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Finally.

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dsc02039This guy turns 31 today and has, out of the goodness of his heart, chosen to spend the last 7 years with me. For that, today, I consider myself the luckiest girl on the face of the earth.

Today is, of course, a day when I am especially grateful for a lot of things. Consider it a Thursday List of Thanksgivings.

  • that little piece of cranberry that gets stuck in your teeth and when you find it an hour after dinner, it’s still got a little sweetness to it
  • getting slightly choked up by watching the Rockettes in the Macy’s parade – not sure why
  • the possibility, however infinitesimal, that Tech might beat U[sic]GA this Saturday
  • a fun yet unconventional assembling of people around our Thanksgiving table
  • that the celebration doesn’t end with the turkey leftovers … tomorrow brings a new kind of festivalThanksgiving Feast

If I don’t write every day, I get out of the habit and have to force myself to get started again.

If I didn’t work out every day that I possibly could, I wouldn’t work out at all. Going to the gym every time I can means it’s not the end of the world when I can’t go one or two days.

If I said I’d floss my teeth three times a week, it would never, ever happen. I floss every day to remind myself to do it the next day.

Whatever the habit you need to form, start doing it every day. Whether you want to or not, whether you have time or not, do it every single day.

There’s a series of commercials on right now for a brand of beer which markets itself with the phrase, “Drinkability.”

Really?

You’re trying to convince me to buy your beer and the best argument you can come up with is that it’s drinkable? Meaning it’s wet and its shape conforms to that of the container it’s placed in? That’s the best you can do?

It reminds me of the fast food company whose slogan is, “You gotta eat.” Meaning that you can’t survive without some caloric intake, and we can provide that caloric intake, so you may as well buy our product.

How moving.

Back in college, my roommate and best buddy Caryn and I had a brilliant plan that was going to make us meeeellions of dollars. We were both convinced (still are) that black is the best color ever and invented the idea of a clothing store that sold only black items – little black dresses, basic black pants, blackblack sweaters, black everything. We even named it The Black Market.

Too bad we didn’t have the entrepreneurial spirit to get it started before they did.

But now they’re selling this. Yes, it’s beautiful, and I’m sure thousands of people will buy it, but it’s kind of like that little white lie that tarnishes a perfect integrity. If you’re going to make such a public, hard and fast rule, don’t deviate from it no matter how stylish the option.

  • Fires. Starting them, standing in front of them, throwing stuff in them, cooking stuff over them, and laying beside them.snowflake
  • Fleece pants. Buy a pair.  You’ll look forward to winter all summer long.
  • The possibility, however slight, of waking up and seeing the ground covered with snow.
  • The red cups filled with Caramel Apple Cider.
  • Football. I love Paul Johnson … so … much.
  • Traveling off-season and saving mucho dinero.

I’m as big a fan of Christmas as anybody, but I fear that Thanksgiving gets inadvertently tossed by the wayside in anticipation of Christmas. In an effort to remedy the situation and bring much-deserved respect back to this esteemed holiday, I propose the following.

  • Find a family in need (If you work for a church, this should not be difficult. Likepilgrim-hatswise if you attend a church. If you do neither, just pick one and call them to ask for recommendations.). Someone who has recently lost a job, someone with an illness or injury in the family, a recently-divorced single parent, or someone with a home that’s been foreclosed on are all good places to start. Contact that family and find out what needs they have that you can meet. If they need food, provide it. If they need a job, make it your job to help find one. Just do what you’d do if it were your own family.
  • Buy some solid-color cloth napkins for everyone at your Thanksgiving table, along with paint pens or non-toxic permanent markers. At the beginning of your feast, have everyone write one or two Thankful For items on the napkin. Wash and re-use these same napkins for many Turkey Days to come, adding new items every year. (Can also be done with a plain tablecloth.)
  • Tell service workers you encounter that you’re thankful for the work they do, and really mean it – people like teachers, mail carriers, law enforcement, and nurses. This might also be accompanied by an inexpensive gift like cookies, a handwritten note, or a scarf.
  • Spend time thinking (alone or with your immediate family) about things you are not thankful for right now, and consider the ways in which they might be repositioned. Remember I Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” There is something to be thankful for in every situation.
Always up for more suggestions.

Hint: It doesn’t exist.

I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but you won’t be finding an ideal church anytime soon. One may have a great preacher on stage, but their missions work leaves a lot to be desired. One church’s

(c) timothy hursley
(c) timothy hursley

worship music is done with excellence and passion, but it has no singles ministry to speak of. One is involved in soup kitchens and crisis centers in the community, but the people in it haven’t been taught to grow by reading their Bibles.

The good news: The perfect church for you may be right around the corner.

I recently had dinner with a good friend who applied the same rationale to church-finding as I applied to husband-finding. There are some things that are non-negotiable, and they are different for everyone. For you, they might include weekly communion, or belief in certain aspects of theology that you ascribe to, or a spectacular music program. Anything that isn’t non-negotiable is, by definition, negotiable. If you have a problem with something in a church that’s negotiable, maybe you just need to get over it and commit to strengthening the church in whatever way you can.

Two wonderfully kind, talented, fun, and God-loving people were married this past weekend and the world is a better place because they are now one flesh. As my husband put it amybenso well, God will be glorified more with them together than He would with them apart.

They’re both musicians and one of the highlights of the weekend was the song that Ben wrote for Amy, which he sung at the rehearsal dinner. My favorite line was the last one:

I’m tired of coming over
I just want to come home
Amy, with you
Amy, with you

Cue every woman in the crowd with wet eyes.