Gobbling up Thankfulness

Each year, come Thanksgiving time, I try to remember all that I’m thankful for.  Every year it seems to be a kind of similar, but this year is going to be a wee bit different.  Bare with me….we are going to make a list.

Erin’s Top 10 Reasons to be Thankful.

 

10.) I am thankful for Christmas music.  I’ve been crazy sick this weekend, and just having my Christmas music playing in the background has really lifted my mood a lot.  Especially when all I could do was sleep, and be knocked out on drugs. 

9.)  I am thankful for having a car that works.  At the moment I’m worried about the back tires, because one looks like it is flattening up on me..like a pancake.  So when I am not worried about those tires, Mal is a good car, and she gets me to where I need to be…like work, and home for Thanksgiving. 

8.)  I am thankful for exercise.  I know, exercise?  Seriously Erin?  So far all of these have been kind of a bit ummmm materialistic, and now we are moving one step up..to exercise.  Yes, I love exercise.  I love running around in circles, listening to music or praying, because not only am I staying somewhat fit, it helps relieve stress.  Plus the bonus of then being able to eat my waffle on Wednesdays.  Besides that point, some people can’t exercise, and I’m glad that my body can still function…and as long as I am able, I will definately put forth the effort to take care of myself.

  7.)  I am thankful for chamber orchestra.  As much as I was a bit doubtful at first when Mr. Kumi suggested I joined, I’m glad I did.  It’s been such a stretching experience but I love the music we are playing, and I’m always learning and being pushed harder with improving my technique.   It’s crazy hard, (of course when all the other members talk about the music, their like ‘Oh it’s soo easy.’ psh. yeah right, that’s like telling a recovering chocolaholic that touring Cadbury’s or the Hershey’s company will be a walk in the park.) 

6.)  I am thankful for Skype.  Yep, my list just keeps getting eveeeeen better to read. HAHA!!  Yes I am thankful for Skype.  Skype helps me maintain my friendships overseas and in America, that and the dreaded evil empire of Facebook.  

5.)  I’m thankful for coffee and tea.  Really, do I need an explanation?

4.)  I am thankful for university.  It’s been such a wonderful first semester, getting to know people and conquering classes.  Having a goal to work towards is wonderful, and to know what I really want to be and have all these amazing opportunities to volunteer, and work is a blessing.

3.) I am thankful for my church.  As I was searching for churches this semester, I kept thinking how nice it would be if we could just transplant both the Pettisville Missionary and Long Eaton Oasis and bring them together in Anderson.  I would absolutely love it.  I miss both churches immensly, the friendships that had been formed…but I really miss my church from back home a lot!  There’s something about really knowing you belong, and that people claim you as theirs.  I do miss that, but I have also found a church finally that really feels great to be a part of and attend.  And I’m super blessed to have that, woohoo Genesis Church!

2.)  My friends.  I love my friends, and am so thankful for the people who have been put in my life, near and far.  I look and see how completely different each friendship I have is, and know that every single person in my life brings so much joy and happiness.  God is pretty awesome like that.  Sometimes the best friend you need is the one that you never think a friendship with that person would ever happen.  That’s happened a couple of times with me.  God has totally rocked my socks off with blessing me with pretty cool friends that I can talk with about almost everything. 

1.) My family.  It’s been a rough year, let’s face it.  This time last year was my first Thanksgiving back from England.  I was super excited about being around the table with everyone, and making the food with mum like we normally do the night before.  One year we had a turkey accident….it was awful, and I think that year she swore never again.  But yet we continue to have turkey, ugh.  I hate turkey.  I always swear each year, that when I have my own family we are stuffing a chicken.  This year I’ll be heading home Tuesday, working a couple days, not doing anything on the actual Thanksgiving…maybe I’ll make soup and bread, so that when mum comes home we can eat that together.  But Sunday will be our actual celebration.  I’m looking forward to sitting around the table again, but I’m also dreading it.  Because I’ll look to my right and my dad won’t be there. 

So what am I truly thankful for this year?  I am thankful that God knew what he was doing when he had me come home.  I am thankful that I listened to Him.  I am thankful that God gave me six months with my dad.  To hear ‘Have a good day!’ everytime I walked out the door for work.  I am thankful that I now hate ‘The Sound of Music’ because my dad use to watch it all the time, morning, afternoon, and night.  I am thankful for having a dad who loved unconditionally, and would cry with me when my heart broke.  I am thankful for the times I was late to work because I wasn’t paying attention to the clock and sat watching the movie with Dianne and dad.  I am thankful for my dad….who I love and I miss, and the memories he gave me to cherish forever.

I am thankful for my mum.  For the love she shows me everyday.  I am thankful that she believes in me, and encourages me.  I am thankful how she looks out for me, whether it’s sending a spontaneous card in the mail that has gas money in it, or just calls to check up on me.  I am thankful for the times I get to spend with her, whether it’s playing for a wedding, or even just watching tv…battling over who Ellie will sit on this time.  

I am thankful that God put me in the family that I am in.    I am thankful for the love God has blessed me with through my family.  Because they are all amazing in their own unique way.  I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

A Dream of Paneras

Last night I had a dream, or maybe it was this morning right before I actually peeped my eyes open and almost cracked my head on the pipe getting up.  I dreamt that I was sitting in Panera’s  with a cinnamon crunch bagel, toasted to perfection, with a hazelnut cream cheese spread.  Now for those who have not enjoyed Panera’s creation, it is one of the most amazing bagels ever created.  It has cinnamon goodness dispersed through-out, and on the top it has this sugar/cinnamon/buttery concoction baked on top.  Healthy?  I think not, but if I had died right then in that dream, I would have been in a perfect state of contentment.  As I took a bite of it, I smiled happily, and thought to myself…life just does not get any better then this.  Unfortunately, I did not have much time to enjoy this bliss, because my alarm clock rang and woke me up.

Fortunately for me, we decided to hit Paneras for breakfast before church today.  Excitement? Yes! Suspense? Yes!  Hoping that my cup of coffee, and cinnamon crunch bagel, lightly toasted with hazelnut cream cheese is just as beautiful as in my dream? Oh my goodness, yes! 

The anticipation mounted, as I walked up to the counter and placed my order.  I grabbed my coffee, and picked up the plate and waited for the girls to also recieve their breakfast purchase.  We sat down, and all of us grinned at each other as our mouths started to water.  I opened up the cream cheese, spread all of it onto my bagel, and savoured every bite. 

Was it as good as the dream?  No.  HA! You were expecting me to say yes, weren’t you?!  Unfortunately it wasn’t, but it was still wonderful and I enjoyed every oh so unhealthy bite. 

So why am I bringing this up?  Well I was thinking about life, people, dreams, and memories.  When we experience something wonderful, it’s only natural to want to recreate that experience again.  Whether our mind recreates it in a dream, or we try to do it again the next year, or we think about it over and over again.  Of course when time comes to experience it again, the second time around is never as wonderful as the first, or maybe we just recreated it in our mind as we wanted to remember it. 

When I was little I remember going to little village in New Jersey, where in the middle was a pond with  a huge carousel, and stores all over to explore.  The book store was my favourite, filled with lovely, lovely, old books.   I remembered over and over how I loved it sooo much, and how magical it seemed to me.  We went back to visit later on, when I was older.  My memory deceived me, for the magic lost it’s luster as I walked around….everything was where it was, but the grandness of it wasn’t there anymore. 

At that moment, I decided to erase this recent experience, and only remember my childhood memory.  I didn’t want the disappointment I felt be my lasting memory of something I had held, once so magical, in my mind.

I cried on my way back to the dorm the other day.  Because as I was running, I was trying to remember dad’s voice.  For the life of me, I couldn’t, and my heart broke. I pleaded with God to give me a memory, a clear memory, where I could see and hear him once more.  Over and over I kept saying ‘please God…please’ as the tears streamed down my face.  And as I walked past the library, Dad’s voice popped into my head saying ‘Oh no, no, no, no, no!’

I looked up into the sky, closed my eyes as the sun hit my face with tears dribbling down, and smiled.