My 2011 Thanksgiving “Things I’m Thankful For” List

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last year I wrote and posted my first “Things I’m Thankful For” list, and the practice is healthy enough that I’ve decided to make it a personal tradition. I try to thank God for the good things in life every day, but it is nice to have a day dedicated to remembering and praising God for what He has done, and also for thanking those around us for the sacrifices they have made to give us Americans the ability to meet together in freedom and peace.

So, here is the (far from comprehensive) list:

  1. God’s patience, grace, and redemption: 2011 has been a year where I have been blessed to experience the mysterious and miraculous work of God on my heart and my habits. It has been painful, but in the process the world has taken on a color that I haven’t known in recent memory.  God forgives the poor addict–but He does not leave him where He found him! God offers strength to the weak, purity to hearts blackened by sin, and joy to those who can find none in themselves.
  2. The King’s Debate Society: after three years of investing every part of myself, my leadership in the debate society came to an end in May. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have played a part in such an excellent organization. I will look back on those three years as some of the most formative times of my life. I am also thankful to have been able to make a clean break with the debate society. No hovering, no politics – just watching a beautiful organization spread its wings and take flight.  I’m just as thankful for how God has blessed the organization with the leadership that it has. The current president is a fantastic leader with a heart of gold, we couldn’t ask for a better coach, and we have a team that is in love with the same vision that we’ve had since the beginning. I could ask for nothing more.
  3. My family: it has been a year, and the story is nearly the same. I still live thousands of miles away from my family, and I miss them and at times it hurts. I know that we do not talk enough. This year, there have been some big changes, some of which I do not like.  Yet somehow, strangely, I find myself more resolved to loving my family unconditionally. One reason for that is I know that they love me unconditionally. I’m thankful to have a family that loves me and is proud of me. If I were to fall ill and have only a few days on my deathbed, I would want to be surrounded by my parents and three siblings. I’m lucky, and thankful, because I know they would come.
  4. Tango: my feelings on this entry on this list can best be described in three words: “what the hell?” If you had asked me, at any point in my life, if I imagined myself devoting hundreds of hours to learn and teach tango, understand the culture and music, and end up with a whole new social circle of tango dancers, I would laugh. Yet here I am. God has given me the opportunity and privilege to learn tango, a dance I can best describe as a visual portrait of the relational dynamics between men and women. I could write a book about this (maybe I will someday), but this isn’t really the place.  All I can say is, I’m thankful I ran into Linda at Velvet that one fateful night in May. Otherwise, she would have never invited me to tango with her at Central Park, and my heart would have never been captured the way it was.
  5. My King’s education/graduating from it: There are no words that can describe how thankful I am to have gone to school at The King’s College. Four and a half years ago, I could never have imagined how transformative of an experience my education would be. I won’t even try to explain all that it has taught me or the way it has set my heart on making what is good, fighting for what is right, and enjoying what is beautiful.
  6. All of the small things: Art, music, cigars, dance, poetry, the rain, pretty flowers, pretty people, good conversation, a good cup of coffee – the list goes on.
  7. Women: there’s not a whole lot I can say here other than I am thankful for those marvelous, maddeningly complex creatures God called “very good.”  In fact, I’ve begun to suspect that God describing woman this way is perhaps the first example in the Bible of dramatic, humorous understatement. “Very good” indeed!
  8. The piano in the student lounge: I have no way of quantifying how many nervous breakdowns that piano has steered me from.
  9. My job: it has to take a place on here by virtue of its existence in these tough economic times. On top of that, though, I love my job. I get to serve an institution that I believe in, I have coworkers that I enjoy working with, a good boss, and hours that allow me to pursue other interests at the same time.
  10. I’m sitting on a laptop, in a warm home (thanks Doc), on Thanksgiving, enjoying good music (She & Him), thinking about the good things in life.  I think that qualifies for number 10.
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