With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I decided to dedicate this week’s news to a few of the many things I am thankful for. Note the words “a few.” If this column actually encompassed all things I find worthy of that description … well … you would still be reading after the pumpkin pie. Thus, I have attempted to list (I enjoy listing, as you have probably noticed) the top three things that bring joy and fulfillment into my life.
1) Jesus. Jesus is the reason for the season. But seriously, He is. Obviously, the most important thing in my life would be something I’m thankful for. I don’t really need to go into detail on this one, and to avoid being called a Bible thumper or “super religious” as I have been before, I’ll just make it simple: Romans 5:8. That is it. And I dare you to read it.
2) Family. My fam is the bomb. I know not everyone likes his or her siblings, parents, cousins and whatnot, but I do. Let me just take these next few sentences to expand on that statement.
First, my mom and dad are legit. Legitimately the most wonderful parents in western Kansas. No, I am not biased. Every time I come home, my dad hides behind the door, raises his arm to a claw by his face and tries to scare me. It doesn’t work. Ever. Yet, I find it very entertaining and cute, in a juvenile sort of way.
My mom, the most stylish 48-year-old on the block, is always excited to spend time with me whether it’s walking the dog, drinking coffee or cooking. (She cooks, I learn via observation.) When I have to wake up at 5:45 a.m. for work, she calls to make sure I didn’t push snooze and set myself up for unemployment.
Now, I adore my parents, but my brothers — they’re my best friends. Hayes is everything an older sibling should be and watches out for my well-being in every situation. Although he lives hundreds of miles away, we text or talk nearly every day, and I know he’s got his eye on me via Facebook. Every time a new girlfriend enters the picture, I will be the judge of just how up-to-par she is. My older brother is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen, and he dedicates himself fully to everything he does. He is a role model for me on doing something the right way if you’re going to do it at all.
Now as far as life advice goes, he lends an open ear but my little brother … not so much. Evan is 19 years old, 6’8” tall
and owns every bit of it. He has his opinions and sticks to them, but if you mess with his big sis, it’s all over. And vice versa. I do not doubt that he would stand by my side through anything, and he teaches me what it means to be loyal.
However, as tough as his facade is, I remember the mornings we would curl up in front of the living room heaters with hot cocoa and watch cartoons. I remember when he would call me into his room to have a “sleepover,” and then when I started telling a story, he’d instantly fall asleep. Every time we visited my grandparents’ farm, it was a new chance to explore and have our own adventures in the barn. I learned the definition of laughter from my brothers and cannot imagine a life without them.
3) Friends. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t need an explanation, and no one wants to hear other people go on and on about how wonderful their friends are. Everyone thinks their friends are the best. Mine actually are, by the way. Anyway, I have been ridiculously blessed by those people and cannot thank God enough for each one of them and the role they play in my life. I am definitely the person I am today, in large part, due to the influence of my friends.
Let me just throw coffee in there, too. I know it’s not quite as relevant as my other points, but I am certainly thankful for coffee. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted. I could definitely survive without it; my ability to function just wouldn’t be as high. Each morning, I awake and think about how delicious my cup of joe is going to be. Dark and rich, swirled with hazelnut creamer and perhaps some raw sugar, the aroma drifts through my nostrils and warmth spreads throughout my being as I sip the piping-hot beverage.
OK, it sounds as though I’m about to start a cheesy love novel. Which, by the way, are something I’m very thankful for as well. Regular novels, not cheesy love ones. I’m done. Anyway, working at a coffee shop doesn’t really help the situation, but regardless, I owe many a day of productivity to the wonderful invention of coffee.
Oh, one more thing — music. Music is one of the most beautiful aspects of life. I don’t care to think about how a day would operate without it. Music is peace, happiness, disappointment, frustration, worship, joy, determination, hope and love all at once. It can fit into the way I feel at any given time and allows me to escape from the world whenever necessary.
Thanksgiving is a day to be with family and friends, reminisce about old times, eat lots of good food or possibly just catch up on some much-needed sleep. Let this also be a chance to truly give thanks. I hope that for each one of us, there is something in life worthy of that.