Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things I'm thankful for this year:

•A gracious and loving God who desperately wants a relationship with me and who is always faithful to me no matter what.

•A wife who's quiet inner strength, compassion, and love (for me and others) inspires me daily. I stole this phrase from someone else, but that doesn't make it any less genuine: I honestly feel like I won the lottery when I married my wife.

Parents. Throughout my life, they have always supported me, always loved me, and always provided what was best for me. The older I get, the more I appreciate these two people and the better friends I become with both of them.

Friends and family. Despite the fact that we all lead extremely busy lives and could all make more time to deepen our relationships with each other, I couldn't ask for better people to share a circle of friends and family with. I can count on one hand the times in my life when I've ever felt truly alone.

Education. Both AM and I have had great opportunities and access to all of the education that we've needed and wanted up to this point in our lives and no one can ever take that away from us. In less than a month, AM will complete a graduate degree that will enable her to pursue one of her lifelong goals to be a therapist. I'm also thankful to God that we have not lost our capacity or desire to learn despite our formal education.

Work. I work for Godly people who let me make a significant impact on the direction of an organization whose mission is to transform lives for Christian faith, leadership and service. I know a lot of people who hate what they do for a living and I'm truly blessed to be in a job that allows me to use my strengths and creativity to bless the lives of others (albeit indirectly at times) while also allowing me to provide for the physical needs of my family.

Food and shelter. A lot of people (even in my own city) lack these two basic needs. I'm not sure why God has made them available to me, but I can't make a list of things I'm thankful for without including them.

Safety. When was the last time a grenade went off in my living room? While the community that I live in is certainly not immune to crime, it could always be worse, and in many people's lives around the world... it is.

Reliable transportation. I always take this one for granted, that is... until it goes away.

Health. I realize that I'm young and sure I get the occasional congestion, cough, cold, headache, or backache, but all in all, my life up to this point has really been pretty un-problematic in the health department.

Change. Most people don't like change, and to a certain extent, I'm sure I don't always like it either. Often times change is difficult and scary and even when a specific change is good, there is always something familiar that is lost or left behind. However... nothing causes me to grow and appreciate all of the blessings in my life more than change. I look forward to the ways that God will use change to both stretch and bless my life in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

This list could go on and on... the very fact that I have access to a computer and the time to sit down and write a blog post on things I'm thankful for is, in and of itself, A WHOLE LOT for which to be thankful. However, there are other things that I'd like to do this evening and so I will end what is already, even as I look back over it to correct any spelling or grammar errors, a very incomplete list.

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