There are so many reasons for me not to be thankful. I could list off numerous ways in which even just something as simple as the past twenty-fours was complete shite. I could ramble them off, then curl angrily into a ball in my bed and brood myself to sleep. It’s nights like this that I MUST sit down and be thankful. It’s easy to have negative emotion. Crossing my arms and muttering under my breath is the easiest thing I do.
Being thankful takes effort. Every day, the news reminds us how we’re growing further and further away from Christ. Our brains are genetically geared to remember the bad as a self-defense mechanism to protect us. Only, we don’t have to worry about wild animals ripping us apart. My mind now is just filled with the ten different ways I mucked up work today. It sucks.
HOWEVER, God has richly and daily provided for me. I am blessed, but sometimes it’s not enough to just say I’m blessed. Sometimes I have to sit down and count my blessings.
1. I might be poor, but I have a phone, a car, and a roof over my head. I have a job that mostly allows me to pay my bills, and for the most part keep my dignity. Not everyone get that. So while my adulating rarely looks pretty, I still am able to.
2. I have a family who loves me. Really loves me. It hits me regularly how blessed I am. Last Saturday when it was snowing so badly, I pulled out of my sister’s driveway, praying that I get back safely and also praying that my parents would get home safely. I realized that my parents were probably praying for their safety as well as mine. Not only that, my sister waved us off, probably praying for all of us as well. I felt so wrapped up in a community of faith and love that I was astounded. How did I become so lucky to be loved by God through such amazing people? I get the honor of living in a family that regularly prays for each other and loves each other. Wow.
3. I can read and I enjoy reading, which means my world is not limited to the things I come in contact with. That would make my world terrifyingly small. Instead, I’ve existed centuries in the past and centuries in the future. I’ve been to planets and places that aren’t on maps. I’ve met a host of people who I’ve loved and hated. They’ve made me laugh and cry. I get to experience this explosion of life because my parents taught me to read.
4. I have a best friend that I can have in depth discussions about Oreos with, who won’t judge me (too much) for crying over the deaths of fictional characters, and will talk about life with—not just the daily grind, though we do talk about that, but the real meaning of life, where are we going, what are we doing with the time we’ve been given kind of talks. And unlike the conversations I have on a day to day basis, disregarding the fact that she could probably do better than me for a best friend, she treats me like I’m wholly amazing and worthwhile. It’s incredible and much more than I deserve.
5. I’m not going to say this as though it makes me better or healthier. First rule of Mental Illness Club is that you can’t quantify and compare what you’re dealing with to what someone else is dealing with. However, I will say that I’ve been able to handle my ups and downs without medication, which is important to me and something I actively work at. I know this means I have to be more conscious of myself, but I’ve been relatively successful at it, especially during times when it could have very easily teetered into an area where I’d be best served taking medicine. For me and who I am, I feel lucky.
6. I’ve traveled the world. I know what the air in London smell like. I’ve tasted McDonald’s cokes from different countries. I remember there being a time when I didn’t think I’d ever leave the country. It wasn’t distressing, but simply a fact. Now, I’ve been to London twice. I’m planning on going back. I’m also planning on going to Ireland. I get to do these things that I love so dearly, especially since I believed it could never happen to me.
7. I have a wealth of useless knowledge. It will never make me money, but I love it. I love knowing the answer to random things. I love being able to explain the ordinary and mundane, the things you don’t often question but when you do you feel like you can’t even understand the world anymore. I love having an answer. I love being right as well, which I probably why I’m in Ravenclaw—insufferable curiosity and a selectively sponge like brain.
8. I’m saved and redeemed. It’s the ultimate blessing that puts everything else that could possibly be on this list to shame. Jesus died for me. He forgives me. He saved me. Given the chance, he’d do it all again for me. Granted, Jesus loves everyone and died to save everyone. Still, it’s astounding to think that he did it for me, of all people. I don’t deserve, but I’m ever so thankful.
9. I have purpose. God has not yet revealed this purpose to me. Maybe I’m currently living it out? I can only hope. Still, there’s a reason why I’m on this planet. My existence is not random. I’m meant for something great, probably not by the world’s standard, but by a higher and more rewarding standard. I matter. No matter how many times I mess up, I’ll always matter and be worth something. I should remember this more often.
10. I’m quite possibly the worst blog writer ever to exist. I have no consistency that has guided this blog. Mostly, it’s been a window into the scattered and frantic inner workings of my brains. Sometimes it’s just the things I wish I could tell people face-to-face, but never would be able to. Still, I’ve never been more consistent in writing something in my entire life. Usually I quit these things after a couple of weeks, but I’ve pulled my shit together. I feel like I’ve done something. Now, I just have to channel this fortitude into writing a book, which I really want to do and wonder if I’m able.
Remember to be thankful, this year, next year, always; especially when you look around and think that you have nothing to be thankful about. There’s always something there because God’s always there. He never lets a day go by without loving you, saving you, and blessing you. Hold onto that. Don’t let your brain forget it.