Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks.

Well, I haven't done a Thankful Thursday post in months and here we are at the very best Thursday to be thankful all year. It's my favorite holiday and, I'll be honest, I'm kinda bummed.
This year there will be no turkey (I'm a dark meat girl), no 7th helpings of mashed potatoes and gravy. There will be no deviled eggs, no green bean casserole, no cool-whip with a perfect dollop of pumpkin pie.

There will be no...
oh, well, yes, there will be an epic nap. 
I try to fit one in, at least, twice a week. :)

Anyway, last night at prayer time, Inn was thankful for 3 things: hair, Fanta, and me. 
In that order.
He is currently bald, so I'll give him one out of 3.
The world would be a dark place without orange Fanta...


I wanted to tell you what I was thankful for but, after he stole all of my answers, I didn't know where to begin.
So, I found a blog with 15 thankful prompts.
Here we go...


1. Who do I appreciate?
I appreciate the One who took my place. The madre. The besties. I appreciate every single person who has helped me in living out my dream; whether financially, through prayer or encouraging words. And if you are reading this blog, I appreciate you.

2. How am I fortunate?
Oh my Lordy... where do I begin? Currently, I live in the most chaotically, blessed mess; I'll just say, we're ALL fortunate I'm not running this ship.

3. What material possessions am I thankful for?
I'm thankful for the shoes on my feet and the bed that I sleep in every night. But, most of all, I'm thankful for my oscillating fan. It's the wind beneath my wings.

4. What abilities do I have that I'm grateful for?
I guess I am thankful for my (mostly blind) faith. I don't need a lot of answers, I've lived a lot proof. I'm grateful that even when I stumble and even when the ugliness of my flesh gets the best of me, there is Someone fighting on my behalf and working everything for my good.

5. What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for?
Have you heard, I live in paradise? Lush and green, surrounded by mountains, and 80 degrees everyday. Yah, I'm thankful.

6. What experiences have I had that I am grateful for?
There are so many experiences in my life that have shaped me and for that I am grateful. Hands down, I am most grateful for the chances that I have had to serve alongside people, forever friends, who have shown me the person I want to be. Working with the homeless downtown was my first taste. Working in cockroach infested trailers in Arkansas with the switches was one of my greatest joys. Working in Africa...well, I'm still trying to put that into words.

7. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month/this year that I am grateful for?
Do you have 2 days?... Mostly, I am grateful for answered prayers.

8. What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for?
I'm living out one of the greatest opportunities of my life. Thankful doesn't cut it. I'm gonna make it count.

9. What have others in my life done that I am thankful for?
Every.Single.Time. without fail, when someone tells me they have prayed or are praying for me, I am blown away. My prayers are simple, to the point where sometimes I just lay there and ask God to please read my mind (He does, btw). I don't want y'all to think I am a jerk and don't pray for you, I just have to really think about it. And when someone thinks about me...thank you.

10. What have others done that I am benefiting from in my life (even if I don't know who those people are)?
I think the big one that jumps into my mind are all the men and women who protect our country everyday that I will never meet. They leave their families, lose their lives, and protect my freedom. I'd say I benefit from them a whole lot. God bless them.

11. What relationships am I thankful for?
I'm thankful for the madre, the most amazingly strong and selfless woman to walk the earth. I'm thankful for Lindsay and Lindsey who I would be dead without. I'm thankful for the Christmas party crew, some of my first examples of true friendship. A-Town and Dredra, enough said. My lifegroup, I miss y'all more than you know. My switch girls, if you think I'm talking about you then I am, I wish I was as cool as y'all. I could go on, and on, and on, and on...you get it. I'm thankful.

12. What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for?
I love my Kindle. I don't think I tell it that enough.

13. What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced (or am currently experiencing) that I can be thankful for?
Hmmm...I would say recent challenges have taught me that I can't do it...alone. So, I guess, I'm thankful for my new-found (hard-core) reliance on Him. I think one day soon I'll also learn that (with Him) I am enough, right now, just like I am. I'll be thankful for that, too. :)

14. What is different today than it was a year ago that I'm thankful for?
Well, everything. It's in the weirdest things that I find gratitude. For example, I'm thankful for dirty feet, because I know that I will be able to take a bucket bath later and get clean. I'm thankful for bucket baths, because they remind how much I love hot showers. Mylanta, I love hot showers.

15. What insights have I gained that I am grateful for?
I've learned that God looks at us with completely different standards than the world does. I've learned that the more you give, the more you gain, and that true happiness comes from service and giving your heart to others. Sacrifices make you stronger, and the power of kindness changes lives. I've learned that 'family' cannot be contained by latitude and longitude, but that it lives in your heart; sometimes long before you even knew it actually existed and always long after you've been in it's presence.

*Bonus*
I'm not thankful for the lizard who occasionally naps in my laundry hamper. I just wanted to tell y'all that.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Tara

P.S. I'm accepting any and all leftovers at:
Tara Clapper
BP 318
Gisenyi, Rwanda
East Africa

Thank you in advance.

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