I have grown up in a wonderful, loving home. With a father who provided for us above and beyond our needs; more than that, he constantly lets me know he is proud of me. He looks forward to coming home to his family at the end of each day and spending time with us. And he loves my mother and isn't afraid to say so. I am thankful for that. I have grown up in a taken-care-of, beautiful home. With a mother who worked hard to take care of us and be our number one cheerleader. She is always patient with us and has a positive attitude. She is a great example of a wife and mother. She was the contant party-planner and encourager. I am thankful for that. I have grown up in a crazy, fun home. With a brother who was like a best friend. Who was silly with me, understood me, and loved me. I am thankful for that.
I have a big, crazy, dysfunctional family. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents still live within 15 miles of each other. We spend holidays together. Have lunches together. And are the subject of many memories, joys, laughter, headaches, frustrations, and happy times in each other's lives. We are a crazy family. An old-fashion family. A supportive family. I am thankful for that.
I have a group of amazing, godly, encouraging friends who have been in my life, on average, a decade. It’s wonderful when you have a group of girls that you grew up with, dreamed with, laughed with, and made memories with…and now I get to witness them as they become who they always dreamed about being, embracing the future we often wondered about. What would our jobs be? Who would we marry? What did God have planned for our future? We’re there now. Living the future that, as 15 year olds, we stayed up late dreaming about.
Why were we the ones that stuck together? Why are these girls still so woven into my heart that I can't imagine my life (past, present, or future) without them? How does it work out that we only see each other 2-5 times a year, and yet our hearts stay connected as if we never left. Sure, we're growing up and, in a way, growing apart. We don't share every memory anymore. We aren't each other's primary source of laughter and comfort. Yet, we are such an amazing part of each other's lives. And over the past decade, we have made more memories and taught each other more than probably anyone else. Yay for lingerie shower # 3, # 4 is right around the corner :) I am thankful for that.
I have a wonderful, dream job that only God could have planned for. A year ago I was working at a wedding dress shop, struggling to have a positive attitude amidst the chaos. Then I planned to do Public Relations for a bakery in Apex, which would have me working chaotic hours and driving through traffic to get to a negative work atmosphere. I cried when I graduated from Campbell because I didn't want to leave. I thought the future seemed scary...When I heard, through a God-thing, about the job at Campbell, I couldn't get it off my mind. Maybe it was my answer. Maybe. I felt like if I applied then I would get it (not being vain, I just had a feeling). That was my fear. If I applied and got it then I would actually have to do the job. Was I old enough? Mature enough? Here I am. Working an amazing dream job at a place that I've always loved. Working with encouraging people who share my faith and passion. I have a wonderful boss and work family - and I am blessed with the freedom to be creative, innovative, and make a difference in the lives of students. God's plans are so much better than anything we could imagine or achieve on our own. I am thankful for that.
I have my dream guy who is constantly making me smile. Isn't it crazy to realize that Derrick was six miles away growing up? Ten miles down the road all during school. And in the next seat over the first two years of college. Yet, God worked it out so that Junior year of college I realized God had a better plan for me than the one I was currently choosing. God had a man who already made me laugh, challenged me, comforted me, made me roll my eyes, and made me smile...and God was going to allow him to become the hero in my love story. A last minute Christmas party that Derrick wasn't even supposed to be invited to changed everything. And I am so glad it did. Now I am blessed with a man I can be silly with, talk with, laugh with, have a future with. We're not perfect, but we're pretty perfect for each other. I am thankful for that.
What blessings beyond what I deserve! And to think that I have all of that in addition to a bed, air conditioning, a television, the gift of music, legs that walk and eyes that see, a car that has been faithful to get me where I'm going, food when I'm hungry, sweet tea, numerous copies of the bible, a history of godly and well-rounded education, a wonderful church that has accepted me, many families who have welcomed me into their lives, friends, coworkers and acquaintances who warm my heart, a computer to work on, a memory to smile at...and a relationship with a God and Savior who died so that I may live!