Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving Thanks

I had this really great idea last week that a blog post about all the things I'm grateful for would be a fantastic way to start off Thanksgiving. I figured it would not only help me feel grateful for all the great things I have, but also help me remember why I have them (or better said, thanks to who I have them). Before I had figured out what was happening Thanksgiving morning my running shoes were on my feet and I was out the door, writing forgotten, so that didn't happen quite according to plan. However, maybe it's for the best, because I've had two full days to reflect on how wonderful my life is whilst nibbling on pie and making funny faces at my niece. 

And so I present to you (in no particular order) a few of the many wonderful things that are going on in my life right now. 

  • Job: When Peggy Noonan spoke last week at a BYU forum, she said that her jobs with Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. were "an unmitigated blessing in her life," from which she had grown and benefited greatly. That is exactly how I feel about my job right now--it is an unmitigated blessing. It's fun, it's interesting, it's experience that will help me all my life. I can't help but be grateful for that. 
  • Roommates: Coming back from my mission, I didn't know any guys who weren't (1) still on missions of their own or (2) not going to BYU. So, I didn't put in any specific roommate requests, and got put in a random apartment at the luck of the draw. I'm grateful that my roommates are reasonably orderly, good men, who are also welcoming and accepting of the new guy. 
  • Car: I got used to taking the bus in Chile, and was ready to tackle the Utah bus system as soon as I got home. However, it turned out that I didn't have to--my beloved Mazda 626 gives me more freedom than even the bus system would have. 
  • Running shoes: My mom convinced me to get a pair of fairly decent running shoes (instead of my usual 10-dollar Walmart sneakers). I realized how much I would enjoy having them at the same time I realized that it gets really cold in the early morning (when I have time to run), and going barefoot is not a (pleasant) option. This has enabled some fairly awesome runs. 
  • Old friends: I always joked around with my mission companions that getting home would be like opening a new area--I'd have to build a friend base from the ground up, putting to use all my missionary skillz like "talk to everyone" and "ask for references." However, thanks to good old friends, it hasn't been quite like that. More like... well, like seeing old friends after two years in a foreign country!
  • New friends: I enjoy people. Meeting new people is one of my favorite past-times. God has put a lot of really cool new people into my life, people who I've learned from and whose company I have enjoyed. 
  • Studio C: I don't understand quite how it happened, but somebody got the idea in the last few years to form a clever, clean comedy group that just so happens to jive almost perfectly with my sense of humor. Win. 
  • Academic success: When I stepped into the classroom for the first math class of the semester, I had trouble remembering what a derivative was. It was scary. A few weeks ago, I actually walked out of the testing center after a math test smiling. That's a change I'm grateful for. 
  • Family, part 1: My sister and brother-in-law not only live in the same state that I do, they're only forty minutes away. I'm thankful for Sunday dinners, evening chats, and getting to play with my niece (just look at these pictures and tell me she isn't the cutest little girl in the world, will you?) almost every week. 
  • Family, part 2: In spite of a random rash of concussions this summer, the rest of my family is alive and well in Oregon, and I get to call them on the phone and talk to them any time the fancy strikes me. That's nice. 
  • Family, part 3: My cousin Kate deserves a shout-out here. She knows why she's awesome.
  • Music: Along with ward choir, playing the tin whistle on stormy nights, and random piano jam sessions, I get to sing in the BYU Men's Chorus this year. I feel privileged to spend a lot of time making (and listening to) really cool music. 
  • Prayer: Oddly enough, the interesting, challenging, and sometimes frustrating parts of life didn't stop coming when I was released as a missionary (although I will admit that they changed nature quite a bit-- stray dogs are no longer a problem). However, every time I go to my Father in prayer, He gives me His guidance, He assures me that it's going to turn out alright, and He surrounds me with His love.
  • The Book of Mormon: A lot of the time, God's guidance and assurance comes through music. However, God's most frequently-used tool to talk to me is definitely this book. I love it. It's amazing. You should read it. 
  • The Atonement: After everything else, (and before everything else, and over everything else, and through and because of and causing everything else), I am grateful that my Savior Jesus Christ came and offered His life for me. He lifts me up, redeems me, cleanses me, empowers me, and makes everything I do worthwhile. 


Anonymous said...

And WE'RE thankful for YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nana and Grampa

Cindy said...

Lovely. And I personally am glad the rash of concussions is over...

cindy baldwin said...

Love this post! And we love being your Utah family.