14 Things I'm Thankful for in 2014 (Happy Thanksgiving!)

Thursday is Thanksgiving. Wow. Is it just me, or has time flown by quickly this year?  

One thing that I often fail to do around Thanksgiving is find some time to truly sit down, focus and say thank you to God for what He’s given me. I mean, with so much to do and so little time, it can be hard to carve out a moment alone with our Father. There are dinner menus being made and plans with friends being scheduled. I, first hand, know how busy it can be.

But this year there is something in me that wants to celebrate this holiday by digging a little deeper than usual. I want to rev up my “thank you engine” before I sit down with my family for dinner on Thursday. Nothing weird… just preparing my heart for the holiday as much as I am my dinner menu.

So, here goes nothing. Here are 14 things (in no particular order) that I’m thankful for in 2014:

(1) Nature – I love the outdoors. It humbles my heart and constantly reminds me of what is important in life. A good hike, raft down a river, and run through the fields… it makes me feel so alive!

You guessed it: my family and I. 

You guessed it: my family and I. 

(2) My family – Yes, they get on my nerves about 50% of the time, but the deep truth of the matter is that they are my biggest supporters and have been some of the only people to stand by me when I was broke, busted and disgusted. I love them and their knack for dreaming. We are a pack of dreamers and because of that I am wired to constantly be asking people if they’re pursuing their dreams. It’s always great to have the people you can dream with openly by your side… all the time.

(3) The Internet – Bet you weren’t expecting this one. If you know me, you know that I have such a strong love for technology and mostly anything that has to do with the World Wide Web. The internet is not only fun when used appropriately, it has allowed me to take advantage of some awesome opportunities and do some awesome ministry!

(4) Jesus – I’m sure any of you could have guessed that this one was coming, but I truly am thankful for Jesus. Without Him my life would be tremendously dark, without purpose and lacking peace. He’s the love of my life. I’m pretty sure I would have been dead if it were not for Him and His love. I’m thankful that He’s alive and constantly able to speak through the Spirit He left to guide us when He left the earth.

Just a few of my friends. <3 

Just a few of my friends. <3 

(5) My friends – Some years ago I felt as if I had absolutely no friends who were on the same page with me. I was so desperate for some amigos. This started my deep cry out to God for some legit road dogs that I could do life with. We have cried together, LAUGHED A LOT together, yelled at each other, been honest, and walked out dreams together. I can honestly say that God has answered my prayers. Good friends that love the Lord are hard to find. And I’m blessed to have some.

(6) Wheels – Sounds random, I know. But where would we be able to truly travel without wheels? Not too far. And if you know me, you know that I have a deep love for travel. That’s for sure. Whoever invented wheels is one heck of an important person that gets overlooked a lot of the time. Thank you to the inventor of wheels!

(7) Experiences – These past few years have been crazy and are filled with way more awesome memories/experiences than I could have ever imagined. I believe what God says in Ephesians 3:20 more than ever. He truly does blow our minds when we seek after Him. I went from growing up in a neighborhood where all girls (like myself) were expected to do was get pregnant or join a gang… to being a musician who interacts with amazing people all over the nation through music and more. It was never expected, therefore I am so thankful.

(8) God’s Church – People have so much (both good and bad) to say about God’s church. One thing that I have to say is that His Church, the people of Christ, is absolutely beautiful. We’re all broken and desperately need each other to grow. I’m thankful for how we’re changing the world, helping each other and that God would even choose us to be His bride.

(9) Music – I know I make music, but even if I didn’t it would still be one of the most powerful things to have ever molded my life. Singers, musicians and songwriters of all types have opened doors for me to walk through. Doors to dream bigger, doors to release hate that was trapped in my heart, doors to run after God… so many doors! I’m thankful for the way music has powerfully enlarged my vision and heart towards others. I’m thankful how it has allowed me to experience God.

(10) The Rain – I live in a valley filled with farmers and fields that provide a good chunk of our world's food. I mean, the strawberry field right behind had strawberries in the super market I went to in Barbados! Talk about helping the world!  We’ve been in a pretty big drought and every ounce of rain has reminded me how fragile life is. Every time it rains I’m not only thankful for the welfare of my city, but it reminds me to be thankful for the rain of God, His right-on-time provision.

(11) Laughter– I’ve always been a goofball, but more now than ever I believe that laughter is a major sign of freedom. When we laugh, we release a sound of freedom and faith into the atmosphere. An authentic laughter can absolutely change someone’s mood, an event, a person. It’s a tremendous gift from God and I am so thankful that He allows me to laugh with no restraint.

(12) Understanding – I’m learning that as I get older that understanding people, processes, and life itself is a huge factor involved with being able to progress. The bible says to get knowledge and get understanding (Proverbs 4:5). Without it, it’s hard to be free. So thank you Lord for understanding in areas where I need it most!

My dogs, being their usual-crazy-selves. 

My dogs, being their usual-crazy-selves. 

(13) My bed – Having gone to a few 3rd world countries that are extremely poverty stricken and traveled through my own, I am thankful to have a home and a bed. Knowing that people go without a sound place to sleep and risk their lives every time they might go to sleep is truly something puts me on the verge of weeping. It happens everywhere… even in America. It’s not as common as I once thought to have a bed and a place to call your own. I am thankful.  

(14) My dogs –  They can be a handful at times, but when I take a step back and realize their vulnerability while in my care I am reminded of how vulnerable I am in the midst of God who cares for me. No matter how crazy my dogs act, I love them with all that I am. I believe God feels the same way towards us. For that I am thankful

There you have it. 14 things (some more random than others) that I’m thankful for in 2014. I’d like to hear from you! What are you thankful for this year? Let me know in the comments below. Annnd...

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all! 

Xoxo - Martay