Thankful: Then & Now

Two years ago I kept a blog titled “Hopeful Sentiments”. My last post before I switched to my WordPress site was “A Thankful Post” on Thanksgiving 2011. I found it last week and, for lack of better words today, was thankful that I had written it. It served as a reminder of eternal things which I will always be thankful for; it also allowed me to realize that some of the things I was thankful for have come and gone and I am just as thankful, if not more, for new circumstances. The post is below:

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:5-7

It is not a secret that anxiety is something I struggle with. It gets so bad sometimes that worry consumes my thoughts and my speech and my life. Philippians 4:5-7 is something I’m trying to consistently remember, and what better day to write and reflect on it than Thanksgiving!

Worry won’t add anything to my life, it will only steal my joy and strength. The act of giving thanks, however, restores joy and strength. I don’t want today to be about food and preparing for black friday shopping and watching the cowboys game (although all of these things are wonderful), I want to really remember what I am thankful for in the midst of everything I would change about my circumstances.

I’m thankful for a dad who loves his kids, and who loves to cook for us. I’m thankful that he still has his life and his ability to make my favorite Thanksgiving dressing every year. I’m thankful for a mom who bends over backwards for her family, who denies herself to make life better for us. For siblings who are my best friends: a sister who is going to make a wonderful roommate in a few weeks, a brother who is like my twin, and another brother who will take the dog out when I don’t want to.

I’m thankful for coffee — I bet you didn’t see that coming — and baristas who make good coffee. I’m thankful for art: good books and movies and photographs and paintings and music that explains how you feel better than you ever could. I’m thankful for good weather and colorful leaves. I’m thankful for friends who are there for me when I go crazy, friends who make me laugh until I cry, friends who are just as weird as I am.

I’m thankful for a job that I love (most of the time) and that I am able to support myself and my coffee addiction and still have enough to give to others. I’m thankful for an internship with a great organization that is making a difference. I’m thankful that I know what I’m passionate about and that I have dreams and goals and a future. I’m thankful that I have a car that runs so I don’t have to, although running probably wouldn’t be such a bad idea after I eat all of this food.

I’m thankful for the Body of Christ- the Church- the fellowship of believers. I’m thankful for grace, for a God who does not stop loving me when I’m selfish instead of thankful. I’m thankful that even in the midst of difficult circumstances I can lean on the cross of Christ- that I’m covered by the blood of Jesus, I have no righteousness of my own but that God saw it fit to give me His righteousness.

My hope is to reflect on these things more than I currently do.

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Today, I am also thankful for much. I am thankful that I’m still learning to struggle well with anxiety. More importantly, I am thankful for friends have stood by me as I’ve learned to struggle well. I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. I’m thankful that, although I am miles and miles away, my heart has never been closer to them. I am still thankful for coffee and baristas, and that both of these things have an entirely different meaning to me than they did two years ago. I am thankful to be continuing my education and that I know even less about my hopes and dreams than I did two years ago and am content. I am thankful that I live in a place that experiences all four seasons, and a fantastic public transportation system so that I don’t have to have a car. I’m thankful that I actually enjoy running these days, and that change isn’t as scary as it used to be. I am thankful for a God who loves and transforms, who breathes life and speaks things that aren’t into existence.

Happy Thanksgiving, loves. Life is richer and more beautiful with you in it.

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