life is hard, you know?
I'm sure you know. we all have our worries, our demons, our fears and our problems. every last one of us. I don't really believe anymore that life is about pretending we don't. I think what I'm learning is, it's about embracing that we do.
we could spend a lot of time dwelling on all of that. or, instead of dwelling/yelling/blaming/fighting/losing hope...we could be thankful. it's seems like an impossible feat, to forget our problems, that is. incredibly, it's a lot easier than we let ourselves believe. just decide. decide there's way more to life than dwelling/yelling/blaming/fighting/losing hope. decide there's way more to be happy about than there is to be worried about. decide life is way too short to be anything but happy & thankful. do we live in Utopia? I mean...no. there will be days when your worries/demons/fears/problems just seem far too overwhelming. those days, take a nap. then decide. make a list. if you can't think of anything, state the obvious. you are alive & you have today. you're probably thinking, "that's too obvious and frankly, that's pretty cheesy". but take a second, sit down...maybe even close your eyes...and really just think about what that means.
that was mostly all a preface to what I really wanted to do with this post. I want to do something a little different. I want to compile a list of things I'm thankful for, that at first glance, I'm convinced I'm not.
1. student loans; in my day-to-day life, these stress me out more than anything. but giving it a closer look, those loans represent some of the best decisions I've made in my life. they represent the blessing of me being able to attend a University that shaped the person I am. the place that also introduced me to foreign missions, Honduras and my sweet family in Catacamas. where would I be if I didn't attend Harding? I don't particularly want to find out. so, while they stress me out, they also represent a blessing so much bigger.
2. living at home; some days, I just don't like living at home. it's not my family (most the time ;)), it's the inadequacy that I feel sometimes. no college grad dreams of returning back home after college. the dream, generally speaking, is to finally be out on your own. but the thankfulness I feel for this one is lots of times very apparent to me. a; no rent. refer to previous unconventional thankfulness for why that's great. b; family time. I've been able to hang out with my sister for the first time in three years, attend my brothers college football games and hang out with my mom. all things I couldn't do 1,200 miles away. so yeah, even on the most inadequate feeling days, I'm thankful.
3. snow; it's cold, wet, slick and dangerous and I'm kinda dreading it's arrival. fun fact, I live in the snowiest city of the country. shout out to YOU, Syracuse! it means I need to buy new tires for my sweet Penny (my car) who has never lived through a NY winter. it means I have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to allow time to clean off my car and drive super slow and still be at work on time. but, it's also about as majestically similar to living in a snow globe as anything could be. snow is downright beautiful. period. having gone to school in the south and missing out on snow for three years, there's something wonderful about a snowfall. and I'm genuinely sad a lot of people don't get to experience it. is it dangerous? definitely can be. but it's also beautiful, and a great excuse to curl up with hot chocolate and a book.
4. being tired; currently working three jobs. it's kinda tedious and sometimes I just don't want to go (minus my little Lou bug, I love her) cause I'd rather sleep!... I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in that feeling. but I'm finally getting pretty good at stopping myself from being a Debbie Downer and focusing on how lucky I am to be tired. it means I have a job and am bringing in money to pay my bills. which, that in itself, is everything to be thankful for.
5. distance; 1,292...1,146...88... the number of miles that separates me from each of my best friends. it's really, really hard to find the thankfulness in this one on most days. a girl just needs her best friends, ya know!? but it's there. when we talk, our conversations mean more. when we are reunited, it's even more exciting. distance isn't that great overall, but it does make you appreciate the people you have and remind you how lucky you are to have them.
so those are my top 5, fairly unconventional, things I'm most thankful for. I could make a significant length list of things I'm thankful for that would include things like family, my church family, my friends, etc. don't get me wrong, I'm extremely thankful for each of those. but sometimes it's refreshing to surprise yourself & discover the unconventional things you didn't even take the time to realize you were thankful for.
after all, thankfulness can be found in everything if we just decide.