Because my birthday always falls on the same week or day as Thanksgiving, I wanted to write a gratitude list this year. And I am hoping to write one every year during my birthday. When we cultivate an attitude of gratefulness, no matter the circumstance, God rewards us with joy, peace and contentment. So, here goes:
1. I am grateful for being alive. Life itself is not an opportunity everyone gets to enjoy for a long time.
2. I am grateful for my family. We have our quirks, differences, similarities. We call each other weird names. We argue, we fight and we wrestle. But after all that, we’re still family. And we will fight and defend each other to the very end.
3. I am grateful for my body. It may not be perfect. It may have its share of defects. It may be fond of attacking itself, giving me pain everyday, for the rest of my life (yeah, autoimmune disease sucks bigtime), but that doesn’t define me. What I would like to get noticed though is the strength that is keeping this body together. God is indeed the strength of my heart, my body, and my soul.
4. I am grateful for friends. Bestfriends. Close friends. New friends. Facebook friends. Twitter friends. Instagram friends. The idea of being a friend has been really confusing nowadays. And so at this age, I am realizing that great friendships take a lot of effort, and love.
5. I am grateful for the roof above our heads, the car (we call her Soobie) that takes Sam to work everyday and both of us to the grocery, and the clothes that keep us warm everyday.
6. I am grateful for cellular phones and computers. Communication is key. Enough said.
7. I am grateful for the internet. Boy, how this one really makes our lives easier.
8. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here. Although if you’ve read my previous blog posts about not understanding why, I want you to know that I changed my mind. I found some enlightenment. I now understand why, well kinda. God is revealing it in ways I could never have imagined.
9. I am grateful for being part of a church who’s made us feel like family.
10. I am grateful for Sam’s job. I could not overemphasize how much he loves his job. And I love seeing him loving what he does.
11. I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in Perseverance Theater’s ASTI this year. I have missed acting so much.
12. I am grateful for the opportunity to take review classes with Kaplan this year. Oh my, they’re expensive. I hope it would be worth it.
13. I am grateful for this chance and the time to review for the US medical boards.
14. I am grateful for my Aunt and Uncle in California who have opened their house to me and Sam.
15. I am grateful for the ability to still be able to play the guitar and the piano in spite of the pain and stiffness of my finger joints.
16. I am grateful for people who have opened their homes to us, those who have fed us (haha), those who have treated us like family in Alaska. (The Arsuas, the Shiers, the Dotys, the Magleos, the Ihnats, the Frickeys, Michelle, and others)
17. I am grateful for the availability of rice and dried fish here in the US. Yep, they’re important to me.
18. I am grateful for health insurance, my doctors, and the availability of my medications.
19. I am grateful for the sunshine everyday when I’m in California. And I am grateful for the rain and the snow when I’m in Juneau, although I’m not necessarily happy about the cold.
20. I am grateful for the responsibilities I have- as wife, daughter, niece, daughter-in-law, sister, friend. It gives me purpose.
21. I am grateful for having my shoulder surgery this year. After a gazillion dislocations, I finally had it repaired. I can now play basketball again!
22. I am grateful for having just one surgery this year and not multiple. I should be a surgical patient hall of famer.
23. I am grateful for my driver’s license. I just got my Alaskan driver’s license this year.
24. I am grateful for my parents’ and aunt and uncle’s visit to Juneau last summer. I won’t say how many buckets of Alaskan King crab they devoured.
25. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the east coast with Sam this year.
26. I am grateful for the opportunity to become a blessing to others.
27. I am grateful for religious freedom.
28. I am grateful for water. Goodness, I cannot imagine this life without water. My affinity to water is evident in my love for washing the dishes and doing the laundry. Oh, and I guess I would have to include excessive handwashing- the feeling of running warm water over swollen and painful hands……
29. I am grateful for Sam’s ability to take beautiful photos of the Aurora Borealis.
30. I am grateful for words. Words are my greatest means of expression…and sometimes my source of stress. My grammar is not perfect, but obviously bad grammar just bothers me a lot. Especially those on social media. Haha
31. I am grateful for Sam, of course. Without him, I would be just Keziah. With him, we are Sam and Keziah. Haha. Seriously, he is the best gift God has ever given me in this lifetime. It would take a whole new blogpost to elaborate on this one.
32. And…I am grateful for love. Without love, I am nothing. God has afforded me the opportunity to love and be loved. I will always be forever grateful to the God who loves me unconditionally.
There. Now you know how old I am. So this is how it feels. It really is true. Once you turn 30 and beyond, you actually stop counting. Haha. And as usual, Sam’s witty reply to my emotional upheaval the day before my birthday was, “You should learn to accept that you’re getting old this early, and you will be able to age gracefully.”
“In everything, give thanks..” 1 Thessalonians 5:18