Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)
On my birthday about two months ago I published a post here called “My obligatory, honest introspective birthday post”. In that post I discussed a lot of setbacks that I have experienced this year. I was laid off my job due to cuts in government allocations to research and I was forced to move back home. I talked about being humble, religion and joy versus happiness. Although I highlighted a lot of things that I have to be thankful for I felt that overall theme of the post highlighted all the things that were going wrong in my life. In the two months since I wrote that post God has opened up a lot of opportunities for me in a short amount of time. I think its time that I started publicly counting my blessings instead of detailing my burdens.
With it being Thanksgiving week I think this is also a great time to list all that I have to be thankful for. There are too many people in the world that would trade places with me and take my problems with a smith on their face. I’m on a mailing list for a newsletter called Beyond Sunday; it’s a refresher that’s meant to inspire people throughout the week. Today’s letter was especially inspiring.
Be thankful unto Him. Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs.
And bless His name. He blessed you, bless Him in return; bless His name, His character, His person. Whatever He does, be sure that you bless Him for it; bless Him when He takes away as well as when He gives; bless Him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless Him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider Him.
A Thought to Keep
When we focus on our problems, we forget that giving thanks must be as natural as breathing. No matter our circumstances, God is worthy of thanks. Let your praises rise and enter His presence.
When I moved home in April I had no job prospects. I spent the summer traveling, reading a lot of books and I even took a bartending class and got my license. I appreciated taking the summer of and just being able to relax. When autumn rolled around the feelings of complacency faded quickly. A lot of my friends were making advances in their fields and I was just chilling. I got off my ass and starting applying to different jobs in the research and education field in the Washington, D.C. area and Portland, Oregon.
Funny thing is that you would think with my credentials it would be easy to find a job doing just about anything that has to do with science. With the cutbacks to the public and private sector it was harder than I imagined. I even applied for volunteer position at a STEM school and got no phone call.
You know the saying that it’s not what you know but whom you know? That saying couldn’t be truer. In October a friend and colleague of mine told me that she knew of a university that was hiring online teachers and since I was interested in getting more teaching experience I should check it out.
A church friend of my mom from the time I was in elementary that I call Aunt recently told my mother that there might be an opening at her job. Growing up I didn’t particularly care for her because she seemed to take the whole it takes a village to raise a child mentality too far so I took her kindness with a lot of skepticism.
By God’s grace and mercy I was able to land both jobs, which will be starting before the end of the year. I will be an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University and medical analyst at the FDA. This time two months ago I didn’t have any jobs at all and now I have two and hopefully a bartending gig once I get a better idea what type of free time I’ll have once I start working. Definitely not my ideal choices right as far as work right now but it’s definitely a lot better than I was doing as far as salary. I’m still at home right now but I’ve realized that I shouldn’t be in a hurry to leave. Living at home will allow me to save more money towards my goal of being a homeowner in 2014.
Other reasons I have to be thankful:
I have my health. In a year where a lot of hoopla has been made about the rollout for the Affordable Healthcare Act, I’m thankful not to have had as much as a cold. This is big because I haven’t had health insurance since April. I do need to get two cavities filled so this gig has come at the perfect time.
I have family and friends. Although I didn’t move back home by choice being home has been good for me in ways. I’ve gotten to spend more times with my close friends from high school and college that I kind of grew apart from when I left for graduate school. One of my best friends from graduate school happened to move to DC so people that love me dearly surround me.
My girlfriend. My relationship has grown by leaps and bounds this year. Being in a long distance relationship isn’t ideal especially when you’ve never lived in the city. Regardless we’ve grown closer physically, emotionally and spiritually.
My God. Is a great God. A merciful God. Although I have yet to find a church home since I left Nashville I think my relationship with God has grown stronger. I talk to God during the low times as well as in times of success. I’ll always exalt His name.
What do you have to be thankful for?