Every year at my grandparents' home on Thanksgiving, my entire extended family gathers in a circle to share what each of us are thankful for. Every year, without fail, someone gets a little choked up and we all end up in tears. I kinda hate that part... and try really hard not to be the one who breaks down first... But the truth is that this traditional, this family ritual, opens my eyes yearly to how overwhelmingly blessed I am.
I am so completely blessed.
These past few months have been rough for me- financially, emotionally, spiritually- just draining.
But all things considered, for everything that I felt was difficult/unfair/unpleasant, I have something beautiful/full of grace/undeserved.
I have felt very alone in my new home, starting over in a new city. It has been really hard to transition to a new church and to make new friends. But I have family that is willing to drop everything to be there for me. I have a mom who will answer her phone no matter what time. I have a sister who makes me a priority when I fail to do the same for her. I have a father who wants only the very best for me, even when we disagree on what that might be. I don't deserve how good they are to me, but I am so glad that they are mine.
I've struggled with finances this semester, trying to get tuition paid and make ends meet. And God has provided every step of the way. Friends have generously gifted me. And God provided the perfect job, in perfect timing.
In my seminary classes I've begun a journey in exploring deeper facets of who God is and the history of his creation. And as much as I've learned about theology, I've come to an entirely fresh and new appreciation for the gospel. It is beautiful and simple and life changing.
I am grateful for so many other things as well:
My OMBC family in Austin, who I miss greatly!
A great new church in Fort Worth with fantastic teaching and powerful worship
My sweet Ringo who is the best snuggler ever and makes me feel like the best person in the world every time I walk in the door
My very own kitchen to cook and experiment in
Electricity, running water and central AC/heat- things I regularly take for granted!
The Internet. Amen.
My taste buds and metabolism- because I love me some food.
Friendships formed through blogging this past year, the opportunity to attend the Influence Conference, and the things God teaches me regularly both through my own blogging and through reading the stories of others.
Food trucks, their generous owners and yummy food!
Goodwill and other cheap ways to dress myself
My car, Bruiser. He gets me where I need to go and is all paid for. Win win.
Most of all, I am grateful for Jesus- that he paid the price for every bit of my sin, loves me deeply, showers me with glorious undeserved grace, and gives me worth. I don't have to earn any of it. Hallelujah, amen.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.