I miss Chicago. I really do. I miss the pulsing energy of the city, I miss walking to work or the grocery store, I miss diversity.
But I have to admit that for a while, I held onto the idea of city life and desperately wanted it back because I didn't want to be genuinely happy in Franklin, Tennessee. I had never planned on returning to my hometown with my husband, and it made me feel like I hadn't gone very far in life.
Now, though, I can't imagine being anywhere else. The Lord has lavishly blessed us here. It's undeniable to anyone who walks through the doors of our sweet yellow house or hears us gush over our incredible jobs, friends, or family.
I've asked the Lord for forgiveness for not accepting what He's been trying to give me: contentedness. And I think that being content starts with true gratitude. Not striving for what you don't have (for me, a life in the city I love and miss) but being deeply grateful for the big things and the small things that come from God's hand.
I'm thankful for Shawn's job, which pays our bills and allows us to save up for nursing school. We're beside ourselves that his job even came with a free car! Unbelievable.
I'm thankful for my job. I paint, I teach people to paint, and I sell my paintings for a living. I didn't even realize this was possible. I have the best bosses in the world who challenge me, laugh from their bellies with me, and are my biggest cheerleaders. Also didn't know this was possible.
I'm thankful for Southern hospitality. My dear friend Kate and I sat on her front porch for hours yesterday, taking in the sun through thick trees, staring at the cows, and drinking cherry Coke. (Yep, just like Mayberry.) And every single person that passed by waved. We waved back. It felt so good. I love that people at the grocery store ask you what kind of beans you'd buy or compliment you on your shoes and everyone greets each other with a smile.
I'm thankful that we're able to travel. We're going to San Diego for the next 5 days. Cannot WAIT!
I'm thankful for our church family who pursue truth together and love on each other.
I just needed to take a little inventory and say it out loud that our life is good. Our God is good. We know that every bit of the joy, peace, and hope that we have on this side of Heaven comes only from Him.
Thank you, Jesus.