Let me tell you some things I’m grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! I hope you all had wonderful days celebrating with the people near and dear to you.  I think the fact that we have a day dedicated to saying thank you is just about the best thing that exists (Christmas is still my favorite holiday, but you know).  There’s a Francesca Battistelli lyric Thanksgiving always brings to mind – “In the middle of my little mess / I forget how big I’m blessed.” Isn’t that just the truth?  College sometimes feels like a never-ending series of little messes, but having some time off this week from busyness and work of school gave me a chance to reevaluate how #blessed I am.  And I have a couple of thank-you’s to share, since I have this place to share them in.

Thank you for being in my life.  I texted a bunch of my good friends “Happy Thanksgiving” messages this morning, and I think every single person texted me back.  That’s pretty incredible – it makes it clear to me just how blessed I am by the friends that I have.  Even and especially when the going gets rough, y’all keep me going.  And I will never be able to thank you enough.

Thank you for making so many places feel like home.  I’ve moved 9 times, and people inevitably ask which place I’ve lived is my favorite.  Usually we say Nebraska (sorry to all the others, I love y’all too) because of how genuine and kind the people there were.  I’m in this complicated social studies education class right now called Human Geography in which we once evaluated the conceptual differences between space – the physical environment matter occupies – (roll with me here) – and place, which is a term that’s a little more open to definition.  Place is what a space becomes when it takes on meaning, when you experience it – and for me,  people are the most critical part of that experience.

I have to thank my incredible, wonderful, hilarious, goofy, God-fearing family for making wherever we live feel like home.  It’s pretty cool that even though I’ve never lived in this house for more than a summer, it’s the most comfortable, relaxing, and stable of homes for me in this stage of life.  This week has made me realize yet again what a place of rest home can be, and that’s largely thanks to the people in it.  Wherever y’all are will always be this way.  Thanks for listening to my incessant stories and tolerating me when I say hi every time I walk into a new room.  Thanks for letting me blast Taylor Swift and letting me yak your ear off late at night.  Thanks for teaching me more about how to love and to lead and to live like Jesus every day.

For all of the other places that have become home to me – Vandy, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Belize, Springfield, Terre Haute (just to name a few) – you know who you are.  Thank you for everything.  You’ve made me who I am today, whether you knew it or not – God certainly did, and His plan is so great I can’t even fathom it.

Thanks to a God of the Universe who orchestrates this world so well.  Thank you for creation – the snow, the trees, the sunsets, the color pink – thank you for giving us gifts of our own to create with – for music, for laughter, for movies, for blogs, for conversation.  Thank you for taking care of me.   Most days I feel like things are very out of my control – how grateful I am that whatever is beyond my understanding is not beyond Yours, and that Your plans are better for me than I could ask or imagine.  How grateful I am that farther along, we’ll understand it – and there is joy and purpose and grace for us to grab hold of in the meantime.  How grateful I am for the cross.  How grateful I am to be exactly who You created me to be – never perfectly, but always learning.  How grateful I am to be a daughter of God, redeemed, blameless, adopted, holy, forgiven, rich in grace, beautiful, a learner, a teacher, a leader, a follower, a joy-seeker, a writer, a daydreamer, a new romantic.

I said up above that I texted out some of my more personal thank-you’s – but you can’t text everybody!  If you’re reading this right now, thank YOU for being you and being here and being there to read my words when I throw them down onto a screen in this corner of the internet.  You need to know that no matter how brief a time you knew me or have known me, I am grateful that our paths crossed, our lives brushed, and that you were here.

BONUS: My dad got a selfie stick.  You’re welcome, world. #thanksgivingselfies2k15



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