Psalm 95:1-2 NIV:
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
I’ve been on this Earth for 19 years now, so I’ve learned quite a bit and have found myself to realize what is important, and how much I truly have. I will keep learning and growing and developing appreciation for things, but that is a topic for another time.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorite holidays that happens to have just happened, I thought I would share with you all a few things I am thankful that year. 19 specifically, just because I have 19 years of experience and learning what to be appreciative of.
Without further ado, here are 19 things I am thankful for this year :
1. Life. I am thankful to have been able to be on this earth the past 19 years, many people don’t get the chance to live this long, or much at all. I’m thankful to be alive & have experiences that make me feel less like I’m idly existing and more like I’m truly living.
2. Family. I’m beyond blessed to have a family that loves me. We’re all a little weird and crazy, but we have each other through the good times and bad. I’m thankful to have people in my corner to do life, because it’d be so much harder if I were alone. This goes for biological family and otherwise.
3. Freedom. I’m beyond grateful to have grown up in the United States. I know this may seem cliché, but it’s true. I have gotten to live with an abundance of freedoms in a land of opportunity. This is possible in other countries as well, but there are far more countries who don’t have the freedoms and safety I have. I’m thankful to be a citizen of one of the greatest countries that provides me with unlimited opportunities to achieve my dreams.
4. My church. I’m so thankful for a family of people that offer genuine fellowship and accountability. To my home church and to my college life group- thank you. So blessed and appreciative for the love and support you people give me. Everyone needs this kind of community & I’m extremely blessed to have it- because again, some people don’t have the freedom to gather or praise God like we do here in the U.S., and some haven’t found the right church family for them. I’m grateful I have.
5. Education. As a woman, the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue an education in whatever field I desire to is something the be immensely thankful for. There was a time even here in the states this wasn’t a foreseeable or realistic task, but now that it’s a reality, I’m so blessed to have the chance to study, stress & have a sleepless night or too. The end result will be well worth it.
6. Our troops. I cannot express my gratitude to those who risk everything to defend our country and protect our freedoms. They are making the ultimate sacrifice and doing/seeing things most of us could never imagine or willingly take part in. If it wasn’t for them, who knows what kinds of things we’d be dealing with. To our service members- active, reserve, veteran or passed on- thank you. So much. You are heroes.
7. Healthcare. Though the economic side of this topic often leads to debate, which I am not going into on this post, I truly believe that I’m blessed to have the healthcare I’ve received here in Texas. As someone with a chronic illness who has spent a fair amount of time in the US healthcare system, I can say I’m extremely thankful for all of the doctors, nurses, PA’s, medical assistants, physical therapists etc who have helped me. Our medical technology and training has and continues to improve and I feel extremely blessed to live in an era where medical research and treatment is at a new height- and more about our bodies chemical and anatomical composition is understood. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to live with certain conditions- or potentially die from them- if I were experiencing them 50+ years ago. It’s astounding honestly.
8. Service. I’m so thankful to be able to help other people, and to serve God’s kingdom freely. I am thankful to have gotten to go on mission trips and participate in service projects that were often uncomfortable for me but were used for the betterment of myself & others. I’m grateful for those who have pushed me and funded me to get there- and to have been allowed to participate in said things. Some service opportunities are difficult to come by without connections or certain strings & specific stipulations, but I’m thankful to have had as many as I have.
9. My friends. I’m not going to sit here and name all of you, because I don’t think that is necessary. You know who you are. Whether we are super close, not as close as we once were, hang out daily/weekly, see each other a couple times a year, etc., I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful you’re part of my life and have been here for me, experienced life with me, laughed with me, cried with me, danced in the rain with me. I’m thankful that y’all are who you are and have shared parts of your life with me.
10. UMHB. I cannot say how thankful I am for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for providing me with such a Godly environment to grow and learn in. This university has challenged and pushed me spiritually and academically & has been one of my life’s biggest blessings. From the Christian fellowship to the small class sizes, the awesome professors that actually care about my life, education and future, the people who I don’t know well that pray for me and offer me comfort- to the coursework that applies my faith and creativity while challenging my intellect.. I couldn’t ask for more from an academic institution. This place is so much more than a school, it’s home.
11. Theatre. I grew up doing community theatre, as well as school theatre. Though I’m not extraordinarily gifted in the theatrical arts, theatre has helped me grow in many ways and I am so thankful God brought it into my life. Theatre helped improve my confidence, my speech, my memory and more while stretching me to be creative- and being fun all at the same time. It also brought me together with people just as quirky as me- from all walks of life, and gave me a comfortable environment to let loose without fear of being judged as weird, so much so that I’m able to be myself anywhere I go now, though I was once extremely shy.
12. Having a home. This one is simple. I’ve moved a few times, and we’ve had financial struggles throughout the year, but I’m blessed to have always had a roof over my head & food in my belly. Many people in the world could only dream of this luxury and we often take it for granted. As I’ve grown and seen poverty in the world around me and seen the extreme circumstances many have had to live through, I’ve come to realize just how good I have it and made it a point to always remember that what I have is a luxury and not a given with life- it’s something I must always remain appreciative of- especially as I didn’t contribute to the finances because I was a child, and will have to work to provide for myself in the next few years.
13. Science. Like healthcare, science has come a long way throughout the years. It’s one of the most interesting subjects to me- and it helps me to further realize the complexity and greatness of our creator. I believe God gave us science to learn and understand more about his creation, and I think it helps to prove God’s existence, because it’s so complex yet perfectly thought out- a greater power HAD to have constructed this. I’m so thankful for this field I’m able to study and how it helps us help others, understand more about ourselves and our planet- and about how powerful and all-knowing our amazing God is.
14. Dancing. Like theatre, God brought me to dance when I needed it most. It taught me many life lessons & has provided me with many memories- some good & some bad. Dance pushed and challenged me mentally and physically, but helped me develop my work ethic and desire to keep pushing through adversity in order to achieve what I’m capable of. It taught me the value of discipline and hard work.
15. Teachers. The people who don’t get enough recognition, nor enough pay. I’ve been blessed with many AMAZING teachers throughout my life, and they’ve all left a mark on me. Again, not gonna name each one individually, but I have many former teachers on Facebook- and if they’re on my Facebook, I consider them to be a great teacher. So I’m writing this to those who have impacted me greatly: you are awesome & you are a light. Your passion to educate young minds and pour your heart into you work inspires me & I thank God for you. I’ve dealt with teachers who seemed detached, uninterested and bored who made school pretty i enjoyable at times, but you guys who love what you do made me feel motivated to do my best and keep chasing after my goals- and you helped me with all of my struggles for countless hours after school and didn’t stop until you knew I understood. You were there for me when I felt unconfident or blue & you brightened my day. Never forget that what you do is worth it & many students are extremely grateful for you- even though we don’t tell you enough.
16. My roommate. I’m thankful that you’re always down to jam out to Hamilton, bake junk food or have an existential crisis with me. And also that you’ll procrastinate with me by stress cleaning or watching cheesy movies, tagging me in memes and for reminding me that I’m not stupid. Thanks for understanding the struggle by having the same major/minor as me so we can both stress about the same classes. Thanks for knowing the things I don’t know and for being a hard worker who motivates me to get stuff done. Thanks for teaching me what it’s like to live with one other person and share the responsibilities of chores like a team. And for being there for my rants, mental breakdowns & POTS flare ups (oh and taking my moms calls to drive me to the doctor when I won’t go). Also thank you for not being a crazy roommate like those I hear about in horror stories that cause unnecessary drama and stuff. I am blessed to have a roommate that I can call a friend, even though you’re not as quiet as I thought you were at camp… (which is good because I’m not quiet either!) Hahaha but really, you rock.
17. My hometown. I know I make jokes about it and was happy to leave- but that’s just because I needed to branch out and grow and find myself. I’m proud of where I grew up because I met great people, learned a lot and created a plethora of memories. La Porte will always be home and I’m not gonna lie, I miss the comfort and ease of it at times- especially because I don’t return often and being in a new place is overwhelming at times, no matter how big or small it is. I’m thankful to have experienced my childhood and teenage years in the place my parents and siblings did, where my family name is known by many in the district- where my name and family ties left me no choice but to behave in school. And of course- the opportunity to take college classes for FREE that I was able to transfer- not many districts provide that luxury and I’m grateful (it also gave me many of the teachers I mentioned earlier and that’s awesome!!). Now that I gone, I can really appreciate what all this place offered and I think my life would be way different had I grown up anywhere else.
18. England. Yeah, y’all have probably heard me talk about this place a lot in the last year… but seriously. I’m so grateful to have experienced this place and taken in its history and culture. I’m so thankful for the bonds I made- both my my mission team and with the people I met across the pond. Travel and immersing yourself in a new place is eye opening and challenging, but it’s one of the greatest things you can do, in my opinion. I’m so grateful I was able to embark on the trip and have this opportunity. I’m thankful for what it revealed to me and how God is using the experience in my life and in his for me. I’m thankful for my family across the pond, my hosts that took me in graciously and treated me like they’d known me forever. I’m grateful for the newfound awareness I have for spiritual warfare. I’m all around thankful for this country that my family originated from, and for the connection I felt with it. Wow oh wow.
19. My blogging community. Y’all, I’m so thankful for my fellow bloggers who encourage me and push me to develop better, deeper content. I’m grateful to have found people who share the desire and passion to spread God’s love and goodness through this kind of platform, those who love writing and channeling their creativity to reach others. I can’t say how many times I’ve thought about giving up on this whole blogging thing out of discouragement or lack of time, because your kind words, comments & discussions help me keep going & taught me to make time and plan out content. This goes for fellow bloggers as well as my readers. I’m so so grateful and thankful for all of you who take the time to read what I put on my corner of the internet & interact with me! I hope you get something out of my work, whether it be serious or silly, as I post a little of both.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart for reading this and joining me on my journey. Be on the look out for lots of new posts soon, after I survive finals! Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving and I wish you safe travels!!
God bless you,