November is here, the month of thanksgiving, the time of year where we reflect on and count our numerous blessings, expressing our gratitude for all the many things we have been given. I just LOVE this time of year.
On this first weekend of November, I’m thinking about all the things God has worked out in my life over the past year, and as promised in this post previously, I am going to share those things with you today.
Before I turned 30, I knew I wanted this decade of life to be different. I was tired of the striving that so consumed my 20’s and ready for a change of pace – one of grace, rest, enjoying life to the fullest and not wrapped up in control and perfectionism. But I knew I just couldn’t undo all those years of habits and tendencies without some accountability and help. So, I started going to counseling the summer before my 30th birthday. And it was one of the BEST decisions I have ever made in my life. Through meeting with my therapist at first on a weekly, then bi-weekly, and finally a monthly basis over the course of twelve months, I learned so much about myself, acknowledging hard truths and relinquishing the lies holding me hostage in order to move beyond my fears, worries, and doubts into freedom. Literally. The number one thing I am most grateful for this past year is freedom from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. A huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders and I am so thankful. For the first time in my life I don’t feel like I have to keep spinning my wheels to make sure the other shoe isn’t going to drop and that I also know I don’t have to live in shame anymore. I am free, and as much as it is a day-by-day process, it is a beautiful thing to live in freedom every day.
The second thing I am most grateful for this past year is the promotion / new position I moved into within my full-time career. This opportunity was not something I had at all planned for in the past year, but sometimes the best things in life come as a complete surprise! In addition to this, I’ve always had a desire to work from home and travel to different places, meeting new people, and helping them using my education, knowledge, and skills; and this new job allows me to do just that! I so appreciate the freedom and flexibility I have in this role to create my schedule and really make the position into whatever I see as best, allowing me to exercise my creativity in this position, and I also very much enjoy the teamwork with my colleagues and the connections I’ve made all over the state with those I oversee. It’s been a tremendous blessing and done wonders for me, professionally and personally.
The third thing I’m most grateful for this past year is getting back to running on a regular basis. It’s been a two-year process of recovery following a stress fracture in my heel as a result of over-training. Not fun. But by God’s grace, I have maintained the determination and motivation to stay active, fit, healthy, and positive, allowing me to get back to running at least three times per week with a fair amount of ease. Although I’m nowhere near back to training for half-marathons like I was before my injury, I have been making a point to run smaller races once per month and gently work my way back to the training and racing circuit. I’ve learned so much about listening to my body and taking on a more graceful rhythm in my working out patterns, which has done this girl much good!
The fourth thing I’m most grateful for is the opportunity to travel this past year. In addition to visiting many places in my beloved state of Pure Michigan, I’ve been able to travel to California, Colorado, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and Wisconsin. If you’ve been following along with me here for any length of time, you know that travel is very important to me and something that I need in my life, like air, food, and water. Not only does traveling allow me the chance to venture to new and exciting places, but it also provides me with a deeper appreciation of home. I always return back to the routine feeling more satisfied with life altogether, and that’s a wonderful thing to come home to!
The fifth thing I’m most grateful for this year is this new and improved platform of mine. I know I’ve mentioned it several times, but I can’t express enough how thankful I am to have my own brand and website, and to finally be taking serious steps toward the dream I have of owning my own business and working for myself to help others live their best lives! I still have a long way to go and much to learn, but this was a big first step and to have this foundation in place has further helped to solidify my vision and plans for the future!
The sixth and final thing I’m most grateful for this past year is the amazing quality time I’ve been able to spend with my family and friends. I’ve been blessed to see my siblings, niece, and nephew who live out-of-state a handful of times, I’ve enjoyed visits with my grandparents and parents locally and at our place up north, and I’ve so enjoyed making time with my girlfriends a priority on a weekly and monthly basis. I’m also incredibly thankful for the growth my hubby and I have experienced in our marriage and the opportunities we’ve had to bond and connect in this eighth year as Mr. and Mrs. I’m so blessed by the partnership we share and the intentional time we have made for one another these past twelve months.
So there you have it, my gratitude list of all the blessings of this past year. I’m thankful to serve a God who brings us through times of challenge and difficulty into places better than we could ever imagine and further transforms us into the person He desires us to be through these experiences. He is so good and faithful, friends.