My husband. That one's probably self-explanatory, but I'll elaborate regardless, for those of you who don't have the pleasure of knowing Ryan. He is the most patient man I know, and is willing to put up with just about anything (the fact that he married me should be noted ;)). He is constantly striving to learn more about God, keeps true to his standards, and at the same time, keeps me accountable to my standards as well. It's a privilege to be married to him, and I hope to enjoy many, many more Thanksgiving weekends with this man by my side.
A four day weekend to recover from a nasty cold, catch up on crafting projects, watch five movies (to help along #12 in my list), and just relax.
My job, which stretches me in ways that no other job has done. I'm constantly learning new things and working with new people, which is a "must" for me. I work with some fantastic people and I have the opportunity to learn from them and grow with them in an ever-changing industry. They're also a company who understands that family comes first, and that sometimes we need the downtime to relax and rejuvenate (see: four day weekend, above, and note: our offices are closed from Dec. 23 - Jan 2. That week & a half will likely be a repeat of these last four days: movies, relaxing, family + friends, and crafting. how much better can it get?). Publishing is a stressful industry to be in with the economy as it is, but with the leadership we're under, I have no doubt that we'll continue to do well in the future, and while it's a crazy ride sometimes, it's a roller coaster that I'm happy to be a part of.
Our puppy, who provides endless hours of entertainment.
You, my few but faithful readers. One of these days I will get all of my ideas out of my head and into blog format, I promise. But I am so thankful for your patience until then. Don't go too far -- I'll be back again soon :)
My diabetes support team. As I recover from a nasty cold and get my blood sugars back on track, I'm reminded of how good I have it. Yes, I'm a Type 1 Diabetic who is insulin-dependent and will have diabetes for the rest of my life and possibly face life-threatening complications in the future, but I have an amazing support team of family, friends, and doctors (and online "friends" -- aka bloggers whom I've never met but who keep me motivated to do more and encouraged when no matter how much I'm doing, it's not enough), who are constantly reminding me of what I can do to live a better, and longer, life.
Our church, Bethel Baptist Church. We have an amazing church family, and we cherish the people we have met as a result. Our small group (aka home group/Bible study/mini group) brought 13 people together, some close already and some strangers to us, and after 10 weeks, we left as a family group, stronger because of the encouragement and support we gave each other. My Sunday night girls have become a staple of my week, and I go through withdrawals when we have a break between Bible studies. They are my accountability partners and my prayer partners, and I have grown tremendously, both with them and because of them.
Amazing friends (aka my adopted family). We have an amazing core group of friends here, who keep us laughing, pray for us when we're going through rough times, cry with us when something bad happens, and are there for us at the drop of a hat, every minute of every day. I can't even express how thankful I am for them, or how much they mean to us, but it makes me reflect even more on how much God has provided for us here.
My Abba. Speaking of what God has provided for us... He is the ultimate gift and the ultimate provider of all of the things that I'm thankful for. None of it would be possible without Him, and He deserves all the praise for how great of a life I have. He is the provider of innumerable second chances, my safe place and stronghold in times of trouble, my ultimate confidant, friend, and comforter all wrapped up into one. He is the avenger of those who hurt me, and the salve for my wounds. He is my rock. No matter how far I run, no matter where I hide, no matter what I do, He will always be there. No matter what. And for that, and so much more, I am always grateful.
It's my hope that I'll remember to be thankful every day, not just every Thanksgiving weekend. Here's to realizing how good we have it, and to being thankful for everything, including trials, knowing that "the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:3-4)