a drive of gratitude

Do you ever have those days when you wake up and are just so excited to live? Nothing particular was going on that day, you were simply ready to live? Maybe you have, or maybe you haven’t and I’m just crazy, but these days happen every now and then. 

It was just a normal summer day for me. I woke up to the sound of my dog barking at nothing again, read through my devotion book still with sleep in my eyes, got ready for the day and headed to work. (I nanny part time, which by the way is the best darn job on the planet.) I was taking the girls I take care of to my aunt and uncle’s cabin, taking advantage of this PERFECT Nebraska weather we’ve been having lately. I was happy to have a care free day filled with fun. 

As I was driving down there, I turned on my good ole’ Jesus tunes playlist, rolled down the windows in my little, hail-damaged Toyota, and just drove. And I smiled. I didn’t smile because the girl I watch accidentally took a bite out of my sandwich instead of hers. (I gave her a hard time for that one.) I wasn’t smiling because it’s halfway through the week. I smiled because I am extremely blessed. I cannot stress that or thank God enough. I have a wonderful life, and it overwhelms me with joy that I am able to say that.

The drive was so peaceful and beautiful. The sky was bright blue filled with “cotton candy” clouds and the road was a straight line for miles surrounded by cornfields. I guess you could say us Nebraskans consider cornfields beautiful too. 😉 God created beauty to show His Holy existence. When most people think of beauty, we think of materialistic things on the outside, and what we perceive with our eyes come to mind. Us humans are so blind to see how beautiful life and our hearts really are. 

My. Life. Is. Beautiful.

A while back, I had one of those days just like I had above, and I compiled a list of things I am thankful for and the blessings in my life. There’s so many more people and so many experiences I have yet to write down and thank, but not even the beauty of words can form together to show my gratitude.

Share your blessings. Thank God for everything. He made your life so far and the future to come simply beautiful. 

Things I Am Thankful For
(In No Particular Order)

* I’m alive.
* I’m healthy.
* I have an unconditional-loving, gracious, perfect, God.
* I have a wonderful father who provides for my family, values time with me, and loves me more than I can ever imagine.
* I have a outstanding mother who always puts others before herself, is the strongest woman I know, and loves me beyond infinity.
* I have a gorgeous sister, Hannah, who is a incredible, improving dancer, who is my “soul-sister,” is strong-willed, and is always always always there when I need a hug.
* I have a beautiful sister, Ellie, who always makes me laugh, who I can call my “mini-me,” is thoughtful, and is full of love.
* My parents love one another despite each other’s flaws, and conquer any trial together.
* My sister’s and I were all raised in a strong, Christian home thanks to my amazing parents who, too, have an outstanding faith.
* I live in a great house providing me with shelter.
* My father has a career that give us the luxury of my mom getting to stay home and spend time with my sisters and me.
* I am a member of a excellent church with a great foundation and supportive people.
* I have a loving grandmother who lets me call her “G-Ma,” showed me how to sew, calls me every week to check up on me, and loves 50’s music as much as I do.
* I have a beautiful, guardian angel, Grandma Virginia, who watches over me and lets me have similar looks and qualities like her to heal my mother’s grief.
* I have an awesome grandfather, Papa, who loves me unconditionally no matter how many times I climbed his trees, filled my childhood with bike rides and fishing, and got me my first car.
* I have an wonderful grandmother, Mary Pat, who has exceptional fashion, makes the best cookie dough brownies, and shares a love for English just as I do.
* All of my grandparents have never missed a dance recital, dance competition, or play performance and they love watching me do what I love.
* I have a wonderful Uncle, Steve, who I can go to for anything, loves me just as I was his own child, and is the wisest man I know.
* I have an incredible Aunt, Ruth, who has a great sense of humor, but is firm when she needs to be, tells great stories, and loves me like I’m the daughter she never had.
* I have a hilarious cousin, Grant, who protects me as if I was his little sister and is a big brother I’ve always wanted, who makes me laugh, and who I can always call for help.
* I have a crazy cousin, Eric, who also protects me even though I am two years older, who is incredibly smart, outrageously polite, but is never afraid to have fun.
* I have a hard-working Aunt, Susan, who is also my godmother, and always remembers my baptismal birthday, because I never do, who played with me all night long when I was little, and encourages me to achieve all my goals in life.
* I have an amazing best friend, Kari Elizabeth, who had blessed me with 15 years of neverending friendship, who I can count on for anything, and be a complete idiot around and she wouldn’t judge, she’d join in.
* I have a beautiful best friend, Jena Nicole, who lets me come over and cry until I fall asleep, who shares the same love and passion of dance and special education as me, and is the type of friend who knows what I’m going to say, before I say it.
* I have the coolest uncle, aunt and cousins, The Erickson’s, who although I don’t get to see as much I would like too, they still have filled my life with so many memories, love and laughter.
* God has blessed me with the ability to express myself through the beautiful art of dance, a passion no person can ever take away.
* I have an incredible role model, Kristy Schweitz, who helped me see the positives in every difficult situation, who prays for me, and pushed me to dance harder than I ever thought I could.
* I have an amazing dance instructor, Amber Mero, who made me into the dancer I am today, choreographed all my amazing solos, and always greets me with a smile.
* I have so many “Dance Moms” that have my back, but Kendra Koch, has treated me like her own, who is gifted with creatively, spunk, and never fails to make me laugh.
* My gorgeous friend, Maryn Heald, whose faith radiates off of her, who is an inspiration to me, and has never given up despite all she has gone through.
* My gifted friend, Amanda Jo, always brightens my day, quotes Forrest Gump with me, and is always there to have a lot of fun, whatever it may be.
* Even though I am no longer a member of the team, the Gretna Dance Team will always have my back, and has filled my high school years with so many fond memories.
* Words exist. Which mean quotes, stories, and poetry exist. A therapeutic way for me to express what I am feeling.
* Literature opens up my imagination and take me to places, situations, conversations, I never knew existed.
* I graduated from a great high school that gave me an amazing education, splendid memories, and helpful learning experiences.
* I am attending an outstanding university, Concordia Nebraska, this fall that will give me an exceptional education, amazing memories, and prepare me for my career.
* I have an gorgeous roommate, Abby, who is so much like me it still scares me today, who is strong in her faith, loving, and overall, such a wonderful person.
* I have an incredible college friend, Mark, who is the most genuinely nice guy I’ve ever talk to, who makes me laugh, and accepts my dorkish behavior.
* I have an amazing college friend, Payton, who has a miraculous amount of faith, it’s indescribable, who is hilarious, has great taste in music, and who I admire very much.
* I have a summer job nannying two great girls, providing me with money for college, and keeping busy during the summer.
* I know how to overcome what I have gone through in the past because of the grace of my God and support from my family.
* I am fortunate enough to be educated properly, that I received numerous academic scholarships to go towards my college tuition.
* I was blessed with a generous offer from Concordia to award me with an athletic scholarship and be a member of the Concordia Dance Team.
* After the grace and forgiveness through God, there’s proof that broken friendships can always be mended and I have forgiven people I never thought I could.

* I am happy, my life is full of experiences, my life is full of opportunities yet to come, My God is amazing.

Embrace your beautiful life today.
God Bless You,

Liz 🙂