Forty Things I’m Thankful For

I thought I’d end my series of “40" posts with a list of things for which I’m thankful (the proper grammatically way to express that, as opposed to that intentionally butchered title above).

Obviously, my thankfulness extends far beyond forty items but that's the theme of these musings so I'm sticking to it.

Moleskine notebooks I get so excited about them, I always buy a new one before I’ve finished filling the last one.

Running I never really enjoyed running, even when I started running marathons. It wasn’t until my third marathon that I started to consider it a fun discipline. Now the thought of ten mile runs in the fall make me smile. It’s kinda sadistic.

The Spoken Word The idea that people still endure so many speeches and sermons in an era of digital communication is amazing.

Old Houses We were blessed this year to buy an old house that was well-cared for. A bitterly cold winter might change my tune but so far, we’re in love.

Shoes I’m not a full-blown addict, but I probably own more shoes than a man should. It’s the one piece of fashion that always interests me.

Photography The advent of digital photography made me begin to appreciate what can be accomplished behind the camera lens. While I’m a better photo-editor than an actual photographer, it’s still a nice hobby.

Air conditioning My familial roots in HVAC installation and repair make me appreciate the blessing of a cool house on a sweltering summer day.

The Written Word I always think of myself more of a speaker than a writer, but some of the greatest influence I’ve had has come through things I’ve written.

Learning As evidenced by my time in the classroom, I'm a perpetual student. I’m confident that even though I’m finally finished going to school, I won’t stop my pursuit of knowledge.

Contact Lenses I started having vision problems at the end of elementary school. I didn’t start wearing contacts until I went to college. Maybe someday I’ll have laser surgery but until then, I’ll keep shoving those wonderful pieces of plastic on my eyeballs.

Diversity Monochromatic won't get it done. Variety is the spice of life.

Foggy mornings I’ve liked these more since I moved downtown. There’s nothing like seeing buildings peak out above the clouds.

Architecture Like George Costanza, I always wanted to be an architect. In the last decade, however, I actually started appreciate the art of building design. I like pretty buildings.

Whiteboards I’ve gone a little bit crazy in the past few years, installing whiteboards in all my offices. It’s gotten to the point that Kaelyn asked for one in her room (and I obliged). A dry erase marker and a sea of white allow for endless possibilities.

Tension I really don’t like tension. I prefer everything to just go the way I want. But constructive friction proves so helpful to arrive at the best direction.

Haircuts I’ve cut my own hair for almost twenty years. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of follicular freedom.

Air Travel My first plane ride was on our honeymoon. I’m thankful that I’ve had the chances to see parts of the world that I never would have if I lived a century ago.

Digital Music My early life consisted of toting around cassette/CD cases. I love that I can carry all my tunes (as well as podcasts) on my cell phone.

Topography Even though hills are horrible for running, the vistas that they afford are well worth the efforts. I’m blessed to live in a city of hills.

Clothes that fit Life in the 1990’s was OK, but I truly hope that baggy clothes never come back in style. I know there’s a certain level of comfort in oversized apparel, but I prefer shirt and pants that conform to my body.

Hot showers It’s the little things, right?

Watching Sports The Reds, The Bengals, The Bearcats, The Muskies, The Red Devils, and even my wife’s Wildcats provide endless entertainment throughout the year.

Harmony My parents love to sing and my mother’s alto harmonies taught me to appreciate how complimentary notes can create music that sounds even more robust.

Seasons As much as I’ve grown to hate January, the changing seasons create in my a sense of gratitude for changing times. No matter how difficult the winter is, spring is coming.

Shared wisdom I love living in an era with unlimited access to knowledge. With Youtube, I can fix almost anything.

Maps Ever since I manned the Rand McNally on family vacations, I’ve loved maps. Google Maps is my Shangri-La (even though I haven’t found it on a map yet).

Beverages My morning ritual is still grabbing a 44 ounce Diet Coke. I love drinking fluids all day long. And my bladder works just fine, thank you very much.

Local food Skyline Chili, LaRosa’s, Graeters all flow through my veins. And there’s always something new opening up in town now a days.

(East) Walnut Hills I knew of these communities when I was growing up. I never knew how much they would feel like home. We love living here.

Cincinnati Christian University The whole trajectory of my life can be traced back to where I get to work everyday. It’s been a crazy relationship, but my passion for this place is unquenchable.

My health The older the get, the more that I appreciate human frailty. I made it four decades with merely one surgery, so I’m counting myself grateful.

My forefathers (and foremothers) Everything I’ve accomplished in life has been the result of those who’ve walked before me. I’m grateful to build with supplies provided by others.

My friends I've got friends in all the right places. I’m blessed to have a countless number of folks who would help me at the drop of a hat.

My city I never planned on spending my entire life in one city, but Cincinnati has loved me more than I could imagine. I’m still thrilled to live in the midwestern paradise.

My family To my mother, father, brothers, and sisters, they made me who I am. My extended family, including those I acquired through marriage (especially my amazing mother-in-law and father-in-law), make my life even better.

My church We started a church to make a difference but that church made a huge difference to me. So thankful for my Echo family.

My daughter I cannot describe the pride I have to be Kaelyn’s father. She’s my favorite student and I know she’ll end up being my most important contribution to this earth. I can’t wait to see what God does through her life.

My wife Hands down the best thing I ever did was convince this woman to marry me. You all know that I am nothing without her. I still wake up every morning excited to see the love of my life.

My journey If you gave "teenage Steve" the opportunity to script out his life’s path, I would never have chosen this route. Yet I gladly accept all that the Lord has given me and allowed me to experience. If it all ends tomorrow, I have no room for regret.

My faith I know that many of my friends don’t share my beliefs but that doesn’t negatively affect our relationship. As we all travel through this world, it’s up to us to determine how we’ll see the world. I am who I am because of what God did 2,000 years ago as he lived among his creation. Jesus is everything to me. He defines me life. I pray that it’s transparent in all I do.

My faith in Christ is the basis for my gratitude. It makes all of this worthwhile.