Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Month of Thanks: Day 4

Colossians 3:15-17 "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Here are the two things that I am thankful for on day 4.

1. Health: After seeing how quickly your can turn upside down medically, I am thankful for my health. I'm thankful that I can walk, talk, see, smell, hear, touch, get the idea. I'm thankful for the ability to run and exercise. Although there are times I just want to curl up in bed and not exercise, I find the days that I exercise I'm a better wife, mom, and teacher. There is something exhilarating about running just a little bit further or getting just a little bit stronger. The peace and quiet when I run is phenomenal. The pain is not fun, but I'll take pain and quiet any day. Sometimes I use my running time to pray, other times to review scripture, sometimes to meditate, but most of the time I just allow my mind to rest. To me running is a mental game - how far can I push myself today, can I go faster, etc. Something I put on my bucket list (the only thing I have) back in 2010 was to run a half marathon in every state. As of today, I have completed 17 states and I'm registered to run two in December and one in January. I'm thankful for every day that I can run, exercise, play with my kids, ride bikes as a family, etc. 

2. God's Creation: I am so thankful for God's creation. I love being in nature, taking walks in the Fall, hiking in the mountains, listening to the ocean...the list could go on forever. Maybe it is the California girl in me, but I love nature. I have been discovering to find beauty wherever God has me. When we first moved to Chicago, I was disappointed with how flat and ugly Illinois looked. As we traveled East from California, Wayne and I kept saying how it wasn't as beautiful as California. About five years ago, after living here about 9 years, we took a drive back to California to visit family. It is amazing how your perspective can change. Every state we entered heading West got more beautiful as we went. States that weren't that impressive nine years before, were now beautiful in their own unique way. God has been teaching me to enjoy the "unique" beauty of Illinois. We don't have mountains, the ocean, redwood trees, or vineyards, but we do have acres of beautiful corn that sway in the breeze, we have some "hills", we have beautiful Fall colors, and I've even come to appreciate the snow. It is beautiful when it snows. I love going out right after it snows and everything is silent. The kids are usually still in bed when I head outside to shovel our driveway (bonus: exercise). Sometimes the snow sticks on the tree branches and it converts our world into a winter wonderland. I still would prefer to not live in the snow and just drive to visit the snow (like in California), but I'm learning to be thankful where God has me. Here is a picture from my run the other morning. The sun looked beautiful coming up and shining through the fog. 

God's creation is beautiful and it is amazing to see His wondrous works around us. What are you thankful for today? What can we stop and be thankful for that we take for granted? 

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