Holy dang...we've had a couple times in our ward either at ward prayer of FHE where we were saying things we were grateful for and I just couldn't believe how much I was thinking of as we were going through. So I challenged myself, and I challenge you, to write down FIFTY things, just to get yourself in the holiday spirit.
1. My family - duh. More specifically- my hard-working dad, my hard-working/creative/beautiful/supportive mother, my big Tin who can freak me out just by TELLING me about a zombie show, my beautiful sister who is continually trying to be better, my brother-in-law for being a brat, and of course Trey - but he gets his own.
2. I am so thankful for my big brother Trey, for serving a mission and being a great example to all of us. I miss him like crazy and it's hard to be thankful for it, because our family sometimes seems so CENTERED on him that it's hard not to have him for two years.
3. I'm thankful that it is very unlikely that there will be a zombie apocalypse any time soon.
4. I'm thankful that I've been feeling motivated and that I've been enjoying running.
5. I'm thankful for my ward, for my awesome friends therein.
6. I'm thankful for the guys in my life, as frustrating as they are. They make life interesting.
7. I'm thankful for my professors. They've all got their quirks and some of them I have a hard time with, but they are all great people who love what they teach.
8. I'm thankful for my mind!! So much! I'm pretty sure I'd be bombing school if the Lord hadn't blessed me with a mind given to writing and learning and retaining information.
9. I love writing and editing, and I'm so grateful I found that as my calling in life in my first semester, keeping me on track to graduate in four years.
10. Holy HECK am I grateful that this semester is almost over, and that Thanksgiving holiday is this week!!
11. I'm thankful that I get to go home for Christmas! I'll see my parentals, Abigail & family, Kendall, Janna & parentals, and my home branch! Dang.
12. I am SO blessed to have an awesome job that works in my schedule with school, supports me very well, and that I actually enjoy.
13. Along with #12, I've got a great boss.
14. Along with #12 and #13, I've got great co-workers who make going to work easier when I'm in a not-so-working mood (rare, but there are days).
15. God's creatures/animals -- e.g. Leia!! Sometimes I just see that cat gliding around and think how amazing it is that we live in a symbiotic relationship with animals. It's kind of weird! But totally awesome! She's pretty fun, if annoying at times (she was very excited I came home today since no one else was here. She sat on my bed at eye-level with me just waiting for attentnion).
16. Modern technology - what would I do without my laptop? I'd probably be bored out of my mind.
17. Good books - again, I'd be bored out of my mind. I also appreciate the great authors who can write a story without adding a ton of crap in it to make it more "sellable."
18. Old folktales/stories/myths/legends. I just have to say...greek mythology is pretty awesome.
19. Hot water!
20. Hot chocolate!
22. Height (I just had to continue the "H" trend) -- I love being tall! I sometimes truly feel like a strong Amazonian, though that fails when someone taller than me passes....but oh well! I feel awesome!
23. I love the days when I'm not blah or depressed. I don't appreciate them as much as I should.
24. Snow...it's hard to say since it is so COLD...but it's pretty.
25. My very bestest friend Hannah. I have other great friends, but she is always the one willing to pull me out of my deep depressed puddle of misery. She cheers me up just with a text.
26. Store-bought cookie dough! Heck YES! What would I do without it? Make homemade cookies? What an unattractive thought...
27. My calling. I've never felt such an appreciation for the birth of our Savior until planning the Christmas program this year. Wow. I hate that I have these great epiphanies for MYSELF and realize others have had it and tried to give it to me but it was a personal thing and I wish others could feel exactly what I've felt in the planning.
28. I'm so grateful for all the people that have come to choir. It means so much to me after that first discouraging week of THREE people.
29. I'm thankful to have a car. We've had good times, Ury and I.
30. A cellphone!! What would I do without it? I couldn't remind people about choir, text my Biffy, text emergency questions to Trina, or just plain TEXT TEXT TEXT. :) Or call my parents. That's important as well...though I don't do it as much.
31. I'm grateful for my dad's job - and for my parents helping pay for my education. It kind of goes hand-in-hand -- but mainly I'm glad my dad has a job, because I know it was hard on him to go for months without one when he was working so hard. The Lord has blessed us so greatly!
32. Clothes. Gosh I'm materialistic...but what can I say? Picking out coordinated outfits brings me joy, no matter how vain.
33. Painting - that's really it. :)
34. Singing! I love music!! It is such a blessing in my life, I'm grateful for the voice I have to glorify God.
35. The five senses...if people really focus and observe with all five senses, the world is an amazing place (except for when there is a scarecrow staring at you and it is just creepy). I'm grateful to have use of all five, though my ears are a little iffy at times haha.
36. E-mail, vonage, etc. etc. Whatever keeps me in easy contact with my parents 6,000 miles away.
38. Blankets. Warm warm warm...I love warmth.
39. This land of freedom. I'm not often very patriotic, but I'm grateful for the sacrifices that so many men and women have made so that I can have freedom of religion, freedom of press, and more.
40. The Atonement. How could this not be #1? This is also something I definitely take for granted, but lately I've just felt its blessing so much in my life. I hope I can take advantage of it more and more.
41. Joseph Smith. I waver so much on some things, and Joseph Smith is definitely easy for the logical left side of my brain to doubt. But when I hear of his life and his testimony, it fills me with a sense of what a great man he was, and the knowledge that he is of God.
42. The gospel in my life is probably something I should be most grateful for, no joke. The knowledge of "the plan" is really the only thing that has kept me sometimes when I've been so low and depressed that I really don't see the point anymore. "The plan" is the point. I'm glad I know that. It helps me endure.
43. Christ. He is my Comforter, my Redeemer, my Good Shepherd (pun intended), and above all my brother. I love him so much, and I am grateful that when I ask he freely offers me the feeling of his and my Father in Heaven's love. It is another thing that lifts me up and gives me extra strength to hold onto the iron rod, hard as it is at times when the mists of darkness enclose me and outer forces press against me. As soon as I ask, he blows away the mists and gives me a breather.
44. Grocery stores - very accurately called "Convenience stores" at times. Am I right? They do call them that, right? I'm grateful to have the ease of going to the store at a moment's notice for any random thing.
45. My extended family. I was so glad to see my Lamb side of the family a week ago. I love them as much as any other!
46. The piano - instant music. I'm grateful Mom gave us lessons when we were younger, and that I could take lessons as I got older. Thank goodness for all the patience of my teachers.
47. Good kitchen appliances. I could not have survived with a table and a fireplace.
48. Notebooks and pens. It's just always been something I love to have on me. I really need to use them more, however...write down the thoughts running through my head. It might be a little crazy but it'd be fun for me.
49. Journals! I've had the best laughs at myself. I wish I would be better at doing that! It makes me sad knowing that I remember so little of my life, when I know it has been amazing.
50. China. Wow, how could I not think of it sooner? My home, the place that had a large part in making me ME.
And that makes fifty. I'm sure I could find more but that was my goal. :) And I love this scripture (and all the scriptures! How could I forget their uplifting part in my life?!), "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments." (D&C 59:21) We constantly need to be confessing the Lord's hand in all things. I am very conscious of the fact that all the wonderful things in my life are blessings from the Lord, and it amazes me how much he gives me when I feel like such an unworthy and "unprofitable" servant. What a great opportunity this Thanksgiving season it is to consider the things He has given us, and to thank him. Even now I'm thinking of more and more things I'm grateful for (having the temples so close and the opportunity to serve my ancestors there, the opportunities to serve that the church offers, compliments, etc.). My goodness I am so blessed. How do I even presume to be depressed at times? I remember, but I'm not going to worry about it.
So now I'm going to go make a list to take to that convenient grocery store, read the books for the education I'm grateful to be getting, and then go to family home evening with my ward family. Yay! :) Love you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And don't forget who gives you all those blessings!