When I sit down and think about it, I am an ungrateful person.
I sit in traffic in my car and I think angry thoughts about the person driving like an idiot in front of me. (In my defense, Los Angeles is full of idiotic drivers......and I happen to be one....UGH the lack of fairness in road rage).
I walk around at work or I go for a run and I am filled with jealousy when I pass a beautiful woman. I look at her and compare and immediately put myself down.
I sit in my apartment and I wish I lived in a nicer one.
I wish I looked different,
I wish I was funnier
and more successful
and all of this leads to nowhere.
It's so "in" right now to be sarcastic, bitter, "above it all." Sometimes I don't care. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with such gratitude for the breath in my lungs and my life that everything just fits perfectly together in a sense of wonderment.
You might be reading this and thinking "Ew, Nina, ya cheesy girl ya freakin' cheesehead." But I don't care. My birthday was two days ago and as I woke up I was so thankful for another year in my life. It can be so overwhelming living far from home and living in a city like Los Angeles. Sometimes in the middle of my day I have this moment where I pull back and think, "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING."
Why did I turn down graduate school?
Why am I living so far from so many people I love?
Why am I pursuing such an unstable career?
It is so easy to sit back and glamorize a different life, a life of security and comfort and all that stuff that is so appealing. But all I could think about this birthday was how unbelievably grateful I am.
Somehow, miraculously, God led me to Los Angeles and He led me to certain people who have blessed me beyond belief here. On my birthday as I sat around a dinner table filled with women who have been so wonderful to me, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed! As I served at church in the morning I thought about Reality LA. I thought about when Chanelle and I first moved here and we knew NO ONE and we sat in the back of the church just praying praying praying for direction. For guidance. For an apartment, for a car, for jobs. We had nothing but a suitcase each, God and each other.
And then it's like, I got to celebrate my 23rd birthday here. WHAT?! WHY? How awesome is THAT?!!! I am just so grateful and Lord, I never want to stop being grateful.
I am reading this book called, "One Thousand Gifts." It is a book that has encouraged my mom and sisters a lot. In it the author talks about how the "eucharisteo always precedes the miracle." When I first heard this I had no idea what it even meant, and then I kept reading. And it made sense.
Giving thanks is what we constantly need to do. I don't give thanks ENOUGH. I think I am constantly entitled to happiness and success and health but I am not entitled to anything in this world. This world isn't even forever, so why do I stress about everything all the time? I need to get on my knees and PRAISE HIM. Praise and give thanks because what else can I do, really? How beautiful of a life it is to just live and love? The way Christ loves us. That is it, really.
So this birthday and this day and tomorrow and forever I am thankful.