Saturday, December 31st, 2011
I’m thankful for the moments that have brought me to this moment.
Thankful for being raised by my parents, loved by my grandparents, befriended by my friends, taught by my teachers. Thankful for Latin homework and choir practice and going to skating-rink birthday parties and playing on the tennis team. For vibrant, giggly college dorm life and a lonely grad school apartment. For moving trucks and paychecks and bosses and co-workers and battles and working with ideas. For fresh starts and faithful churches and bumbling breakups. For tension and tears and prayers and acceptance and commitment and the settling of married life.
For a job that led me to a friend. For seeing that friend’s listing of things she was thankful for. For the prompting to try it myself and the glimpse of joy that propelled me to commit to 365 days. For the money to buy a domain name. For my husband’s help in booting up this blog. For God’s whisperings and opening my eyes to all of these posts and more.
For the changes this exercise has caused in my outlook and the days when others have voiced their thankfulness. For the friends and family members I’ve written about and those I haven’t. For the challenge of trying not to repeat a post, and looking that much harder for something new each day.
For the winter day on which I write this final post in the Year of Yay. And for the year of opportunities to come.
May every year be lived thankfully.
Sunday, December 25th, 2011
“The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. A more lowly place of birth could not exist.”
“He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.”
“The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable.”
“How absurd to think that such nobility would go to such poverty to share such a treasure with such thankless souls. But he did. In fact, the only thing more absurd than the gift is our stubborn unwillingness to receive it.”
– excerpts from “God Came Near” by Max Lucado
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Our bodies have so many ways of protecting us. The gag reflex is just one. I ate something that almost went down the wrong way today, which prompted me to reflect on this little blessing.
Saturday, December 17th, 2011
I saw someone at the grocery store who was missing a leg and sitting in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, legs – like arms – are something I take for granted far too often.
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
Last night was the Christmas – er, “holiday” – party for my husband’s office. The boss and his wife host it, and I am not exaggerating when I say they are some of the most gracious hosts I have seen. They do a tremendous job of making the spouses and significant others feel welcome at these events. Which, when you consider the potential awkwardness of making conversation with people you see only once a year, is saying a lot. I want to host like them when I grow up.
Friday, December 9th, 2011
I don’t thank God nearly enough for having a place to live.
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
I have been rejoicing over this one for some time now. Let’s be honest: I’ve had five jobs in the past five years. There are very specific reasons for that – for one, the semi-normalcy of job-hopping in D.C. If this were a job interview, I would explain. But it’s not, and I’m thankful.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
It’s my birthday!
When it comes to being thankful, it’s always good to go back to basics. Keeping my heart beating is one of those things I can’t do on my own. And since everything else stems from that… I can’t really make much happen, can I? I can choose to let this make me feel powerless – or to thank God for keeping it all going.
Chris Rice’s song “The Power of a Moment” reminds me that “I have no guarantee of my next heartbeat” and God “knows the number of my days.” This song’s message, “right now’s the only moment that matters” and “show me the importance of the simple things,” is great fuel for thankfulness.
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
I am totally cheating and being thankful again for my nephews (ages 9 and 1). I am so blessed to have married into a family with lots of siblings so that I can be an aunt! It’s a very cool relationship.
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Today is a special day in the Year of Yay, as it is Thanksgiving! ‘Twas the Month of Thanksgiving last year that started it all.
I didn’t have to learn to be pessimistic. That has always come naturally. For me, living more thankfully has been a work in progress – a learned habit.
Obviously, some days it’s easier than others. It doesn’t mean I put on my thankfulness glasses and turn every circumstance all rosy. Instead, I would say, I see things I didn’t notice before. They were there – most of them had been there for years. But I wasn’t acknowledging them, or wasn’t thinking of them as gifts from God, not to be taken for granted.
If I had to describe it in one word, I think that word would be “reversal.” Finding things to be thankful for is a reversal of the way my brain wants to work. It wants to find everything that’s wrong, everything that can be improved, everything that hasn’t happened. I’m forcing it to do the opposite.
The old way takes the world around us as a baseline and sets expectations from there. The new way takes nothing as a baseline and adds to it… well, everything in the world.
Perceptions can shift. Thoughts can be directed. I can change.
This gives me great hope.