies and Doctor Who all the time because I can’t stand watching anything by myself. And Ryland, who says the cutest and funniest things. And of course my extended family is pretty great too.
Tea. I know I already mentioned this. But I love tea so much lately. Green. Chai. Lady Grey. Peach White. Green and Black fusion. English Breakfast. Jasmine. It’s all so good.
Our country. I’ve never been a super, patriotic, I Love America kind of a person. But my trip to Haiti made me very appreciative of the place I’ve gotten to grow up in. There are many things that aren’t perfect about our country or the people who run it. There are problems that need to be fixed and politics I don’t agree with. During and after the election I saw an awful lot of complaining. But I have been trying to remember to be thankful for the freedom we have, the justice system that pretty much always works, (I had jury duty last week and ended up on a criminal case. It made me think and take the whole thing more seriously. It was a super interesting experience.) the laws that protect us, our access to products and food from all over the world, the internet, TV, the ability to make choices about education and careers and marriage….I could go on.
Christmastime. I don’t think I would make it through the winter if there wasn’t a month of celebration and joy in there. It doesn’t get much better than a month-long birthday party for Jesus. I love tradition, spending time with family, food, crafts, finding gifts for friends, making treats, parties, performances, candlelight services, stories, movies, the smell of Christmas trees, mandarin oranges, egg nog, and the feeling that everyone in the country is doing something together.
All the traveling I’ve gotten to do.
Starting a business. My parents have done a lot to give me this great opportunity. It’s really great to have schedule flexibility and use my talents creatively.
Dance. I’ve gotten to try out African dance this fall and I’m really enjoying it. I have/had a lot of great teachers over the years! I’m also so thankful for the Company that I get to be a part of right now. It’s so amazing to get to dance for God.
Creativity: I’m thankful to have time and resources and talents to use making crafts and decorating my room, learning to sew, knitting, fashion, cooking, etc.
And other smallish things that come to mind right now: new scrubber things for doing the dishes, apples, a great public library, the Kindle my dad is lending me, a great car, new waterproof walking boots, Tiger Balm, my memory foam mattress topper, hot showers, Netflix, jeans that come in “long,” my phone, ice cream, books, chopsticks, sunglasses, music.
Wow, it feels good to write down all that stuff. It’s easy to feel dissatisfied and complain, but now I feel more focused on the good things in my life. I’m thankful that God has given me so many wonderful things to be thankful for right now.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!