Five things I am thankful for in 2011:
I received a Kindle for graduation from my aunt and uncle. Though now I am faced with the conundrum, the Reader’s Dilemma, of whether to go with e-book or hardcopy, I am so thankful for that gift. On a primary level, I’m thankful because I am reading so much more now. I have always loved reading, but having to read for class in high school, college, and law school took away from how much I could read on my own time. But now I am reading all the time. And this passion for reading has kindled (forgive the pun) other passions: I read about issues effecting women, religious liberty, or politics, and I’m stirred to do something. And all the reading has also reignited another passion I let fall to the wayside all too often, writing. I have journald (a little) more, and I want to write more on here.
Each of these things, reading, writing, causes, give purpose and meaning to my life, and for that I am thankful.
I have had a lot more time on my hands than I had anticipated, but I appreciate it. I have had time to connect with my two closest cousins that I haven’t had in years. I have had time with the rest of my family that I have missed. I have had time to develop new skills, old friendships, and consider alternative pursuits. Though I think I can learn to use my time better, I am thankful for the extra time that’s been on my hands this year. It has almost felt like a sabbatical year, and the rest has been good.
I know, I’m beating a dead horse. This was a hard year. I won’t talk about them anymore, after this. But I really am thankful for them. They have helped me grow up. They have made me stronger, and they have made my faith stronger and my resolve to follow the Lord. The lyrics of André Crouch’s song “Through It All” really came to life for me:
“If I never had any problems/I guess wouldn’t know God could solve them/wouldn’t know what faith in God’s word could do.”
2. Friends and Family
This past year I’ve been overwhelmed by how blessed I am to have the family and friends that I do. It’s a sad reality that in this world there are people who do not have anyone they can call family. I realize that I am extremely fortunate that I have not only my biological family that I am close to, but I have friends who are like family to me as well. Both “families” were there for everything this year, highs, lows, and in-betweens. They’ve done more for me than I can ever repay, sometimes financially, sometimes in social and emotional support. I’m so thankful for them.
1. God’s Love
More than any other year, I feel as if the love of God is something I have come to know personally this year, and it is so affirming and reassuring. It was as if this past Sabbath, the Lord was reminding me of this in the sermon. I know I’m beloved by my parents, that’s why they named me Amy (they say it means beloved). But like Daniel, I can know that I’m not only beloved by my parents, I’m greatly beloved by God.