Thankful Thursday

It's been another challenging week for me, but strangely I am finding much to be thankful for. Here are just a few of the things on my mind today:

*I am thankful for the beautiful weather on Sunday and 4 glorious hours spent at the Arboretum—my home away from home :o). I took 431 pictures and loved every minute of it. I found lots of interesting plants I had never seen blooming before and even took pictures of the name tags so I can look them up later and see if I want to add them to my collection. Or just sound really smart when someone asks me what that plant is and I can respond casually with, "Aristotelia chilensis, of course. Didn't you know?"

*I am thankful for getting some answers from my new doctor about possible causes for my chronic health concerns. Okay, I admit that I cried when I first got the test results, but really it's not that bad and I am starting to get excited about making some changes and seeing if I start feeling better.

*I am thankful for my mom. She often tells me how she has nothing to offer me, that I am more gifted and insightful than she could ever be. But the truth is that she has much to offer me. She is the first person I want to talk to whenever I am hurt or upset about something. She is always eager to listen and encourage me, and she believes in me far more than I have ever believed in myself. Thank you, Mom, for everything!

*I am also thankful for the rest of my support system—friends who know me completely, love me as I am, and still challenge me to be better. You guys have been awesome this week in helping me process, offering your insight, making me laugh when I really needed it, and encouraging me to stay strong in the journey God has placed me on.

*I am thankful that God knows me completely, that He is more patient with me than some of the people in my life, that He alone is the judge of my heart and my spiritual condition. How thankful I am that we are not at the mercy of other people's judgments!

*I am thankful for the open-door policy at my parents' house :o). Due to the timing and finances of the upcoming move, I may need a place to stay for a couple weeks in between houses and my parents are more than willing to have me back in their house for as long as it is needed. Knowing that I have a place to go takes a lot of stress and pressure off me regarding the move and I am so very thankful for that.

*I am thankful for progress. However small and hard-fought it is, I am grateful for every step forward.

So, my friends, what are you thankful for today?