Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday (ed. 2.3)

It's Thursday again! Time to talk about the things that this week shows me being thankful for. :) Let's get a move on because ....Worshipers don't whine and whiners don't worship.

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Today, I'm thankful for...

....perspective....
There really isn't anything quite like a dose of perspective that pulls you out of yourself, your little pity parties and such and brings a skewed reality to a screeching halt. I'm thankful that God does not allow me to stay in those place for long. I am thankful that He has provided several people who provide that reality for me or who need me to stop being so darn selfish and serve them. It's such a tremendous blessing and opportunity to love like Jesus.

....football....
The smell of pigskin is in the air and fall is now officially begun with the inaguaral game between Green Bay and New Orleans. Even though one of these two teams is at the top of my "most loathed teams" in the NFL,....it's still football and it's still the beginning of fall. So thankful for this sport and that my brothers and dad have made it a part of my life. I am thankful for the bonding that's happened over the years watching football with dad and with my brothers. I'm thankful for the connection it still provides for our family. Football Sundays. :)

...an insanely busy & rather stressful schedule....
How can I be thankful for the stressful schedule? The lack of sleep? The "feeling like I'm under the gun from now until Dec. 15" you ask? Well....the busy-ness, the stress and the overall rushing I feel is definitely something I can and am thankful for because I know this is just a season. It is also such a reprieve to receive a day of rest - when I get one. It is a beautiful gift to be under pressure...because it shows the character you didn't think you had, a thread of some kind of other-worldly strength. And a true reminder that my strength comes not from me but from Christ who strengthens me (as Morgan reminded me the other day), and that it is in His Spirit that I accomplish anything of value.

...vulnerability....
in the recent days and weeks, someone precious to me has laid themselves bare to me and been exceptionally vulnerable. In turn, I find that something to be protected, cherished and held safe. I also know that the vulnerability I feel in sharing some things with this person sometimes feels like being on a cold lonely limb. However, I was reminded to day that risk is part of life, and provides opportunities to grow...but more than that...to experience something truly magnificent. Nothing good comes with risk and nothing exceptional comes without vulnerability. I'm thankful for these realizations.

...my love of reading....
When I was in 1st grade, I had a teacher who spurred me on to reading and sparked in me a love for 1) candy and 2) reading books. This week, I've never been more thankful for that. Having read a combined page amount that adds up to roughly 4 hefty text books in the last two weeks, and being able to read for hours without stopping and without losing focus or comprehension (for the most part) is a gift that not all have. In talking to others in the classes, they are having to break their reading up. Me, I've had to - by necessity - read in 200 page swaths at a time. It is nothing to sit and read it...skim it even and still walk away having a fairly decent grasp of what was said. I'm thankful for this, and I think that this God-design is a gift that I never want to take for granted. For now, I'm thankful I won't completely drown in grad school.

...encouraging words...
I am a words girl. I've learned that. I need to know from people that I mean something to them. Not just that they love me but the why. It's the logic and reasoning part of me, I guess. But in the midst of the hectic and mostly overwhelming week of "I'm not going to make it through grad school" and thoughts of "I bit off a bit more than I can chew." banging around my head, to get phone calls, or texts or even just have conversations with friends, family and loved ones who remind me of what's true rather than what is the lie in my head. We all have lies on repeat in our head....and we need people around us to speak truth over us and breathe life back into those dead spaces. I'm so thankful for every one who does that.

...ball-cap breakfasts...
I'm not sure if I wrote about this last week. But last friday, dad & I had a ball-cap breakfast. That means we get up super early like he used to do when I was a wee girl and go to breakfast together. When I was a tiny little girl, he'd wake me and not knowing how to brush my long tresses, would put a ball-cap on my head and off we'd go. As a grown up, we still have those days, except I choose to wear a ball-cap because it reminds me of those little girl/daddy dates from long ago. We talked about Love, Boys, God and a whole gamut of things and I'm so thankful for these dates with my dad. :)

...gentlemen...
Really, gentlemen are rare. Men who hold the door for you, who say what they mean and mean what they say. Men who are full of integrity, character, and respect women but still have a spirit of mischief, and a spirit of fun that lacks in some who are playing at being men rather than actually BEING men. Oh there's a huge difference. Some young fellas need help growing up. Some just need to strike out on their own and experience life. These are those gentlemen in training. But when you encounter a real gentleman, it's a lovely gift. I'm thankful for encounters with them. Even those guys who carry traits of the age of chivalry are a gift. Whichever, I'm thankful for gentlemen.

...beth moore...
I know I've talked about Beth before. But by way of encouraging and walking with a friend to freedom by reading through "So Long, Insecurity" with her, I'm in love with Beth all over again. Her honesty, her fresh perspectives on God's word, and being a woman is a good thing. My friend and I discussed the other day how Beth never states that women aren't allowed to get emotionally out of whack, hysterical and irrational. She accepts that we do because we are simply complex creatures - women. But she honestly states that we cannot trust men or other humans to carry the weight of those emotional swings. My favorite Beth concept is that this woman (me) who is often "too much" for the men in my life...is never too much for God. I can never be too hysterical, too stressed, too emotional, too weepy or too super joyful for Him. There is such rest for my crazed female heart...and I love that because of this, I need no human to fill that need. Thankful for that lesson learned and peace that comes from being securely anchored to my Jesus.

...comfy sheets....
last week, I stated my thankfulness for my pillow. Yeah. I like my pillow. This week, I bought a new set of sheets. Holy. Moley. 450 thread count, sateen type finish....it's like sleeping in a beautiful silky cocoon. It makes me never want to get up. But I'm thankful for these sheets. can I have another set, please?

...mama's chili...
One of my favorite rainy day, fall meals is my mama's chili. Oh it's tasty. It's the deep color of chili powder, not thick, but hearty with meat and beans - no veggies like crazy yankee chili. It's meat and beans and soup....and served up with a bit of corn chips, or cornbread. Oh...fall, hello.....I love mama's chili and I'm thankful that she's still in my life to make it.

....overall, just life right now...
there's a ton of uncertainity. a ton of stress. a lot of not sleeping well. a lot of heart-wrenching for those I care about. a great deal of sadness. and not a lot of answers from God about some things in life. BUT in spite of all of that....How can I NOT be thankful for all that He HAS done for me? He loves me. He gave me His word, His son and His promises (even though sometimes I don't see them clearly). There are blessings daily and weekly and monthly. I can NOT not be thankful! He's restored beautiful things in my life. He's worked miracles in ways I couldn't have thought possible. He's granted life in dead places and continues to do so. Man, He's just good....even when I can't see it, He's good. In fact, He's given me the faith to keep believing when everything in me wants to NOT believe (and that happens far more than I care to admit). In all of this, I am overflowing with thankfulness for being alive and for Him. He's mine and I'm His. So thankful.






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