Oh yes, today I turn 25- a quarter of a century. I might still look like I’m in fifth grade, but I can now rent a car in any state and if I was a boy, my car insurance would decrease. So, put that in your “Who cares about 25?” pipe and smoke it! I thought to celebrate my birthday on my blog, I would give you 25 things that I am thankful for. Yes, in my many years, I have accrued wisdom you wouldn’t imagine (feel free to giggle). I tend to struggle with being thankful, but I have so many more than 25 things to be thankful for. Here are some of them, in no particular order:
1. My girlish good looks- I’ve had a baby face…since I was a baby. I think that I may be aging a little bit, but strangers still tend to ask me where my mommy is when I go to Wal-Mart by myself (not really). A mere five years ago, when I was a young lass of 20, I was carded at go-carts because they didn’t belive I was 16. Just this summer, a couple at the tennis courts (one of them with only one arm) asked if Alex and I were brother and sister. I think it’s perhaps because I appear to be a child bride. I know that I will really appreciate looking ten years younger when I am 30+.
2. Places that help people- I have had the tremendous opportunity to volunteer and work for some great organizations- Twin City Mission homeless shelter, the IRC, Girl Scouts, ESL classes, Genesis Women’s Shelter. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the work to help people.
3. The world’s best husband- Seriously. The kind of guy who does the dishes, raps about his day, makes up a song on the piano, lets me cry on his shoulder, and takes the dog out after we’re already in bed. And that’s only Monday.
4. The world’s cutest dog- Alex and I kept going back and forth between getting a dog, but as soon as I saw her little face, I knew she was the one. Gracie is a constant source of joy and laughter in our household (and sometimes headaches but it’s hard to stay mad at her).
She made us get out of the house and meet people which leads me to….
5. Great neighbors- Wow. Life in Dallas would have been so different without these people. Lori, Sabrina, Susan, Richard, Diane, Jesse, Dorothy, Sarah, Rick, Rowan, Jay, Mariah, Jeff, Adam, Jesse, Lisa, Jim…and more! They’ve been my family away from family. The people that I can run down to if I need some sugar or to talk. Together we have battled the fight against dog park and a community garage sale of epic proportions. They are also a constant source of joy.
6. Wise people- I have encountered some wonderful people that God has put in my life to challenge my view of church and faith and encourage me to learn and study things for myself. I have so very many- special shout outs to Tim Palmer (for being such a good example of God working through someone), Gene and Donna Kornegay (for teaching me hospitality and wisdom), the Bryan College Station house church (for teaching me about true fellowship), Liz and Eric Rudolph (for teaching me about being cool and not legalistc) and our BTBF lifegroup (for teaching me about the depths of authenticity).
7. My Muslim friends- You have smashed any and all stereotypes I might have had about followers of Islam. You’re wonderful people and I am blessed to know you.
8. Wonderful nuclear family- Man, I must have wond the lottery with the parents and sister I got. My childhood was amazing and I’m loving getting to know these people as friends, instead of just relatives.
9. Great in-laws- I felt right at home from the first moment I met you. I appreciate you, more than you know!
10. Knowing my grandparents- I still have 3 (and a step grandfather) alive and their love and encouragement has been such a blessing to me.
11. Education- I love learning. I’m very grateful that I had access to free, quality education in Abilene and an excellent college education at A&M (WHOOP!). I hope to be able to share the things that i have learned (whether it be English or Islam or Math) with others. So many people in the world lack the opportunity to learn even the most basic things.
12. Good friends- I am surrounded by an outstanding group of people that care about me and put up with my antics. I am overly blessed in the friend department!
13. Live and learn lessons- Whether it’s relationships or jobs or death (not mine) or hardships, I am thankful for the times when God has forced me to rely on Him. I know that all those things end up making me a better person.
14. Music- Might sound cheesy but there is nothing better than listening to a beautiful (or bumpin’) song over and over to help better my mood.
15. the Church, the Body of Christ, all followers of Christ working together as a whole for the purpose of glorifying God- It certainly isn’t perfect but it’s still a beautiful place to be and I believe it could be an impetus of change in the world.
16. Facebook- A little strange, I know. But I kind of hate talking on the phone and it allows me to stay connected with people I might not normally be able to make contact with.
17. My car- Seriously, it’s the only car in the universe that I want to drive. We’ve been through alot together. It’s a place of sanctuary for me, where I can be alone to think or pray.
18. Clean water and good food- duh
19. Funny people- the world would be so flat and horrible without people that bring you joy by making you laugh
20. Sweaters- I’ve worn one every day since college. They’re the best clothing EVER. So light and yet, able to keep you warm.
21. Beautiful weather- A beautiful evening helps me remember to be thankful for the greatness of God.
22. Other places- I love traveling and learning about other cultures. I hope I get to do more in the future!
23. the Word- whether God is speaking to me through other people or the Bible, it’s always good to hear from Him
24. Ways to laugh at yourself- My family has taught me to laugh at myself and i really believe it’s what keeps me sane. I get too serious if I can’t do this.
25. A God that loves me enough to offer me joy and peace and forgiveness, even though I don’t deserve any of it.
I am tremendously blessed on this quarter-of-a-century marker in my life! Thank YOU for being a part of it!