Well, hi there!
It’s been awhile; please forgive my negligence. There was a week or so in there that can’t be accounted for on account I was abducted by aliens dressed in polyester driving a silver Lexus. They commandeered a ship and kept me adrift in the Atlantic Ocean for most of the time; a very affective form of mind control as there was no way to escape, but the food was spectacular. Anyway, that is beside the point.
We are smack in the middle of what is called the “holiday season.” Otherwise known as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, my birthday. A reflective time for sure as the year is coming to a close in order for another to begin, but it’s last Thursday that I would like to go back to. It was a wonderful day filled with family, turkey, football, wii-ing and yappy dogs at my house, but I couldn’t help but remember Thanksgivings past. When we would go to my grandparents house and Grandpa would have turkey, ham and “road kill” as meat choices. When us kids were strongly encouraged, but not forced, to eat our vegetables. When Dad, Uncle Tom, Grandpa, my two brothers and I would brave the chilly weather to launch model rockets in the backyard. When my Grandma was still alive.
It’s been three years, but all the traditions we used to have died with her. I know change is good, but it hurts, too. Still, I have been more than blessed, and this is what I held onto as Mom bustled about the kitchen preparing spinach dip and mashed potatoes and Dad got in the way while cooking the turkey. There is not a day that goes by in which we should not be giving thanks, but on this Thanksgiving day, when new traditions were made at my house, God gave me just a glimpse of a future I thought would turn out much differently. If I had my way I would have a job by now, I would have a significant other, I would still have my Grandma, I would not still be living at home….but thank God that’s not how life has turned out so far because then I would not have had the memories made on Thursday and Friday, I would not know my sister-in-law the same way I do now, and I would not still have a burning hope that God has grand plans for my future.
So, here is my list of thanks. Read it, or don’t, but I urge you to make a list of your own just as a reminder of God’s goodness.
1. God’s love, grace, faithfulness, *insert attribute here*. He is everything, and I am nothing.
2. Family. Sure, it’s a requisite for this list, but I am truly thankful for my parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. not just because they love me, but because they taught me about Jesus, were an example of love displayed, and put up with my antics.
3. Music. The best form of expression (whether it be self-expression or worship to God), bonding (“I love this song!” “Really? Me too!”), escape, emoting (kinda goes with expression), or way to just find a little joy. I can’t hardly put into words how much music has influenced who and what I am as a human being. I love to play it, sing it, write it, listen to it, fall asleep to it, and share it with loved ones. There is a song for everything!
4. Talented musicians. There is a lot of crap music in this world, but you don’t have to go far to find clever lyrics, crunchy melodies, minty harmonies and a nutty drum solo. Mix it up and you’ve got musical cocoa that is sure to delight and warm even the coldest of souls. Some of my favorite musicians, you ask? Matthew Thiessen (Relient K), Adam Young (Owl City), Freddie Mercury (Queen), Ryan Dunson (Rookie Of The Year), Steve Wick, Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen), Tiffany Arbuckle Lee (Plumb), David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Max Bemis (Say Anything), Pete Townshend (The Who), Jen Ledger (Skillet), George Harrison (The Beatles), Keith Moon (The Who), Neil Peart (Rush), Stephen Christian (Anberlin), Jack White (The White Stripes), Diana Ross, Zooey Deschanel (She & Him), TobyMac, Taylor Swift, Curt Smith (Tears For Fears)….obviously this list could go on for days, but I digress. I’m grateful God has gifted these people with their abilities, and that they have the courage to share with the rest of us.
5. Friends. Real ones. The kind that laugh even if you’re trying too hard to be funny, cry with you as your heart is breaking, tell you when you’re out of line, pray for and with you, and actually want to hear all the mundane details of your week just to feel like they were there with you. Y’all know who you are.
6. Sophie. The cutest Yorkshire Terrier on the planet. She’s my sunshine.
7. Four seasons. No, not the hotel or the band (although, both are wonderful things for sure). I am not a fan of cold weather, but I love that blustery winters become warm springs and hot summers become brisk autumns. With each season comes its pros and cons, and I would hate to miss a minute of it.
8. Intellect. Shallow? Maybe. However, it’s a blessing to have my own opinions about things and to be able to smartly discuss and/or debate with those who have the same or differing opinions. Also, the ability to learn and retain knowledge is a gift we oft taken for granted, I think. God has made me into a relatively smart, opinionated, responsible, functioning member of society, so who am I to take the credit for it?
9. Hockey! Specifically, the Chicago Blackhawks. Is there another sport in which large, muscular men on ice skates can body slam their opponents into the wall and not be penalized for it? I think not!
10. Humor. There is irony all around us, and those who can expose it to make people laugh is a beautiful gift. As a very wise man once said, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
11. Flannel sheets. Enough said. Soft and cozy to wrap up in on these cold winter nights. What a blessing!
12. Hot drinks on cold days. Actually, I’m thankful for hot drinks on any days, but I love how they can warm your veins when the chill sets in so deep that even thermal underwear and sweatpants can’t ward it off. What can I say, I’m cold-blooded.
13. Home. Not just the people, but the house itself. I’m grateful that I have a place to call home, a bed to sleep in, food to eat; we live in luxury compared to some.
14. Apple. You know, all that stuff that begins with i; iTunes, iPad, iPhone, iPod aka genius! The Macbook pro and I have been through some tough times as well as happy times together, and it faithfully stores my life without complaint.
15. 2000 Grand Am. My car. He gets me from point A to point B and doesn’t use up too much gas in the process. What more could a girl want?
Additions and other lists welcome.
Peace and blessin’s