Oh man, it’s got a bit negative round here. After a loongg and exhausting week, it’s now Friday. I’ve done (more) than my work hours. My girlguiding tasks (minus paying a cheque into our bank) are done. I’ve run out of water, juice and living on the contents of my freezer. And thank the Lord for herbal tea so I don’t dehydrate in the meantime. It is time to get to work on the assignment I think most (or all) of my classmates have been working on since last weekend.
So naturally, I’m pausing to write on my blog!
One of the two friends I met through blogging before finding each other at our church, has been doing this great thing on Instagram sharing the things she is grateful for. It’s a good discipline I think, remembering all that is good instead of focusing on all the stress and crappy things that happen.
So here is what I’m grateful for right now…
…I’m grateful for my incredible friends. There is a core of close friends (and even that bunch are a large group) who continually encourage me, support me and remind me of their love in a whole variety of different ways. Since starting university I’ve been a flaky friend and yet they still love me. I asked on twitter, and I’ll ask it again…remind me never to take them for granted.
…I’m grateful for good tenants. The tenants in my flat just now have been fantastic at not trashing the place and even going as far to clean up what previous tenants didn’t bother to clean. I’m going to miss them and wish they weren’t moving out.
…I’m grateful for God’s provision in financing my studies. It’s been a costly thing this postgraduate life. One of the things that has blessed me most was my “Young Persons” railcard that I got as a mature student. Because of that each commute to Glasgow has cost me £20 rather than £26. When you think there have been weeks I’ve had to make two trips, the difference between £40 and £52 is pretty significant. It also saved me about £10-15 when I had to go up to Aberdeen to meet the builder a few weeks ago. A couple of friends bought me an Amazon voucher for my birthday this year, and that helped a lot in getting some books (I don’t like using Amazon, but sadly a lot of the books I’ve needed haven’t been available in the library or in the university bookshops to buy).
…I’m grateful for Girlguiding. Not only have I made some fabulous friends, and reconnected with old Girlguiding friends via facebook, but it is so rewarding to see the girls I work with growing, maturing and gaining independence. To see one of the girls whose name I learned first (never a good sign) standing and taking seriously the honour of holding our unit flag on Remembrance Sunday was worth those extra grey hairs I had to get Ruth to cover up with hair colour! Even better is seeing their self esteem rise with feedback they received from people who saw the girls and thanked them afterward for getting up on that frosty Sunday morning to take part.
…I’m grateful that I’m no longer a teenager. Is it just me, or are we asking too much of kids these days? Education seems increasingly inflexible, rule-driven and lacking in freedom to learn.
I hope I can work on changing that after I get qualified!
…I’m grateful for the shelf in the freezer stocked with chocolate banana teabread and chilli when it’s been two weeks since I last made a supermarket trip.
…I’m grateful for my health. Yes, there are minor issues that niggle me and maybe I have to be more careful than some. But in the grand scheme of things I’m doing pretty good, and if I’m honest, I had concerns that by this point in the season I’d be flu ridden from germs shared on the bus/train/subway.
…I’m grateful that it hasn’t snowed yet in Edinburgh.
…I’m grateful for all the people supporting the charity I work for as we head into one of our busiest times of the year (and have to pay our rent for our centre’s premises next week).
…I’m grateful for heating, shelter and clothing. Two pairs of jeans, three pairs of pyjamas and one cosy winter jacket is quite a lot when I consider a person I know who lost everything but the clothes she had on not too long ago. Or the 1000s in the Phillippines who lost their belongings, and even worse, loved ones a week or so ago.
…I’m grateful for the chance to go to Germany in February. And I’m even more thankful it might give me a chance to see some people living ‘on the continent’.
…I’m grateful for that we are getting back to basics and getting stuck into some bible study on Tuesday evenings with Soul Surfers. It’s fun to grapple with man-made studies, but nothing beats grappling with God’s Word, which is always challenging and/or encouraging.
…I’m grateful for the chance to go to a church service on Sunday. Yes, I’m still hurting a little, some of my friends are still hurting a lot. But the hurt is easing, and in a strange way not being able to go every single week has made the times I do get to go much happier and I appreciate it much more. When I know that so many are under threat if they gather around to sing hymns and songs to God and pray together, it makes you really appreciate the freedom to worship – and to choose what you do or don’t believe in.