"If you had nothing today that you didn't thank God for yesterday, what would you have?"
-Fr. Scott Mansfield.
Over the last several months, I've myself feeling especially grateful, sometimes teemingly grateful.
It's such a wonderful place to be - I want to savor it... because it's too easy to forget and get negative and forgetful about the blessings in my life.
What better way than to make a list and publish it? So later, when I think I am lost and miserable and alone, I can come back here and start making a new list.
Also it may be significant to note that almost all of these things are things I complain and suffer over frequently, but today I choose to see the good.
2011's Top TEN of my life ROCKS -
1) Sick of hearing about Crossfit yet? If so you may want to skip ahead a few paragraphs.
So. About Crossfit, There has been nothing else, since the decision to give my heart to Christ, that has had such an incredible and transforming effect on my life - and I am so immensely grateful for it.
Crossfit is my happy place, my thing. It grounds me. It holds me accountable for my actions. It is relentless on pity parties and excuses. It doesn't care what kind of day I'm having, and it always gives me the opportunity for bigger and greater feats than I have done before. Performance is the standard and measure of all things, not appearances. I can't lie to myself about who I am in crossfit. Illusions don't last long. AND I love it. I thrive there. I skip, I dance, I laugh. But I also grunt and kick things, and cry. And that's okay. We all have those days. It's beautiful.
2) And It keeps giving. It's more than just my own journey. There's a family to it. I loved my crossfit family in New Mexico - we bonded in the gym, we sweat, suffered, and rejoiced together, supporting one another to succeed. Leaving was so sad, and scary.
But moving has been a story of giving God my yes, letting go of something, and then him giving me back so much more. I love my new crossfit family - on a whole new level. I have been blessed abundantly in stepping out and opening my heart to my teammates. I have found beautiful friends and support both within and beyond the box.
3) Then there's My Living Situation - sometimes I complain about my current scenario; I think my life would be better or more complete in some way if I lived in a thriving young professional community. Pacific Beach, Downtown, Some where with more social life built in, or just blocks from the beach. But the truth is I get tired and overwhelmed pretty easily and my situation now is peaceful. It's safe. It's far nicer than anything I could afford moving out. I don't have to worry about roommates that I may or may not get along with, and yet I'm still not alone. I have a family life almost built in and cute little ones to come keep me company from time to time and play as I cook. It's precious. So what if I'm pretty much being taken care of with a deal too good to be true. Why is that a bad thing? Does it really make me irresponsible and childish, or is it just an incredible blessing for this time in my life that I should accept!? I'm voting for the latter.
4) My boss - I have often suffered all sorts of anxiety over his lack of loquaciousness, and my inability to ask for what I need. However, I have recently begun to see how much my boss really cares about and values me. He really tries, and I see that he goes out of his way to make sure I'm taken care of in anything I need. He's more like a big brother or a dad than a boss, and an incredibly humble man of integrity. How many people can say that?
5) My Job - completely unconventional. I have agonized over this one quite often as well. I think I don't deserve my job, and yet I also think that I'm not a grown up because I don't have a 'real job'. I think all sorts of things about how terrible it is because I'm not good at it and I get bored. I'm not inspired or motivated on a daily basis. And while that is true sometimes, my job is something of a sanctuary, and that is not a bad thing to have. It keeps me closely tied to something that I believe in passionately - pilgrimage.
I am involved in creating opportunities that will change lives as youth encounter Christ in a way they never have. That's awesome. I believe in what we do. That is more important perhaps than "feeling passionately" about it everyday. Feelings change all the time. My job is tied to my core beliefs, and I am so grateful. Instead of waiting for the bottom to fall out and creating excuses for why I don't deserve it or anxiously wondering how I will survive with any other job, today I am happy to relax and just say, 'thank you'
6) I wish everyone had their own fellowship. You know. Like Frodo had the fellowship of the rings. I have a fellowship. I have a possy of girl power like I have never seen before. We call it FLAG - fight like a girl - and fight we do. We pray for and fight for one another every day. We fight the battles for one another that go unseen, but the results are tangible. I really don't have words for this here. But they are rising on the list of powerful forces changing my life and freeing my heart to thrive. Because really, none of us were meant to face life alone.
7) This is my blogging debut of my struggle with bipolar disorder. I've never mentioned it, and really I don't intend to talk about it now, except to share my gratitude for my Emotional Health - medication helps, but all these things in my gratitude list have worked together to foster a great level of emotional health - I am grateful for the strength and balance to face my triggers and brokenness and find true healing. Problems aren't really problems when you have the emotional health and fortitude to face them. Priceless.
8) Surprise! I am so grateful for Being Single. This time in life has allowed me to do some serious work on myself - and boy have I been working! If I had a husband or kids right now, I wouldn't have had the freedom of time and finances to take such serious care of myself and really work on addressing the things that trip me up in life and relationships. I might not have the time to invest in crossfit and training and recovery the way I can now or TRAVEL.
I also LOVE that I get to keep sleeping when I hear the kids playing early in the morning, because they aren't mine! The last thing about being single right now that thrills me is looking back on the guys in my past and being able to honestly say, "I'm glad that didn't work out; they really aren't what I'm looking for."
9) Family - oh my family. I am so grateful that my parents are still together. I am grateful for that stability and for the testimony to a big part of what love is - transformation through unconditional commitment. My family wears out the words, "I love you" - we shower one another with encouragement and affection, even though many of us are vastly different and can't agree on anything other than that we love each other. I am so grateful to be a Carey.
10) And the source of every good thing - FAITH. If everything else were taken away, I still have my Faith. Nothing makes sense without it. Without Christ, I don't make sense. And I am so grateful for this relationship - to be so loved, so priceless, so precious, and to have such a powerful ally - I've only barely scratched the surface of how much He wants to do in and for me.
2011 has seen some great work in my life, and no matter what 2012 holds I know I have been so blessed. And I am grateful.