This past year has had its ups and downs, and–I must admit–it’s been tough for me. Moving to a new city, completely altering my routine, and being surrounded by new faces and places has been hard, especially for an introverted homebody like me who loves routine and familiarity. In the midst of change and worry, it’s sometimes easy to forget to give thanks, but Philippians 4:6 says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
As a severe worry wart, this is one of my go-to verses, and, yes, I’m more than willing to present my requests before God, but the with thanksgiving part is what I frequently pass over. Too often the anxiety of a situation and the desire to be out of that situation eclipses any desire to give thanks, and even overshadows the fact that there is anything to be thankful for.
Though I’m a couple days late, I would like to use this post to give particular thanks, not for the obvious blessings like family and shelter–which I am very thankful for–but for those blessings that have come about either as the result of the uncomfortable change of the last year or blessings that have given me comfort in the midst of change, ultimately helping me grow.
I’ve been so wrapped up in worrying about adjusting and fitting in that I’ve hardly noticed that–yes–God is still with me. As a side note, JJ Heller’s song “God is Still Here” has been a great help over the past few months. It is all about recognizing God’s presence even if things don’t go according to plan.
Without further ado, here is my list of blessing (in no particular order).
Thanks #1: People
Ruby: Because of my move, I’ve gotten to live five minutes away from my sister and her family and have gotten to see my niece, Ruby, as she grows and changes. She’s one now and the cutest thing ever. Looking forward to the years to come! Though I’d love if she could stay little…
Church family: It’s been a year now since I’ve joined a great church family. The Sunday School group I’m a part of welcomed me gladly, and it’s been a great comfort to know people in the area who are seeking God!
Coworkers: My workplace, even though I’ve only been there a short time, has gone through a turnover in staff recently, but I am pleased with the changes. Some workplaces can be full of drama and disagreements, but the people I work with now are respectful and work together in harmony. Definitely something to be thankful for!
Chiropractor: I know this might seem silly, but I have an awful back and–like I said–stress takes its toll (mainly in my upper back). My new chiropractor has worked wonders, and I am, oh, so thankful.
Thanks #2: Resources
The stress of the past year, though uncomfortable, has also encouraged my walk with God. Out of desperation, I am learning to seek after him more. In this process, I have discovered several resources to help out. Here are a few of the resources I’ve found. Go check them out for yourself!
Reading Plan App: This is a free downloadable app that has helped me read through the Bible in a year. It provides a checklist so you know what to read on which day. You can also change the settings to read certain portions in whatever amount of time you choose. It’s been very helpful.
Journeywomen podcast: Hunter Beless interviews different women on each episode about different subjects, such as prayer, Bible study, relationships, joy, humility, etc. There are great conversations on this podcast, and I always get something out of it. There are also further resources provided on whatever subject is being discussed. I subscribe to it on the iPhone podcast app, or you can go to the website here.
Writercaroline.com: This is a funny and encouraging blog, and Caroline also offers tools to help with studying the Bible without having to use devotionals, etc. Devotionals and other books are good in their place, but I also want to know how to study the Bible on my own, which–honestly–can be a bit intimidating in some areas. Check out the website here!
Library cards: Because of the exact location I moved to, I was able to get three library cards (not including the library I work at), so that I’m able to check out books and resources (print and electronic) at 10+ locations. I’m a bit obsessed, but it’s wonderful.
Thanks #3: Beauty and Creativity
Garden: Like I talked about in a rencent post, I was able to start a small garden (to be completed in the spring). So glad for this baby garden to practice on!
Blog Instagram: I started an Instagram account for my blog in February, and I’ve had loads of fun with. It has also helped me connect with the resources I mentioned above! You can look me up on Instagram @beautyandthemessblog OR see my most recent photos here on the website.
Hobbies: Because I’ve been recreating my routines, I’ve also been recreating my schedule to include hobbies that perished while I was in school. This includes writing, crocheting…I’m starting embroidery, and I want to get back into drawing and painting.
Thanks #4: Places and Spaces
My own office: This is the first time I’ve had my own office, and it’s been great. I’ve loved creating my own schedule at work and also decorating my office.
My lovely home: I really like the apartment I live in. I’m sure my landlords won’t appreciate all the holes I’ve made in the walls, but I love decorating and making spaces lovely!
Big bed: Another silly one, but I’m so thankful for this! I’ve been saving up for a new bed for years to help my bad back, but it took forever because I was in school. But now I’m more settled and have a job, and I am very thankful for a place to sleep.
Change can be hard, but there’s always something to be thankful for. The changing seasons are proof of this. I might not want the coming winter, but I sure am happy for the beautiful fall colors, and I know that spring will be here sooner or later!
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to be thankful even though the holiday is over!