Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm Thankful For...

When I was a kid, there was this song we’d sing at school for Thanksgiving.  In my family, we still sing it as a joke sometimes, because I sang it so much when I was little.  (I was rarely quiet if you can believe it.)  Since my last post, the words have been echoing in my head (in the cheesiest of ways). 

The song goes like this:  There are many things I am thankful for / I can find them near and far / There are many things I am thankful for/ Let me tell you what they are…”  After that, the kids in the class sing, “I’m thankful for __________” and take turns filling in the blank, then the last line of the song says, “And I’m thankful to be me.”

Sometimes I worry that this blog is too gloomy, that I spend too many words lamenting and not enough lifting up.  In truth, I do live a very blessed life and I am so very thankful to be me.  So today, I wanted to prove that I’m taking my own challenge and “just trying” to focus on the positive.  Today, I wanted to fill in the blanks of that childhood song and tell you that…

I’m thankful for

my family.  This starts with my husband who has proven his unconditional love to me time and time again.  So many times, I have cried to Brent that we’ll “never have a family” and every single time he has looked me in the eye and emphatically replied, “We are a family.”  He’s right, and he is everything to me.  I am also thankful for the families that we come from.  We both were blessed with parents who put us first as they raised us, and love us for the adults we have become.  Last (but not least) I am blessed to have a sister who is also the greatest friend I could ask for, and I’ve watched Brent become closer with his brother the last few years as well.  There’s nothing better than family you’d choose to be friends with!

friends who feel like family.  I’ve never been one to classify the importance of a relationship by whether a person is family or not.  If you’ve invested in my life, taken the time to get to know me for who I am, and loved me well, you are family in my book.  I’ve been blessed throughout my life with people who fall into this category, and I am thankful… every weekend away, every day spent at the waterpark, every long conversation over a cup of coffee or dinner, every Saturday night playing games and laughing, every text just checking to see how I am.  It always amazes me how God places just the right people in our lives at just the right times.  All we have to do is be willing to open our hearts.

a job that I LOVE.  Recently at a teacher of the year reception I sat next to a young man who works at our school system’s central office.  He seemed perplexed that I had worked at the same school in the same capacity since college and didn’t have any aspirations to go elsewhere.  I’m not sure he bought into my explanation of why I’m truly content where I am, but luckily, it doesn’t matter what he thinks.  All that matters is every morning I walk into a classroom at a school that feels like home and am greeted by twenty-some little people who think I know it all.  It’s an awe-inspiring responsibility and yes, some days it feels overwhelming just like anyone else’s job.  But unlike most jobs, the pay comes in unexpected hugs, uncontrollable giggles, and an unexplainable bond with so many children whom yes, I slip up and call “my kids” sometimes. The truth is the truth, and in some ways, they will always be mine.  For that I am thankful.

my faith.  I am thankful for the challenges of the last few years because they have taught me that my faith is real.  I am thankful for a husband who loves God even more than he loves me, who has refused to let me give up on my faith even when things are hard.  I am thankful for our church, for the people there who love God and love each other, and perhaps most of all, love to have a good time.  I am thankful for our pastor whose words of truth on Sunday morning ring out over the lies I’ve been telling myself all week more times than not.  I’m thankful for the youth group we work with for reminding me of the roots of my faith every time I answer their questions, hear them sing a song of praise, or listen to them pray.  Every moment that I feel God working in my life, I am thankful.

you.  I started this blog about a year ago and it was a huge and scary step for me.  Personally, I had kept our infertility a secret from many people in our lives up until that point and professionally, I was just reaching the point in my teaching career where I thought I might have anything worthwhile to share.  I had this web address reserved for six months before I actually got up the nerve to post, but it’s a risk I’m glad I took.  I’m thankful you are willing to read it and I’m thankful for any way that God has used it to uplift.  I’m also thankful for the way people have shown support to me, and I’m thankful for those of you that have reached out to me for support now that you know my story.   So thank you, for listening to my heart and for sharing yours.  I’m thankful that we’re all in the crazy thing called life together.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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