Thankful, Grateful, and Oh So Very Blessed

Today I am thankful for so much to be thankful for. 
I’m thankful that our message last Wednesday night completely re-inspired and reconstructed this post. 
I’ve been working on Gratitude instead of Complaining a lot recently. It’s really hard. This video by Terri Savelle Foy shared a lot about how complaining delays achievement. 
It really spoke to me, so I’ve been trying to find things to be thankful for in the negatives. 
For example, I often complain about having to get up at 6:00 in the morning for school, but seriously, that is such a thing to be thankful for. 
I’m woken up by an alarm on my iPhone (that many teenagers wish to have), I walk in my kitchen with a fully stocked pantry and an abundance of food I could eat (that starving kids would kill for), I go to a great school where I learn so much (so many kids wish they could go to school, or learn, or even be safe at school)…Why do I complain about this? 
So, with that being said, I thought on this most thankful of Thursdays I would make a list of seventy-five things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways just throughout this past year, and I have SO so very much to be thankful for. 
  1. I’m thankful that I have a lot of things to be thankful for. 
  2. I’m thankful for parents who love me and support me.
  3. I’m thankful for a loving and supportive extended family. 
  4. I’m thankful for my sister who always  brightens everyone’s day (unless she’s pulling my hair…I mean…) 
  5. I’m thankful for the faithfulness of Jesus. 
  6. I’m thankful for a home. 
  7. I’m thankful for all of the school supplies I use daily. 
  8. I’m thankful for many years of friendship with Emma and Mary-Harbin. 
  9. I’m thankful for the laughter Baylie, Sarah, and Abby Kate have brought me. 
  10. I’m thankful for Bible Journaling. 
  11. I’m thankful for my School(s). 
  12. I’m thankful for my sweet friendships. 
  13. I’m thankful for the sweetest teachers. 
  14. I’m thankful for Grey’s Anatomy
  15. I’m thankful for Doctors. 
  16. I’m thankful for people who are serving/ who have served in the military. 
  17. I’m thankful for daily selfies with Elle and daily messing around with Amy. 
  18. I’m thankful for my Sunday School Teachers. 
  19. I’m thankful for my Church and for my Pastor
  20. I’m thankful for old teachers who still are willing to help me with things I don’t understand (Both academically and personally). 
  21. I’m thankful for Joey, Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe. 
  22. I’m thankful for the JOY that the Lord gives. 
  23. I’m thankful for Starbucks! 
  24. I’m also thankful for Heritage House.
  25. I’m thankful for Essays that improve my writing (even though my English teacher thinks it’s cute to have one due the day we get out for Thanksgiving Break when we already have 26662 tests, 3 projects, 2827262762 notecards to make, and a blog to write. Anyways. Like I said. Gratitude instead of complaint is hard). 
  26. I’m thankful for some FINALLY cooler weather.
  27. Oooh. I’m also thankful for sweaters!!
  28. I’m thankful for God’s Word
  29. I’m thankful for Medicines that heal people. 
  30. I’m thankful that I have clothes. 
  31. I’m thankful that I have cars to transport me. 
  32. I’m thankful that I’m almost 16. 
  33. I’m thankful for my lunch table and the girls I share it with. 
  34. I’m thankful for my Ginger Kat. 
  35. I’m thankful for service clubs that push me to step out of my comfort zone. 
  36. I’m thankful for smiles. 
  37. I’m thankful for hugs. 
  38. I’m thankful for blankets. 
  39. I’m thankful that I have shoes. 
  40. I’m thankful for Hospitals. 
  41. I’m thankful for God’s Perfect plan.
  42. I’m thankful for people who changed my life. 
  43. I’m thankful for a bed to sleep in. 
  44. I’m thankful for a shower to cleanse in. 
  45. I’m thankful for Alexander Hamilton (without him we wouldn’t have a financial system and no financial system = no shopping soooooo??). 
  46. I’m thankful for the History of my country and I’m thankful that I love learning about it. 
  47. I’m thankful that I love learning in general. 
  48. I’m thankful for my cousins and the joy they bring me. 
  49. I’m thankful for my Bible Study Class. 
  50. I’m thankful for Planners. Mine keeps my life together. 
  51. I’m thankful for the past.
  52. I’m thankful for the future. 
  53. I’m thankful for sunrises and sunsets. 
  54. I’m thankful God’s mercies are new every morning. 
  55. I’m thankful for Biology (even though it’s harder than chemistry, it’s still my favorite science). 
  56. I’m thankful for elephants (especially the one and only Elephant who has been my best pal since the beginning of time). 
  57. I’m thankful for kindness. 
  58. I’m thankful that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine. 
  59. I’m thankful that this school year is everything I prayed it would be. 
  60. I’m thankful that I have good friends. 
  61. I’m thankful for the book Wonder. It’s my favorite. 
  62. I’m thankful for happiness. 
  63. I’m thankful that I can choose joy. 
  64. I’m thankful for Algebra. It is the only easy math (Am I right?).
  65. I’m thankful for sunshine. And trees. And fresh air. 
  66. I’m thankful for Walton’s before church on Wednesday Nights.
  67. I’m thankful for a super duper fab Youth Pastor and his awesome wife (Sometimes….I don’t agree with their Grey’s Anatomy opinions). 
  68. I’m thankful for daily messages with my cousins and my Granddaddy. 
  69. I’m thankful for New York. Gah I love that place. 
  70. I’m thankful for Friday Night Lights, Adams’ Army & a Great football season. 
  71. I’m thankful for heartache. I’m thankful that the Lord picked me up when I was in a million pieces and molded me back together. 
  72. I’m thankful for the perfect timing of God. 
  73. I’m thankful for His sovereignty 
  74. I’m thankful for a Hot Chocolate, Christmas Movies, and Candy Canes. 
  75. I’m thankful for Pentatonix’s version of “Mary Did You Know.” I mean WOW. New Christmas favorite! Everyone should listen!! 
But, here’s where the reconstruction comes in. 
Last Wednesday, our message was entitled “I am Thankful” 
He started out my sharing his list of things he was thankful for, similar, but condensed into three main categories. 
He talked about heartache and joy and the goodness of Jesus. He shared that it is Jesus who makes you thankful. 
Which sounds totally confusing yet totally true alone, right? 
Anyways, I feel like it would if you don’t know the entire message. 
I’m getting there…bare with me. 
Thankfulness is about being rooted in JOY even when there is pain. It’s about choosing joy and chasing the Lord in the hardships. But, If your thankfulness is based on what you have and what you do, then your thankfulness will always be wavering. 
The only way to have consistent thankfulness is to have a consistent relationship with the Lord. 
And listen, listen, listen…
All of the pain you have witnessed can turn into thankfulness because your thankfulness is rooted in a relationship with Jesus not in temporary things.
I look at my list above, and I see so many things that weren’t produced by a relationship with the Lord. So many things that are just random examples of temporary happiness in my life. These temporary things will not last. They will fail me. Everything from my family, to my friends, to my Sunday school teachers, and teachers, and pastors, to Grey’s Anatomy, to Alexander Hamilton, will fail me. 
But the Lord, his faithfulness, his love, never will.
So today, I am thankful for that most of all. 
I’m thankful for his faithfulness in my life. 
For the times where he picked me up and put me back together. For the healing, for the blessings he has sent my way. 
I’m not saying it’s bad to have a list of things you’re thankful for, because I am thankful for all seventy-five of the things named, but what is bad is when those temporary things are the base of my thankfulness and if they’re taken away, I’m no longer thankful. Ninety percent of the things on that list are temporary.
But the Love of the Lord is not.
His faithfulness is not. 
His perfect plan for my future, and his perfect plan for my past, are not. 
And without his faithfulness, his perfect plan, and his love, most of those other things would not be here either. 
Happy Thanksgiving, Sweet Friends. 

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I’m thankful for each and every person who reads this extremely long post! 

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