{30 days} of thankful : day 30!

i just breathed a sigh of relief as i typed the title of today's post. to be sure this has been a fruitful exercise, this practice of gratitude that i have shared here. and it has been challenging. i clearly failed at the whole "30 day" time frame i envisioned. perhaps more graciously toward myself, i adopted a loose interpretation of time. the pressure of writing a meaningful post everyday was more than i had anticipated, with holiday travel and a week of being super-busy at work bringing additional obstacles and stressors to the table.

it's also been a month two months with unexpected twists and turns, discouragements, and excitement around me.

at the core, i notice that at once, nothing has changed and i am changing. my circumstances are largely still the same: i love most things about life, am generously provided for, and can't stand my job. i am often confused about vast discrepancy between my desire to participate in the healing process of people's lives and how i actually spend my time at work. and, as usual, as i start to lose heart, the Lord graciously shows up and provides new opportunities to grow and be stretched, new hope for the days ahead.

and i'm changing. that feels hard to see and quantify, because i'm not getting better. i'm still an impatient, emotional mess some days. but perhaps, i'm more quick to give thanks, to find hope. i'm growing in recognizing my need for grace and to accept it, rather than just stay in my own mess. i shared a song lyric when i started this practice of thankfulness: "a thankful heart prepares the way for you, o Lord." perhaps that is a helpful frame for understanding how this process is shaping me - opening and softening my spirit, to do things like go to venezuela, search for volunteer work, to keep plugging along with my job without losing heart. each of those things is surely on a different scale: ranging from the daily mundane to the once in a lifetime. but, on some level what matters is my heart and attitude as i approach and undertake what lies before me each day.

my hope is that each moment, each day, is characterized more and more with thankfulness. for there is much to be thankful for.

katie anne

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