I am thankful, first and foremost, for God. The relationship Ive built with the creator of the universe is the most important thing in my life. I cant even remotely imagine living life without the guidance and protection the Holy Spirit has afforded me. A life without knowing Jesus seems meaningless to me. I mean really, a few measly decades on this corrupted Earth does not sound like a significant existence to me. I truly cannot understand Atheism. If Im wrong, so what. If theyre wrong oh dear. The proof Ive experienced with God is unbelievable and it wouldnt do it justice to try to put it into words, but I will never waiver on my faith in Him; and for that I am truly eternally grateful!
I am thankful for my beautiful, talented, intelligent, inspirational wife Marcy. She is my best friend and partner for the last 16 years! She never ceases to amaze me. She has led me spiritually and shaped me into the person Ive become. It is so incredible to sit back and watch her homeschool our children, the amount of work and effort she puts into that, as well as maintaining our house is just incredible! She never stops, shes always multitasking. I do not have the patience to tackle half the challenges she faces everyday. I am so proud of the woman shes become, and I am honored to be with her everyday.
I am thankful for Michael, Megan, and Elijah, my incredible children. Your world truly changes when you have kids. Although challenging at times, the payoff is truly amazing. To watch them grow and learn is inspirational. One quick hug or tickle session can brighten any glum day. Michael is my firstborn. He is the builder, he is very creative can make something out of anything. Megan has inherited the musical talent. Shes a singer and a dancer, and that smile is infectious. Eli is our newest, a smiley happy baby who is growing fast. We lost our first child Christina, which was a trying experience that still teaches us everyday. I never imagined having this many kids, but its been a blast, a wild ride that really shapes character.
I am thankful for my family, those that I grew up with, and my new inherited family from Marcys side. My Mom for raising me to know God. My brothers Andy and David, for having people to relate to on my interests (movies, music, tv, games). Even my Dad for unknowingly teaching me lessons on the kind of parent I did and did not want to be. Im thankful for my new family in Marcys side her Mom and Dad, who have really taken us in and helped us along the ride. Its really great for us and especially for the kids to live next door to them in a real communal environment. Marcys sisters Diana and Amanda and their families have been great for us and our kids too.
I am thankful for my church. I am thankful to have the opportunity to use my talent in music to bless a congregation weekly, as well as my creativity to lead the teens during Sunday School. I am thankful for truly caring people, especially Pastor Greg, Cheryl, and their family. I am thankful to be able to gather together with other believers and sharpen each other, learn new things, and grow together.
I am thankful for friends past and present. Friends who have played a role in my growing up: Shane, Jeff, Christina, Randy, Rob, Jason, Tony, Lori, Adam, Terry, Angie, Scott, Nate, Christian, and so many more. A special thanks to my best friend growing up Phil Bergner and his family, which really treated me like an adopted son. Although many of you I dont get a chance to see very often, at least through Facebook Im able to keep up on whats going on in your life. I miss you all, and youve all played a significant part in my life.
I am thankful for my job. Ive been very blessed to always be taken care of financially. Were not well off by-far, but weve always been provided for. I have a job that I dont loathe waking up in the morning for. Its not a dream job, but its stable, its not minimum wage, and Im good at it. The job has allowed me to have medical insurance that Im sure over the past few years has shelled out 100s of thousands of dollars on our behalf!
I am thankful for my talents. I have been blessed with talents in writing, recording, performing, and producing music. I have taught myself piano, guitar, bass, singing, and writing music. My dancing, my video production, my web-editing production, and even more than that just my overall creative mind. I tend to have quite large-scale ideas, most of which have never seen the light of day, but several which have panned out. I have written and recorded over 200 original songs on my own or with my high school band Driver Paul, my worship band More Than Song, and now with my wife as Unity. I have filmed numerous short films, music videos, and full-length movies with my brothers such as The Matrix Revealed, Extraordinary, and Buck and Drake. I created a daily multimedia talk-show style program for the kids at Camp Ray Bird, which was utilized for years to come. I have created several church programs such as The Heart of Worship (intro to praise & worship music at a traditional church), The Experience (an intense revival style worship program), and The Pre-Pulse Party (a weekend of activities to lead up to the annual World Pulse Festival). I have also developed several youth study series including a Christian Music Artist Series, The Apocalypse Series, and an out-of-body Heaven/Hell series. I have also had the awesome opportunity to be the local promoter for several national Christian music tours including concerts for Phil Joel (newsboys), Supertones (farewell tour), Superchick, and opening act 16-year old Katy Hudson (later went on to be known as Katy Perry). I have also had the opportunity to perform for several years to thousands of people with my dance impersonation of Michael Jackson.
I find in this life it is very easy to focus on the negative and the things that are constantly working against us. Several years ago I decided to change my prayers around from a list of need, wants, and complaints to a list similar to that above. Since then I have really seen my life as very blessed. I am truly a happy person living in a flawed world. I would suggest everyone make a similar list in their own lives and remind yourself how truly blessed you have been.