a (not so cliche) heart of thankfulness.

hi friends! first off, let's talk. 

if i am being honest, as thanksgiving approached, i could not help but be reminded of how much has been taken away from me. how much of a debby downer am i? over the past 6 months, i have had close friendships taken out of my life without my control, time taken out of my hands because of my crazy-busy schedule & school work, family situations, and a multitude of other occurrences that make you want to cry and scream all at the same time. (too much information, you say? should i go back to making jokes and talking about cats? whoops, too late.) . then i thought about it-- those are really big things. while they still hurt and, man oh man, band aids don't fix bullet holes (pardon my taylor swift reference-- the album has only been on replay for the past 3 weeks) , all this has been repressing me from reflecting on all that has been given to me. i am continually being reminded of the fact that sometime it is truly the little things that matter the most. 

i think of the seven hour turned into eleven hour road trip my mom and i took a few weekends ago where we got lost and listened to way too many episodes of Gilmore Girls. i think of that random cupcake that was given to me by someone i barely knew. i think of that text from a friend containing cat photos and sarcastic remarks. i think of the fact that my mom brought home calligraphy nibs the other day because she remembered how i had complained last week that my old ones were not working well. i think of those hugs from friends way too early in the morning that i say i don't like but secretly really need (also, did you know you need 4 hugs a day to be healthy, 8 to maintain your health, and 12 to grow. who woulda thunk it.) . i think of the smart water sitting beside me on my desk that makes me feel oh so fancy. i think of the family dinner conversations this past week focused on anything and everything from college to baby tigers that all lead up to the grand finale of us having too much pie/cake/candy. i think of visiting my brother's church and seeing a bunch of college kids worshiping Jesus when that is the farthest thing from cool for them. i think of the cold days that have come (and are coming) that allow me to wear my super-cute new coat. i think of the last Sunday where i laid in bed and listened to Ben Howard for too many hours than i want to admit. i think of the miracle it is that i did my pre-calculus homework tonight and did not cry. i think of that really, really, really good chai tea latte from a few days ago. i think of the spontaneous decision to dye my hair again (you know, one shade darker. i'm so crazy).  i think of the crazy amount of endless moments that i will nostalgic for that just occurred in the past few weeks.

and if i am being honest, i think of how ungrateful i truly am. i think about all things i need to improve on. i think about my amazing amount of faults i encompass. i think about how easily i get jealous and that i am sarcastic too much. i think about how i let my bad day become someone else's bad day. and i think about how terrible that is. overall, i think about how much of a messed up person i am.

i write this because i dislike when writers only ever write the picture perfect, pretty details of life. because, life is not always pretty. and if it was, would anything really be pretty at all? random thought. i hope you know that i am just a normal person with struggles and failures and many a break-down nights. i am learning that it is okay to have problems in life-- i mean, that's life, for pete sake! when i think about my fair share, i tend to become overwhelmed. and that overwhelming spirit is where i have a choice. i have a choice to let my temporary, worldly issues have a claim on my life or be reminded that i am in the hands of a loving and gentle God. when i realize that i do not have to be in control of my life and have an ultimate plan, i can breathe again. i have learned to love my faults because it only points ever so clearly how unbelievable it is that a such a perfect God can love such an imperfect person unconditionally. i adore that my mistakes contrast with my Lord's awesomeness. it doubtlessly leaves me in awe thinking about the continual provision and gifts i have been blessed with. i am so unworthy, yet Christ gives and gives and gives.

all year i have been continually reminded of a verse (job 1:21) stating that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. i am so thankful for what the Lord gives me that i do not deserve. the fact that i do not have to fret about having basic needs of food, water, and shelter is such a blessing. the truth that i have such an involved, kind family is one of the best gifts i could ever be given. and the moments where i get an A in an advanced class are just icing on the cake. however, a moment of maturity and growth comes when you learn to be authentically thankful for how the Lord takes away. i am beyond grateful for the unpleasant, cry-worthy experiences that i have been apart of because it shows that my full dependence should only come from Christ. thankfulness overflows when a perfectly-planned down to the second day is all messed up and does not go the way you want it to, because it demonstrates that the clock should not have my full attention, and to let loose a bit. i am overwhelmed by the truth that i struggle and fall often, since it calls attention the beautiful action of Christ bearing physical and emotional pain of my place on the cross. the ending of the verse in Job is "blessed be the name of the Lord". and to that i say, TRUE DAT. i mean, amen.

so, i am beyond thankful for my life and all the things that make it so. funny how a post can go from being so ungrateful to this, right? who said the blogging process can't be a prayer or therapeutic experience?

so, enjoy some photos from my thanksgiving day! there is so much to be thankful for. my heart overflows.

[our table-- complete with fall blooms, mixed china, and hungry stomachs.]
[grandmother's name// i took leaves and gold foiled them, then wrote (sloppily) the names of the fam for place cards. grandparents loved 'em-- bonas points for me, yet?]
[ahhh, family laughing and enjoying each other's company. or was this just mom telling everyone to get out of the kitchen so she could finish making dinner?]

[ graham being my model as i test out the camera for a... special... project. more on that soon. ]

to those of you who read my rambles, thank you. you are appreciated. lots of love sending your way. and just a reminder (to you and to me), that the big problems of life seem so much less significant in relation to the tiny, consistent moments that make you realize that life is good. more than good-- life is lovely.

yours truly,

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