Tomorrow night, the Illini for Christ sponsors are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for all the students (and spouses). We're supposed to come prepared to talk about what we're grateful for, so I thought I'd do a little thinking ahead of time. I am so blessed in that it's not hard for me to come up with what I'm grateful for; it's hard for me to narrow the list down! I figure if I post a huge list here, I won't be tempted to talk for 10 minutes tomorrow night. :)
1. Of course, the number one blessing in my life is Darby. He is an amazing husband and friend. We were extremely blessed to have a smooth transition into married life, and it's only gotten better. We just enjoy being together. Almost every day one of us will say, "I can't believe this is our life. It's so great." I am so proud of the way he has handled the pressure and stress of graduate school. He has been so careful to protect our time together, even as the demands on his time increase. I can't even put into words how much I love him and how lucky I feel that he is mine. I have been blessed with so much, but even if I only had him, I would have more than I deserve.
2. My job. It is so nice to be doing something I enjoy and am passionate about. For the past week, I've been proofreading a Children's Literature textbook. How awesome is that?
3. New friends. We have been so blessed to make friends with another young couple, Jon and Katy, at church. They come over every Thursday to watch The Office, and we try to get together at least once per weekend. They love to eat and play games (my two most important requirements in friends!) We've also enjoyed spending time with another couple from church, Dustin and Aubrey. They are fellow Texans, but sadly (for us), they are moving back to Texas soon. I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet them before they left, though. Our church has a Young Marrieds group that gets together once a month, and we've enjoyed getting to know people through that, as well.
4. Two loving families. I think most people are grateful for their biological families, but I am doubly blessed in that I can honestly say that I am grateful for my in-laws as well. One thing that I've come to appreciate more and more the older I get is how generous both mine and Darby's parents are -- with their money, time, encouragement, etc. They are great examples for us.
5. Free time. I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a lot more free time than I did in Abilene (even when I was only working and not in school). It might be because I don't have as many friends and because we don't go visit friends or family on the weekends anymore. I always enjoyed spending time with friends and family, but I'm also enjoying this period of relative quietude. I know that this stage of my life will be short-lived. (It will be over as soon as I have kids, if not sooner.) So I want to really appreciate it while it lasts.
6. A large kitchen. I always enjoyed cooking, even in my extremely hot Cedar Crest kitchen and my extremely tiny Cimmaron kitchen. Now, I cook so much more, though. It's great to have room to spread out. I hope I continue to enjoy cooking and baking as much as I do now.
7. Being a bridesmaid for the fourth time. I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet! My "frousin" Amy is getting married to Matthew on July 11, and I have the honor of being her bridesmaid. She was a huge encouragement to me during my engagement and wedding, and I am so excited to be a part of her special day. After I got married, I realized just how important good bridesmaids are. It made me wish I had done more for Whitney and Kalyn when I was in their weddings. Amy was an amazing bridesmaid even before being married, though. I have a lot to live up to!
Well, I could keep going, but I guess I'll wrap it up here. I haven't even mentioned my old friends, my health, nature, and tons of other blessings. I am so glad that we have this season to remind us to thank God for our blessings. I do not do it enough.