thirty days of thankfulness: 11/30/13

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and here we are at the final day of november, and day thirty of my thirty days of thankfulness. while the thanksgiving season has technically now come and gone, the being-grateful-for-God’s-blessings certainly doesn’t go away with the leftover turkey and gravy. i plan on popping in throughout the rest of this year and well into 2014 with sporadic thank yous to people, places, and things that bring me joy. because thankfulness isn’t just a season, it’s a lifestyle. so to end my thirty day exercise, i’m going to make this a two-for-one.

i believe i’ve discussed the five love languages with y’all before -it’s the concept that the way in which we receive and give love can be broken down into five “languages” -words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and acts of service. most people i know subscribe to more than one language and that’s the case for me as well. my top two are words of affirmation and the subject of today’s thankfulness –quality time. 

i’ve always been more of a one-on-one type of gal in terms of relationships. i can hold my own in a group setting, sure, but if given the choice, i’d rather connect on a deeper level with someone while we’re somewhere just the two of us. i think it allows for more surfaces to be scratched and for more vulnerability to be shared. plus, it’s just way easier focusing on one person than commanding the attention of a dozen. anyway, as we’ve gotten older and there are a zillion and one things demanding of our allotted free time, i’ve realized that the ability to unite habitually to exchange the ins and outs of our daily lives has become more difficult to sustain. it’s times like these that i wish i had taken more advantage of the fact that all of my college friends and i lived within walking distance of each other for a good three years. but at any rate, when someone goes out of their way to sacrifice a meal at home to fill the seat across from you at a table at your favorite sushi place or when another insists that you join them for a coffee and a stroll on the beach following their morning workout, i am reminded that intentionality isn’t contingent on convenience. quite the opposite, in fact. being intentional oftentimes is an inconvenience. it can disrupt a routine, throw a monkey wrench into well-laid plans. but that’s what makes it such a blessing, i suppose. it is a non-verbal way of communicating to the other person that they are not only important, but a priority. and it is that intangible feeling of being someone’s priority that is what i’m beyond grateful for in the life of my friends and family.

so today i am thankful for intentional time with loved ones. whether it’s a coffee date or dinner date or even if it’s 10 minutes spent in the hallway of my office exchanging recent life happenings with a colleague. i am thankful for one-on-one interaction. for people who not only ask “how are you, but who dare to ask, “no but how are you really?” i am thankful for friends who host me in their homes for a weekend at a time and for the opportunity that provides for us to connect on a deeper level. and i am thankful for a family regular gathers to reconnect with one another when distance, circumstance, and a busy schedule often keeps us apart. sometimes i allow my love for living an independent life eclipse my innate craving for community. so i am thankful that i live a life surrounded by incredible individuals who remind me why man was not meant to do life alone. thank you for taking the time to meet with me. for a one, 24, or 72 hours at a time. each minute dedicated to cultivating our bond is a minute well spent.

and in finally in conclusion, assuredly, most importantly, today i am thankful for all of you. whoever you are and wherever you hail from. if you are a regular reader or just a once-in-a-while subscriber or even if you only read things when i post them with a link on facebook, it makes no difference to me how often you find yourself at shawnaleeann.com, my gratefulness is equal in abundance to anyone who takes time out of their day to pay me a visit. i am thankful that sometimes you let me know when something i say resonates with you and that other times you even share me with your friends. i know i’ve said that i’d post regularly regardless of the number of followers i have to my URL address. but i’m not gonna lie, blogging is more fun when you have people to share your life with -both on and off the computer screen. so thank you from the bottom of my heart for accompanying me as i recount my daily tales. for putting up with selfies and rants and a ridiculous amount of friday night lights references. thank you for championing me in times of jubilation and for offering support when i need it the most. plain and simple, you make life better. so thank you.

a hundred times, thank you.

image via: yao cheng designs.

image via: yao cheng designs.

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