on being thankful for your story

A good friend recently celebrated a birthday. It was fun to have a cup of coffee with her and reflect. Something she said stuck with me: The story she’s living isn’t the one her younger self would have written. Really, it’s better.

I wasn’t even in preschool when decided to get married at 16. I watched and fell in love with The Little Mermaid, and there’s a scene where King Triton 8yells at Ariel and Sebastian provides color commentary. Ariel’s rebuttal: “I’m 16 years old! I’m not a child anymore!”

And to a little girl who couldn’t independently zip her own jacket, 16 sounds pretty old. 16 sounded like a good age to get married.

That was the story I had written. Clearly, definitely, the story I’m living is different . . . but better.

I got married a lot later than 16, and to a man 16-year-old me couldn’t have even have envisioned. That was God’s plan, and it’s better than mine.

At 12, I laid plans to be a writer and by 18, I said, I’d have my first book published.

That was the story I had written. Clearly, definitely, the story I’m living is different . . . but better.

story i'm living

I haven’t written a book. Maybe someday. But words I’ve crafted have shown up in other places instead. That was God’s plan, and it’s better than mine.

At 18, I planned a career as a journalist, a reporter. Newsweek, I figured. The Wall Street Journal or the Boston Globe as a backup.

That was the story I had written. Clearly, definitely, the story I’m living is different . . . but better.

Newsweek published its last hard copy 11 months ago. But with the internet and freelancing and my business, I’m still able to write and write constantly.

And so it’s Thanksgiving eve and tis the season for being thankful.

I’m thankful for pumpkin everything and coffee and wine and broccoli and pizza and butter and everything butter graces.
I’m thankful for a bed covered in blankets and a safe, cozy place to lay my head.
I’m thankful for community and connection and celebration.
I’m thankful that I have so much more than I need, that I have richness of friends and family. 

coffee mug

coffee — I’m thankful for it.

More than ever, I’m so thankful this year that the story I’m living today isn’t the story I would have written. It’s totally different. This life is God-authored, the very best kind of different.

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