asdfghjkl yes, I just quoted T. Swift – yikes. But it literally is the most applicable title I could make on my 22nd birthday, right?!
…Anyways. Today I was able to see the beauty of so many people who have touched my life! There were over 200 people who took the time to wish me a happy birthday on Facebook alone, and I was so humbled/blown away. I am so blessed to have such loving people in my life.
Tonight, I got the chance to spend quality time out to dinner with some of the people closest to me in my life. It was wonderful to say the least, and my stomach hurt from laughing so much. After dinner, I scurried over to my InterVarsity meeting on campus. I am so glad that I was able to attend, because our Regional Director Jon Hietbrink delivered a beautiful message that I definitely needed to hear – even though I didn’t know that before.
He spoke about Jesus being our servant, and how we tend to want to serve Him only. Jon touched on how the only way to truly know Jesus is to accept Him as the One who serves us too. As he said, “For all of our talk about our pursuit of God, fundamentally, Christianity is about God’s pursuit of us.”
And back on the whole birthday theme, I think today would just as well be called Thanksgiving for me. I spent the majority of my day simply being thankful for the blessings in my life. And, in true #22 spirit, I’m going to share with you 22 things that I am thankful for on my 22nd birthday.
1) My team & my coaches – since I started my morning off with them, I’m starting my list with them! Not only do they support me and challenge me, I also have the time of my life with them. Rok, LJ, and Whit – you three have made this year the best year for me, and I especially wanted to thank you girls.
2) Breakfast – seriously, from the moment I wake up for practice, I look forward to it. (We’re an eating team with a rowing problem, I swear.)
3) NAPS! I’m really good at them, but they are the greatest. I don’t care if it makes me sound like a preschooler/retiree. I’m so thankful for them.
4) My professors. I don’t think that I really take the time to be thankful for them enough, but I am so lucky – along with my peers. My department especially (shout-out to Creighton JM&C!!) is pretty rockin’, and my professors all take the time to know us all as people; who we are outside of the classroom as well as in. So today, I take a moment to say THANK YOU: to God, for the blessing of such fantastic professors, and to the profs themselves – y’all rock. Seriously. #jmcawesome
5) My freaking roommates – you two girls are the best: from the thoughtful gifts, posters, flowers, and everything; I am way too lucky. You both never fail to make me laugh and smile, and I appreciate everything you do.
6) The entire Creighton community is something that I don’t take the time to thank God for often enough. We are SO lucky to be where we are — a university that challenges us, a community that embraces us, and an experience that changes us. I only regret that it has taken me so long to get to a point where I can see how wonderful it really is in its entirety. Hindsight is 20/20 though, right?
7) My family. Mom, Dad, John & Kev (as well as ALL of my extended familly)…I couldn’t ask for a better (louder/crazier/funnier) family, and I love you with all that I am.
8) I am thankful for Whit – you have become such an important person in my life and one of my dearest friends. From being teammates to spending so much time together this year, our friendship really does mean the world to me. I want you to know that.
9) Unanswered prayers – sometimes God, You rock my world because You show me how wrong I was and how what I pray for isn’t what was actually going to be good for me. It’s weird to say, but I love it when You show me how wrong I am and then get me back on track. It’s a good thing You’re there…
10) Edible Arrangements. (AKA thankful to Mom & Dad for sending it)…but seriously? What else needs to be said. They’re freaking delicious.
11) Family traditions. We all have em, a lot of times we get embarrassed by them, but at the end of the day, (as the card from my Godparents reads) “You can’t pick your relatives, unless there’s some new mail-order place I’m not aware of.” 🙂
12) I’m thankful for wool socks – seeing as last year on my birthday it was 81 degrees outside and today it was SNOWING, wool socks came in handy and I caught myself actually thanking God for them.
13) Birthday cards. Or Christmas cards. Or (insert holiday here) cards. I absolutely love them, because they track a lifetime of connections! I can say with confidence that I have kept every single card that I have received for, at the very least, the past ten years. So essentially ever since I was old enough to know how important these messages from friends and loved ones would be…
14) I’m super thankful for people with musical talent. Like, seeing as I have next to NO musical graces, I’m constantly in awe of people who can belt it out or play an instrument and make it look easy. Tonight, there was a guy playing piano in the student center, and I went over to tell him how beautifully he played because it simply warmed my heart.
15) On the same note (pun definitely intended), I’m thankful for worship music. That stuff is magic, I swear. 😉 The songs that the IV worship team chose to play tonight were the words my heart needed to hear, and they never fail to bring me so close to God.
16) I’m becoming increasingly thankful for awesome in-class discussions. Nerd status, I know. But seriously, I’m going to miss the instigating academic whole-class conversations about important issues and current events. The platform of a collegiate classroom is unlike any other, and it’s one that I have begun to cherish more and more as the time I have left gets shorter and shorter. (Yikes!)
17) I am thankful for people who use grammar/punctuation/spelling correctly. Following that, I’m constantly entertained by my friends who know how picky I am about these things, and they regularly correct themselves to make sure I know that THEY know what’s right. Essentially, thank you to the friends who do that – you act as if I’m not neurotic and that’s sweet of you. 🙂
18) I am thankful for the people who read my blog – I swear you must fall asleep half the time reading these posts, but it really does mean the world to me that you take time out of your day to read the words that come from my heart. There are many followers of this blog whom I’ve never met, but I appreciate your support/comments/feedback so much!
19) In my head, I just made a list of the top 3 biggest challenges or struggles I have faced in my life. Now, I choose to move forward and thank God for them – because I sure as hell wouldn’t be the person I am today if they hadn’t been in my path. It might have been easier if they didn’t happen, sure, but they were worth it in the end.
20) I’m thankful for the trust that people place in me. When a person opens up to me in a way that makes their emotions vulnerable, it feels like one of the most intimate actions in a friendship. I value the trust that people place in me, with the confidence that I will be there for them in whatever the situation may look like. Thank you for letting me into your lives and sharing your stories with me. They’re beautiful.
21) I’m thankful for Omaha – weird, right?! Ask me four years ago and I would have laughed in your face at the prospect of loving the city of Omaha. My classic answer when someone asked me how I liked Omaha was – “Well I LOVE Creighton.” So yeah. But now, I have come to call Omaha a second home, and I’ll tell you, it feels good.
22) Lastly, at the risk of being super cheesy, I’m thankful for someone God has brought into my life who never fails to put a smile on my face. You know who you are – I’m having a blast with you even in this short time that we’ve known each other. Thank you for being who you are – because you’re pretty darn awesome,
Woah. That was cool. God is SO good! I’d put it as my challenge to you to come up with 1 blessing for each year you have been alive, but that could get long! 😉 I guess I just challenge you to take the time to really open your eyes to the blessings in your life – there are so many. I could have gone on for hours.
Verse for tonight: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17