shampoo and conditioner stock piling, and my theory regarding jeans shopping, but sometimes you just gotta get your head on straight. God has most certainly been moving in my life and in the lives of my friends and family in a big way and seeing as how Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought I would write a blog about the things that I am thankful for (example: I am thankful that I can end a sentence in a preposition if I want to). Here is my list in no particular order:
1) I am thankful for my job. It can be overwhelming and difficult at times, but seeing the results of all the hard work makes it all worthwhile. I have an amazing team of residents and attendings who support me, help me, and appreciate me. Not everyone can say that, so I thank God that I can.
2) I am thankful for my Mom and Dad. My parents have supported me and loved me even when I don't "deserve" it....especially when I don't deserve it. I can't imagine how hard it was for them to let me fall sometimes, but they did; because they know that sometimes we have to figure out how to take a fall, get up, and dust ourselves off. They've always given me what I've needed and have worked hard to do so. I didn't appreciate any of it when I was younger, but now that I am on my own, I certainly appreciate it now. When I have called them crying because I get tired of pushing through life on my own, they are there to remind me that I am never alone....they are there...they are "my people", as my mom likes to say. I won't ever be able to pay them back for all that they have done for me, so I will do the only thing I can do...follow Jesus.
3) I am thankful for my brother, Kirk, and his wife Dana. I just freakin' love them!!!! They have always been there to put a smile on my face, cook me dinner, or listen to me talk about myself for 3 straight hours (true story). Watching them fall in love and live their lives for Jesus has been such a blessing to me and to so many others. I don't know anyone that can resist falling in love with them. They are that legit. To this day the only two people that can bring a tear to my eye at the very thought of them are my brother and my dad. They are just so very important to me and my heart is so tender towards them. These are my guys. (tear)
4) I am thankful for my best friends Wajhma, Julie, and Heather. Heather and I have known each other since birth. She is my cousin, but honestly, she is more like my sister. She has been there for me when no one else was. Through everything she never judged me or lost her patience with me. Even that one time when we were living together and I forgot to pay the electric bill and she came home after an awful day at work to a dark house and spoiled food. Watching her be a mommy has been totally mind blowing for me. Her little mini-me Kylie is so completely adorable. She and her husband Roger started dating when we were 16 and they have been best friends ever since. Even when they would break up, we all always knew that one day they would find their way back to each other. Julie and I met in college at Marshall University. We weren't really very close until after college when her best friend, Tiffany, was killed in a car accident and I was the last person to talk to Tiffany. After Tiffany's funeral Julie started calling me and asking me what Tiff and I had talked about the night she stayed over at my house. Through these conversations, Julie and I became long distance best friends. She was living in DC and I was living in Morgantown, WV. When I called off my wedding and had no where to go but knew I had to go somewhere, Julie offered her couch. A few weeks after calling off my wedding, I had quit my job, found a new one in DC, left my family and friends, and moved to DC to live on a couch. It was crazy, but Julie made it one of the best experiences of my life. She and I have so many amazing memories and we are certainly not done making more. When Julie was trying to move back to WV and needed a place to stay, I offered her my couch. We are some couch-livin' fools! She is that friend that will always be honest with you even if it's not what you want to hear. She is a straight shooter and would do absolutely anything for her friends and family. She is self-less and strong, and I hope that one day I grow up to be just like her. Wajhma and I have been best friends for 3 1/2 years. I have told Wajhma things that I have never ever told anyone or even said out loud to myself. We met at a time when we both needed a friend. God didn't just give me a friend, He gave me a sister. On the surface it might seem like we couldn't be more different; she is from Afghanistan and grew up in California with her four sisters; I grew up in WV with Kirk. I am Christian and she is Muslim. I say po-tay-toe she says po-tah-toe (just kidding). But what we have found over these last few years is that we have way more in common than we have differences. Even though it might seem like we have completely different lives and beliefs, we are really so much alike. We both love God and see Him in everything. We both want love, peace, joy, and happiness but understand that life's hardships are a necessary part of growing. She is always willing to listen to me no matter how busy she is, or how late at night it is (like 10pm...I'm not a rock star). Anyone that meets her first notices her smile and the joy that radiates off of her without thought or effort. She has taught me to work hard and keep on pushing through even when things get rough and seem to dead end. Through her friendship, I draw closer to God.
5) I am thankful for my life. One of my favorite verse in the Bible is Joel 2:25 where God promises to restore the years that the locusts have destroyed. I believe that God is restoring those years right now. As a kid, I would have never ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be living in Washington, DC...the capital of the world. I would never allow myself to dream because I didn't want to be disappointed. But God knows the desires of my heart even if I don't. He's the one the gave those desires to me. I spent a lot of my life weak and sick. Even leaving my house seemed like a Herculean task at times. But I am not that sick little kid anymore. God has brought me through trials and hardships that strengthened me and prepared me. When you trust in Jesus, what is there to fear? I may worry and stress sometimes, but deep down, I know that because Jesus lives in me, I can do anything. I was born for a purpose and I am seeing my purpose unfold every day. I tend to lose sight of how blessed I am to even open my eyes each morning, but God is good to remind me of all I have. I pray that God continue to use me for His will and reveal Himself to me more and more every day. He holds my hand as I tackle difficult questions of faith, and periods of doubt and misunderstanding. He lets me fall, but He is always there to pick me back up. Just the thought of life without Him brings a brief memory of the pang of the emptiness I used to feel all the time. I pray to never feel that again.
6) I am thankful for forgiveness and grace. Lord knows that I need both. I don't like being a jerk, but sometimes I am. It's true. My mom is probably nodding in agreement right now. I make a lot of mistakes. I'm far far far from perfect. Without grace I would be lost. We are all lost without grace. It's easy to forgive people and show them grace when they make little mistakes and quickly apologize, but what about the people that spit in your face and then light a bag of dog crap on your front door step? (That never happened to me, but I imagine that would really suck). Grace is forgiving people that don't deserve it. Grace is giving people 30 chances when everyone else gives up. Grace is looking past the hurt and emptiness that cause people to do you wrong, and you see that they are just like you...human. This Holiday season, I am asking you to forgive someone that doesn't deserve it and never will. Be kind to the person that is always unkind to you. This is God. This. Is. God.
7) (ending with a Holy number!) I am thankful for my readers. I have made some amazing friends through writing this blog and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you all stop by and take a peak into my brain (that sounds weird, but whatever). I love writing and I love sharing my life and my heart with people. Thank you for laughing and crying with me. I love you man!
What are you thankful for? Are there people that you need to show more grace to? Who is your best friend and why? Do you like the Holidays or dread them? Tell me all about it......