November 24, 2011


I've been struggling with joy lately. Not happiness, but real deep-seeded, genuinely Jesus joy. It's not that I'm bumming around hating life, but I think that it's too easy to get discouraged by the small things. You get so discouraged by stupid insignificant things that you miss when God wants to bash you over the head with these incredible, abundant blessings. Why do we let that happen, over and over again? Humans are so dumb.

Some friends in my church small group always seem to be so in awe. Where's my awe? I want awe. I want to awe-stricken by the things God is doing - little and big. Since I came to this realization a little over a week ago, I've been trying to put these things into practice in small ways. 

Like complaining less when the people leaving our hoity-toity community basically bring their car to a complete stop when rolling over the speed bumps. Instead, you flip that around and say, "Wow. How blessed am I to live in this beautiful hoity-toity community, ritzy enough to have speed bump?" See? Magic.

So in light of this Thanksgiving day, and the fact that I've been dwelling on this joy more lately anyway, here's a list of thankfulnesses - trying to be as non cliche as possible.

the shallow list

1. Starbucks' non-fat chai with caramel drizzle: for the 9 hour drive down to Philadelphia we had yesterday, where I was all white-knuckles on the highway because the drivers were so scary. Some sweet, fast energy was what I needed in that moment and it was quite refreshing. Never fails.

2. Scrabble: for a fun way to bond with co-workers on Thanksgiving Eve - when you shouldn't be working anyway.

3. Wool socks: for cozy warm feet, even on the dreariest of days. Thanks, Smartwool.

the meaningful list

1. Family: for having multiple homes and and parents and places we could be this holiday season. We're so blessed to have so many people around that love us (and who we love too!).

2. Husband: for the goofiest, snuggliest thing that I have the pleasure of spending all of my time with. He loves me so well, and I wouldn't change a thing about the life we have together.

3. Home: for the seaside apartment that we simply don't deserve. It's so refreshing to have this amazingly beautiful place to call home. Even if it's just for six months. It'll be a six month retreat in our ocean paradise, and we're so grateful.

4. Friends: the old ones, the new ones, the near ones, the far ones, the ones you haven't talked to in a while but leave lots of voicemails for, the ones who stop by your desk unannounced, the ones you need to make more time for, the ones who moved away... I love them all.

5. Church: for a place where we're learning, growing, meeting new friends, that feels like home.

6. Job: for the stability it provides, even when I complain about it. I'm so blessed to have a place to go forty hours a week that's filled with people I actually care about.

7. Money: for a college graduate who knows her situation could look much different. Even when you feel like it's tight, we need to be reminded that we have more money that about 98% of the world. It's humbling and we need to complain about it much less, and pay a lot more attention to where it goes.

8. Grace: For God's baffling grace that has the ability to stop us dead in our tracks. Let's be open to it and let it change us.

Let's always aim for our "meaningful" lists to be much longer than our "shallow" lists.

I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. I also hope you day didn't look like this. 

Or maybe I do. That looks like fun for everyone.

Happy holiday weekend :)

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes, thank you, Friends, for always bringing joy to Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure those episodes are the best. Remember the "I Hate Rachel Green" club? :)
    So sorry we didn't get to see one another this time. Hopefully you and Will will be trekking back down to PA sometime? And then of course, when you make the move down here...


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