I’m writing this while watching a beautiful sunrise light up the Capitol once again, though it’s much colder now than it used to be when I would see the sunrise, and I’m wishing more than ever that I could be waking up at home in a few hours.
I wish I could roll out of bed and stumble downstairs to sip Anniversary Blend coffee in a big mug with my mom before the day gets started. I wish I could be sitting in my chair at our kitchen island as the cooking madness gets underway, as the bird goes in the oven, as each delicious dish takes form. I wish I could set the table and strategically seat each family member, placing Mom and I on the piano bench at the far end — where we can eat and eat and eat in relative peace without conversational disruption. I wish I could wrap my arms around each family member and let Mom, Dad, Alaina, Derek and Kenji (that silly dog I miss so much) know I am so thankful for them in my life.
I wish I could be there. I wish I could be there. I wish I could be there today.
I woke up this morning and brewed my own coffee. I get to spend time writing. I will go to a Thanksgiving service at my church (it feels good to call it that) this morning at 10 a.m., and then those of us students who haven’t gone home for the holiday are still having a Thanksgiving meal here this afternoon at 1 p.m. It won’t be home, but it will be a good day.
Before it gets underway, though, I’m reflecting on some of the things I’m most thankful for this semester.
My immediate family. This goes without saying. I’ve posted enough about how I much I miss the people who love me most, and today I’m still thankful they loved me enough to let me leave for this time. Mom, thank you for visiting me and being the pillar of prayer and strength I need to get through my homesickness. Dad, thank you for loving me (MOST) and for being my proudest supporter, even paying $5 for a crappy laser-jet scan of my first article in the Post.
Alaina, thank you for becoming my confidante and for pursuing our friendship even when I did not. Derek, thank you for putting your heart into everything you do and for not being afraid to follow the things you love, whether it’s band, tech, Legos, or reading; I may never tell you this in person, but you are the high schooler I wish I could have been.
My Seattle/Kent/Covington family. This goes out to everyone back home who has loved me, supported me, prayed for me, or even just read this blog while I’ve been gone. It goes out to extended family members, Kentlake friends, Seattle Pacific friends — all of you UScholars, my roommates, last year’s Falcon editors — Starbucks coworkers, and LSCC friends. You are the people keep me inspired. I’m so thankful that you encouraged me to go across the country, to come here and play with my dreams, to let me stay here even though it’s my senior year (especially you, Whitney, Ruby, and Alyssa).
My Washington, D.C. family. Can you believe that, on this day three months ago, I had never met any of you? I didn’t even want to come to D.C.; three months ago, I never would have written this. But ya’ll (new vocab word there) have surrounded me with friendship I never thought I’d find in such a diverse group of people. We were strangers not long ago, and now I can hardly imagine a time before I knew you. Thank you for making this my best semester. Thank you for Harry Potter marathons, for Penthouse parties, for epic Twitter feeds on slow internship days, for roommate bonding over the strangest things, for cupcake adventures, for inside jokes that will live on. [What will I do without you here next semester? Am I supposed to just make new friends? They may be great, but they will never be as phenomenal as you all have been.]
My richly blessed life. [No, this is not a “catch-all” category] This semester I have learned (and am still learning) to rely fully on God and to accept whatever He gives me — and He has given me the most abundant blessings. Sometimes I don’t know how to accept blessings I don’t deserve. This semester I have struggled to deal with some immense personal insecurities even as God heaped blessing upon blessing into my life.
How can I explain these wonderful things that have happened? I just keep turning back to God, saying, “He did not abandon me when I needed Him most.”