Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful in 2011

It's easy to be able to dwell on events and things that we're not thankful for in life.  It's easy to focus on negative events and things that have taken place within the last year.  From sicknesses, to death, to more sicknesses - it's easy.

Lately I've actually done pretty well remembering to think everyday of at least one thing I am thankful for or how I was blessed within that set of 24 hours.  It's a habit I want to use for the rest of my life for everyday that I am breathing and am conscious.  Now, considering the fact that it's Thanksgiving week here in America, I feel it's appropriate to take a few minutes to focus on what I am thankful for from this last year here on my blog (with pictures!).

Here we go...(There are a LOT of things I'm thankful for so I know odds are, I won't get to cover them all in this entry.  I think the list would be endless.)

  • My Family -  (My parents, sister, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents...You get the idea.  The whole family.)  Not only am I thankful for the people God has blessed me with to share some of the same DNA, but I am thankful for the tight-knit group that we are together.  We compliment one another really well in many ways.  When hard times do come, we aren't broken apart.  We grow closer together and can trust one another through everything.  Oddly enough - I've always known I was blessed to have such a cool family.  However, I never realize how blessed I am until this year and how unique my family is.  It's crazy that it took me 20 years to figure that out.

  • Ashley Elizabeth (My Niece)  -  Not once did we ever get to make eye contact.  She never even took her first breath or created her first cry.  There's a lot of hardship that has come at the mention of her name.  However...There are a lot of blessings that even an unborn child can make or be.  She was a blessing in the time we had with her before she entered the world.  She created happiness, smiles, laughter, and excitement.  And while my time with her was short while she was out of the womb, I am thankful for the chance I had to hold her before completely saying goodbye.

  • Rayna -  I'm thankful for all my family, like mentioned above, but I am specifically thankful for Rayna.  She's blessed me in ways she'll never completely know in many much needed times.  She lights up my life...makes me laugh and smile.  Just being with her has helped heal part of my brokenness from the year. Oh, and nap times?  They are the best when cuddled with her!!

  • Humor -  I love wit, irony, sarcasm, and I love cheesy.  I love anything that makes me laugh. (Even if it's not always intended to!! Ha!)

  • Doctors and the technology they have within the hospital walls.  They have saved many family member's lives this year and also have helped with issues that aren't life-threatening, but still in need of attention.

  • Traveling -  I was able to visit many places this year ranging from Nashville, to Japan, to Mexico.  It's neat to see the different cultures, people, and ways people live and do things.  It's a blessing to know people from different parts of the world too.

  • Ability -  There are a lot of abilities I have and can go towards and direction.  However, I specifically am referring to the ability of physical ability.  Yeah, yeah, right now I have a bum ankle from injury and surgery...But usually I have a good range of ability so I can go and help people when I travel.  For example: Disaster relief work in Japan.  Building houses when in Mexico.

  • My Dog Miss Ruby Ann - Out of all the things I can write about my dog definitely makes the list.  She is the best dog I've ever had.  She makes me smile through her goofy moments, excitement when she sees me, when she follows me around, or just goes to bed with me at night.  She's a cool dog.

  • My Dad - I am thankful he is still alive and with us today.

  • My camera -  And the ability to capture a few minutes of joy and happiness for a lifetime.

  • Pen and paper -  Or, electricity, keyboard, and screen.  Being able to write and tell stories to others through my writings via email, blog, or even just for my own personal records in my private journal.

  • Things I Accomplished from my Bucket List - Like riding a jet ski!!

  • Friends - local and distant...Old and new.  Friends who are willing and able to call and check on me from time to time.  Friends that make me laugh and smile.  Friends who laugh when I laugh, cry when I cry.  Friends who are uplifting and encouraging.  Friends who say they are praying for me, who do pray for me.  Friends I can be open and honest with while being myself.
    • There are some other specific friends I am thankful for...However...When thinking about who to post a picture of for this section, Josh and Alicia were the first to come to mind - and quickly at that (pretty much instantly)!! They fit the description above 100%. When I've cried they embraced me, and they cried. When I laugh, they both laugh - often being a source of laughter. I am thankful for my dear friends!! I am thankful for their friendship, their support, encouragement, and the time we had together in Japan in July. (The list could really go on why I am thankful for them!! But if you read the blog and you read the general list, you get the idea of the type of friends they are (AKA: The awesome kind! Ha!).) While the time in Japan was short and in a crazy crazy time, it was sweet all the same. I love you, guys!!!

  • New Experiences and Memories -   Everyday is a new self-building adventure.

  • My home - A home with windows, doors, locks, floors, and a roof.  A home with warmth and an AC, a home with a kitchen, electricity, and a bathroom.

  • Education - whether it be from life experiences or from a classroom.  Whether I am learning myself or teaching someone else something new (which in itself can be a learning experience while teaching!)

  • My Life -  Through it all, I am thankful to be alive.  I am thankful for my experiences, lessons, blessings, stories, family, and friends.  I am thankful for my life.

  • Operation Mobilization -  I am thankful to be able to have my upcoming opportunity to go with them to London.  While I haven't gone anywhere with them yet, I am thankful for the chance, the excitement it brings, and the experiences I've had locally while preparing to go.

  • Support for OM - The support has been uplifting, encouraging, and at times quite eye opening!!  I still have about $3,300 to go...I still need a lot of prayers...But the support that has been shown in both areas has been amazing...and I thank God and you for that!

  • God - I'm thankful for all that He is and all He has done in my life.  He is my Comforter, Healer, Shepherd, Light, Purpose for Being, Father, Encourager, Provider, and SO much MORE.  He is my EVERYTHING.

  • Prayer - Being able to pray...Praying for others...Knowing that I'm being prayed for!  Even by those that speak with a different language!

  • Creativity - My creativity, other people's creativity.  Creativity for photography, writing, scrapbooking, etc, etc, etc!

  • For 2011 - It was a bittersweet year.  While there was a lot of "bitter" and bad/hard times, there was a LOT of sweetness to my year as well.  A lot of trips, laughter, time with family and friends, encouragement, prayers, excitement, and more.  The year of 2011 was a hard year...but also a good year.

This is just a summary of things and people I am thankful for...I don't know the kind of year you've had.  You may of had a GREAT year, or a terrible year.  While I don't know the type of year you've had, but what I do know is - even in the worst of years there are blessings.  There are things and people to be thankful for.  What are YOU thankful for this year?  Feel free to leave a comment!  I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Travelin' Chick,

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