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Today is my birthday!  I LOVE birthday’s.  I think that the celebration of one’s life is a must and so  the day the world was graced with someone’s presence is even more of a reason to party!

This morning I woke up early and began to reflect on areas of my life for which I am thankful.

First of all, I am thankful for my parents.  My parent’s chose to have me, chose to keep me and because of their faithfulness to God’s calling on their life, my life has been one full of adventure.

I am thankful for friends.  Even before I got out of bed this morning at 6:30am I had over 20 messages from around the world.  Every part of my life has been an adventure and there are places in my mind that I dream about and wish I could be in all of them at once. However, more than the places are the people.  I have so many that I can truly call friend. I may not get to see you daily (or even yearly), but as soon as we see each other we pick up right where we left off and keep going.  My life is richer and better for having known you and I am thankful for the moments of time that you have chosen to invest in my life.

I am thankful for families who have chosen to take me in as their adopted daughter and call me their own.  Each one could have their own blogpost, but Franklins, Gleasons, Gills, Kennedys, Dones & Felicidarios….thank you for your investment of time, money, resources and love into my life.

I am thankful for my church.  I am thankful for a place that I can go and say “I am not ok.” and that is ok.  A place where I can be transparent and imperfect and flesh out all of my doubts and fears and know that I am safe and loved.  I am thankful for a pastor who lives life transparently and who pursues the truth of the gospel insatiably.

I am thankful for 34 years of health.  I threw out my back yesterday and went to bed with every single part of me in pain. I woke up in pain.  However, I know that this pain is temporary.  Some people were born in pain, have dealt with pain every day for all of their lives and are crippled by pain in such a way that it hampers every part of their existence. I am thankful for good health, for the ability to get up and walk, to run, and to live life to its fullest actively.

I am thankful for my job.  I have stresses and days when I have to repeat to myself that “I love my job and am happy to have it.” over and over as a mantra.  But for the most part, I love my job.  I love the challenges it presents, I love the things I am learning, I love the people I get to work with and I love…wait for it…my boss!  I am blessed blessed blessed to be able to say those words.

I am thankful for my little animals.  Seriously, those little pets bring me so much joy most of the time.  Such fun personalities in the both of them, and both of them are cuddle bugs!  For one who loves to cuddle – they are a treasure.

Lastly, but most definitely not least – I am thankful for a God who blessed me with this life.  The past few years have been one of searching and finding and wondering and doubting and accusing and crying and doing it all over again.  (you can read this blog about all that. I am thankful for a God who is faithful to His promises, who never let me go and who loves me just as I am even with all my doubts, fears and wanderings.

34 years and counting….and I am thankful.