I wish I knew why I was slightly shy about sharing my writing with others. I finally caved and told my brother and sister-in-law that I had a blog the other day. Then I told them that I hadn't told anyone yet that I had started blogging. Their loving response? Laughter. HA! I probably deserved it. However, I did tell Kelli that once I had written my second post, I would tell her the link. Better make this post a good one then!
I've thought of all kinds of things I can't wait to write about. Things I'm learning, things that suck, things that make my heart want to leap through my chest, things that I am afraid will not leap off of my chest if I don't word vomit them somewhere, and so on and so forth. But today, I'm going to put all of those things aside and just be thankful.
I'm reading this fantastic book right now with and even more fantastic community of women after God's own heart. It's been such a wonderful, welcome surprise in my life. The book is called "The Good and Beautiful God," and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a book to make you uncomfortable and loved deeply all at the same time. Understanding God is not something I plan on ever actually figuring out fully, but this book is helping me at least understand His nature a little better. You gotta read it.
Anyway, at the end of each chapter of the book, there is something called "Soul Training." It's basically learning spiritual disciplines with the mindset that you can train to become better and better at them. You don't have to be fantastic at them right away. Which is GREAT news for this girl who quite honestly really stinks at the spiritual disciplines sometimes. (I hope I just heard an AMEN from a few of you out there!) This week's Soul Training is thankfulness. The suggestion for what to do for it is make a list of a hundred things that I am thankful for and that just fits me like a glove!
(I say fits me like a glove because one time in college, I made a ridiculous statement that there were literally one thousand things that I would rather do than write the paper I needed to be writing. That became a dare. Anyone who has a lot of free time on their hands and a hankering for laughter, you are welcome to borrow my unpublished copy of One Thousand Things I'd Rather Do Than Write a Paper. Yes, I actually wrote it. And yes, it is ridiculous.)
So here I go, making another list. Although since it's a thankful list, I plan for it to be a little less ridiculous than my last long list.... Well, for the most part :)
In no specific order:
1. Jesus Christ, God and human 2. His gift of the Holy Spirit 3. My precious husband 4. The hint of fall in the air 5. The rocking chair I'm in 6. Growing up in a family where I knew I was loved 7. Pioneer Woman's cookbooks 8. Juanita "The Queen" aka my Kitchen-Aid mixer 9. 1713, my beautiful first home with my sweet Josh 10. That we get to move to a second home with a sweet view and porch soon! 11. The Office (our current favorite show to laugh at) 12. My church and how it is shaping my heart to be more like Christ 13. Gift cards for free dinners 14. Size medium long sleeved American Apparel t-shirts 15. Craft days 16. Unbelievably kind, loving, godly in-laws 17. Margaret, my best friend/counselor 18. The ability to walk and run 19. The cutest nephews in the whole world 20. The opportunity to chase my dreams and go back to school this fall 21. Medicine that curbs anxiety attacks 22. My new MacBook pro 23. A workout room and pool at our apartment 24. Francine Rivers 25. And lots of other great books and the ability to get lost in them 26. Growth in who I am as a human being and as a woman of God 27. The hardships of the past few years that have brought that growth 28. My mom who coaches me through so much 29. Finally having sisters in my life 30. How much I enjoy spending time with my grandmother these days and how much she knows about the Lord 31. People in my life encouraging me to do what's best for me, even if its not the social norm 32. Unmistakable peace about big decisions 33. The old friends in my life who have stood by me and loved me so long 34. The new friends in my life who I'm growing to love and cherish 35. Chuy Chuesdays 36. Chipotle 37. That God gave us the ability to taste flavor when we eat 38. Gut laughter 39. Lipscomb University 40. My iPhone 41. The fact that it's only 4 months until Christmas 42. Creativity 43. Imagination 44. How freaking cool Disney World is 45. Steve Jobs 46. Growing up with brothers and how I've gotten to watch them grow into good men 47. Wedding cake 48. Stilly, the stuffed animal Josh brought me home the other day 49. Bob and Karen Wood 50. Living in this country 51. Getting to travel to many others 52. Days that feel like twirling 53. The group of women I'm reading The Good and Beautiful God with 54. Good toilet paper 55. Cold water 56. SNOW 57. Birthdays 58. Memories captured in pictures 59. A good tan 60. Electric toothbrushes 61. Massages 62. My book: One Thousand Things I'd Rather Do Than Write A Paper (and how fun it was to write it) 63. Me and Josh's summer bucket list 64. Batman 65. Honeymoons 66. The beach 67. My memory of cooking with my brothers and sisters and the beach this year 68. The power of me too (ask me about it sometime!) 69. Amaretto sours 70. 90's country music 71. How good I sound singing Martina McBride in my car.. HA! 72. What it feels like to feel God's presence 73. How my faith has grown since I haven't felt it anymore 74. Beautiful worship song lyrics 75. Owning a copy of the Bible for myself 76. That there are really awesome homeless people that go to my church 77. That Josh and I are going to DisneyWorld and Sarasota for our anniversary 78. AND that we're going to New York at Christmastime! 79. Every day of the last ten months that I've been Josh's wife 80. Milk for breakfast 81. Breakfast for dinner 82. Candles 83. Tears 84. Dentists and doctors 85. That my parents were divorced (that one took me a loooong time to be thankful for, but man I've seen the goodness of God in His plan now with all sides of my family) 86. Women who are a little older than me who want to spend time with me and pour into me 87. Words 88. Crayola crayons 89. The pop-up, head falling off, dancing Santa that is my favorite gift Josh has ever given me 90. How exercising keeps you regular (if you know what I mean!) 91. Baths 92. Magic fan 93. Romantic comedies 94. How my brother taught me that everyone picks their nose 95. Hope. Beautiful wonderful hope 96. Letters in the mail 97. Being showered with love and gifts as we got married 98. A comfy bed 99. The crazy, frizzy hair on my head. I think I'd be ugly bald. 100. A new place to write things like these to share with whoever runs across them
If you got all the way down to this line, you deserve a prize. Thank you for glancing into a big ol' piece of my heart and not judging me for it. If you have a free couple of minutes, take advantage, sit down, and start your list. It truly does put things in perspective and make you realize the joy in your life. And if it's a hard time in your life right now, I encourage you to do this all the more. Maybe put on Laura Story's song Blessings in the background though. It helps, I promise.
And I forgot one more... 101. I'm thankful for you, my friend and fellow journeyer.
Promise my next post won't be quite so long :)