Every other year, a large portion of my family gathers at a cabin near the smoky mountains for a couple of days of rest, relaxation, and family fellowship. It is a time that I always look forward to, and has created and continues to create many memories. Although this is a relaxing time, amidst the stress of the last stretch of school, my brain is far past the point of creating cohesive thoughts, so instead, I have a simple list of things I am thankful for. It’s nothing special, but sometimes these things just need to be put into words.
–My lord and savior Jesus Christ. One, because I wouldn’t be here (literally) without him, and two, because it wouldn’t be a real thanksgiving list if I didn’t include Him.
–My family. Full of life, love, laughter, and constant support. I have never doubted their commitment and faithfulness to me. Though miles may separate us, I am always thankful to see how little we have drifted apart.
–Male role models. From my brother, to my dad, to my uncles, to mentors to youth pastors to professors, I have never had a shortage of incredible men to look up and aspire to. They have made the path to Biblical manhood a little easier by blazing the path ahead of me.
–My boo thang. (Or, “Girlfriend” for those of you who are not quite as in touch with hip-hop culture as I am). If you haven’t met JoBeth Collins yet, you need to. Seriously, she rocks. I couldn’t ask for a more faithful, encouraging, kind-hearted, fun loving, adventurous, caring, and Godly woman to walk alongside of me through the ups and downs of life. She has never met a stranger, and her personality brings joy to anyone that she meets. Smiles and laughter follow her everywhere she goes. Heck, I can’t bring her around UTC too often because pretty soon she will have more friends in Chattanooga than I do! Even if she is a stinkin’ Vol, I can’t help but to be thankful for her.
-BYX. I will forever be thankful for the men of this brotherhood. It is made up of some friends I have had since the 6th grade, and some that I met just a couple of months ago. These guys continually push me towards Christ and challenge me to be a more Godly man. They have helped make Chattanooga feel a little bit more like home, and they have given me a fellowship of men that I know will last far beyond my college years. Turns out that fraternity life isn’t so bad.
–Cadence Coffee Company. Just two short months ago I had a vague idea of what espresso was, and had never ordered anything except regular coffee from a coffee shop. Now, I’m a barista. Not necessarily a very talented barista, but a barista nonetheless. Seriously though, this has been much more than a job. It has inspired a passion within me, and the staff has become like another family to me. I could not ask for a better place to work, and I look forward to many more years with them.
–Outside. Seriously, look outside, its incredibles. Trees, mountains, streams, clouds, grass, dirt, bushes, weeds, flowers, whatever. It is incredible, and it is a constant reminder of God’s beauty. I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to explore the outdoors in my own city and in areas around me. More than that, I am thankful that God instilled within me a passion for the outdoors.
I pray that I never cease to be thankful for these things, and that more than once a year I would take the time to reflect on these things and take joy in my thankfulness.
What is on your thankfulness list this year?