Every year, I see people do the daily “social media / thankfulness” thing where you post one thing that they are thankful for per day. I love this idea, but due to my inconsistent & crazy schedule, I’m not great at doing daily tasks like that (Honestly, I’m so busy that I’m lucky if I remember to get dressed every morning). So, instead, here is the first part of my list. These people, these things, these are what my hearts beats for and because of (in no particular order). Thank you.
1. Camille: I am thankful for you my beautiful sister. Thank you for walking beside me all these years. Thank you for loving me when I am bright and shiny, and dark and twisty. Thank you for putting up with my temper tantrums and crying voicemails. Thank you for being a strong, upstanding woman of God who I can look to for advice and strength. You are a brilliant inspiration to those around you and I know that God is going to take you places in this world. Thank you for loving me.
2. The gift of being single: In a culture that is consumed with hooking up and jumping from relationship to relationship, I am thankful that I have this season to find out not only who I am “alone”, but who I am in God. I hope that some day my future will include dating, getting married, and having a family, but for now, I am thankful that God has taught me to be content with being single.
3. My brothers: I am beyond indebted to the wonderful men in my life for their love and protection. From giving me their “okay” on difficult life decisions to helping me figure out how to change a tire, they are always there when I need a helping hand or a smack in the head. Matthew, Christopher, Kenny, Anthony, & Josh I hope you know how much I love you all.
4. I’m thankful for the days when I am at my weakest. Those days when I know that I am unworthy of grace and broken… those are the days when I need God the most. And for days like that, I am incredibly thankful.
5. Danielle Gail Johnson: It’s been wierd learning how to live life without this girl by my side. The holidays are especially difficult because I know that your heart was breaking three years ago, so broken in fact that you took your own life. And knowing that you were broken and that we didn’t do enough to support you stings. Yet I am so thankful that you were put in my life, if only for a few seasons. Thank you for teaching me the value of life and the importance of loving the people that God has placed in my life, unconditionally.
6. The Denver Street School: No, not everyday is full of rainbows, puppies, and happiness. Yes, some days I leave work and cry in my car on the way home. But the fact that I get to work in a school where I can openly talk about God and His love for all of creation has been such a blessing in my life. Watching Him draw my students to Himself has been sublime. Plus, knowing that I get to work in the same ministry that God originally used to draw me to Himself blows my mind everyday. I love praying with my co-teachers every morning and serving the community with my students every month. I am truly blessed to work where I do.
7. My support team: I literally wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I didn’t have a great team of financial supporters and prayer warriors backing me this year. Thank you to those who help me to keep a roof over my head and pay my electric bills. I literally owe you my life right now, and cannot thank you enough!
8. The blessing of being a long-distance “momma”: I’m not going to lie; Saying goodbye to my babies sucked. I miss them everyday and would give just about anything to be able to get them ready for school every morning and tuck them into bed every night. But being a long-distance momma has taught me a lot about giving control of my life over to God. I have had to learn to trust Him in ways that I never would be able to if I had my kiddos living with me. I am reminded daily that my babies are God’s babies too and that He has a plan for them, for all of us really, that blows my nearsighted plan out of the water.
9. Scum of the Earth: Moving back into the city & sliding into such a wonderful church body has been a blessing that I simply cannot explain. I am thankful for my Scum-bags (and baguettes), and all of the joy and wisdom that this church has blessed me with.
10. The imminent move: Knowing that this will be my last Autumn and Winter in Colorado for a while has made me appreciate all of the small things: the cool evenings, the slushy roads that I can puddle jump in after a snow, the BEAUTIFUL mountains, and the way the sunsets behind them… I know that I’m going to miss my home, but I’m so thankful that I’ll be leaving for a while, as it has taught me not to sweat the small stuff and to live in the moment.
11. The International Phonetic Alphabet: Yes, this is incredibly nerdy, I understand that. But very few things make my heart leap like transcribing things into the International Phonetic Alphabet, and knowing that I get to do nerdy things like this for the next few years in grad school makes me so happy that I could squeal with joy. I can’t wait to see where God takes me with this.
lid mi tu ðə ɛndz əv ðə ərθ
12. Aurora, Colorado: It’s weird to think that I am so in love with the city that I once itched to leave, but I am. I am thankful for the memories built there and the friends that I made as I moved through different stages of life there. I’m thankful for every weird experience and wrong turn that I made while living there because they all lead me to the place where I am today.
13. Broken relationships & reconciliation: There is no simple way to explain this one, but I’m thankful that God has given me an opportunity to fix the relationships that I have royally screwed up over the last five years or so. I serve a God of redemption and He has shown this in BIG ways in my life this year.
14. My mother: No, we don’t see eye-to-eye on most things… and no, our relationship is no where near where I would like it to be right now, but after all that we’ve been through over the last five years, I am simply thankful that she is alive. She’s tough as nails, and I am thankful for her strong, unconventional, fighting spirit.
15. Relaxation: Tonight I am simply thankful for calm weeknights when I can light all of the candles in my studio, slip into sweats and fuzzy socks, make a pot of tea, and simply write for the pleasure of writing. It is a blessing to be able to relax in the midst of a crazy schedule.
[Part 2 of this list to come eventually… For now, I am going to finish this pot of tea and the book sitting by my feet. May your November be blessed and may you have the time to slow down and thank God for the blessings that surround us all. Love, Lou]
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)