by tinareale on November 27, 2013

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Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating here in the US. Regardless of location or holiday plans/participation, I hope we’re all getting the chance to spend some time with loved ones this week and reflect on gratitude. Even though no shortage of “I’m thankful for…” posts exist these days, I couldn’t let a year go by without expressing my own gratitude.

This year, I find I’m most thankful for how things didn’t go as planned.

Our Home: We started 2013 with a couple of headaches and new problems popping up in our old home. It only added to the numerous issues we had already spent many hours and hard-earned money resolving in the six years living there. At the start of 2013, I envisioned a year of ceaseless house projects and stress. Instead, we got a sudden urge to try to move and watched God work in our lives as it all came together for our new home. I still thank God for that unexpected turn of events almost daily.


Running….Or Not Running: After spending the majority of 2012 remedying some nagging running injuries, in January of 2013, I felt that I had finally come to a solid place to pick back up training again. I had taken time off and planned to ease back into running with walking intervals and a very slow build of mileage – a very moderate plan that shouldn’t have caused issues. I had visions of running a half marathon and hopefully even reaching a new PR by the end of 2013. Well, by April the nagging injuries returned and by summer I was done fighting them. I since put my focus on other forms of fitness that I enjoy and have felt more joy with my workouts than I had for awhile. Plus, I deepened my love for yoga and get excited thinking about new possible ventures in my practice.

Getting Dunked: I don’t know why it did, but the thought of publicly sharing my testimony at church freaked. me. OUT! I mean, I blab openly to you all here…but filming a video of my personal faith story? I didn’t think I would do it. I didn’t think it was something I needed to do for my faith. God kept pulling my heart, though, so I followed. I went through the filming of my video testimony to be broadcast out to thousands (nerve. wrecking!) and then stepped into a balcony pool of water on September 29. It was one of the most emotional and special days of my life. Didn’t think I would do it. Didn’t think I needed to do it. Now couldn’t imagine not having done it.


Attitude Adjustments: I have always been a very Type A personality with a go-getter attitude. So much so, that I would find trouble resting and being present in life. I truly believe this past year has been one of immense personal growth as I seem to have finally learned the concept of “just be”. Sure, it still takes some reminders at times but I’m much less angst riddled than previous years. I went into the year with the same big visions and goals like always, but now strive more for taking things day by day with joy.

Those are just a few ways things have changed in somewhat unexpected ways this year. I’m forever grateful for the many blessings God rains down in my life. He is just so good. And not because things seem perfect and hunky-dory over here (they’re not). Not because I don’t struggle in my own ways (I do). Just because I know I can trust in Him – even when things don’t go as planned. Come to think of it? I know I can trust especially then, because I know He has something greater than I could have even imagined waiting at the other end. Cheers to all the unanswered prayers, hopes, wishes, and dreams. Let’s trust they turn out just as they should and we can look back with a smiling face and open heart.

What’s something unexpected that you are thankful for right now?


1 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast November 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

Beautiful words for Thanksgiving week, Tina! It’s definitely a blessing to see God working all things out, even when they don’t seem to be going the right way in the moment. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

2 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 27, 2013 at 8:04 am

Love it! Honestly, one of the biggest things I’m thankful for started last year when I decided to move from LA and back into my parent’s house. I knew LA had become a toxic place for me and I needed to get out and get myself back on track with what I wanted from life. I pushed myself to get my personal training certificate only to realize that while I love health and fitness, I love inspiring others to be live a healthier lifestyle, I am meant to work in music and make big things happen in the music industry (the industry I swore off when I left LA). It took MONTHS to get back into it, MONTHS of talking to one company that was merely waiting on investors and the moment I was sure it wasn’t happening and decided to move out of my parent’s house anyway, I received a call offering me a job. I’ve been there for a month now and while it doesn’t come without it’s challenges, I freaking LOVE my job!

3 [email protected] November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

Having put on weight…never thought I’d feel happy about but I truly do. I’ve more energy, my skin and hair have dramatically improved and food no longer rules my mind! Have a great day tomorrow!

4 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries November 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

This makes me so happy! I know this feeling too. :)

5 Becky November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

It’s so great to be thankful for the things you never expected! I am very thankful for my husband and my family. This has been the busiest year of my life, and I couldn’t have done everything without them! I love the video of your testimony! :)

6 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables November 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

These are all great and beautiful things. Mine would be embracing adoption! Oh friend… we need a coffee date!

7 Melanie @ Nutritious Eats November 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

What a great year for you. I never thought I’d be a mother of four and here I am getting ready to meet my 4th child in a month. So excited!

8 Jolene November 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

I LOVE this list and spin on things you are thankful for that were unexpected and how much of a blessing they truly were. what a year it has been for you!! Happy Thanksgiving – send you much love and cheers :) For me, let’s see, unexpected blessings? I think I would say our house is one that I didn’t know we’d find and when, and how aligned everything became when we moved in, and got married 30 days later. Amazing. XOXO

9 lindsay November 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

amen to that friend! God’s plan far out weigh our plans and expectations! he molds us, shapes us, and is sovereign–> how freeing!

10 purelytwins November 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

love this! and we are grateful for being able to be home for the Thanksgiving holiday to be with family :)

11 Danica @ It's Progression November 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

beautiful post…Happy Thanksgiving, Tina!!

12 Dominique @ Thrivalism November 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Beautifully put, Tina. Your testimony video brought me nearly to tears- what an incredible story! I can relate so much, and all I can say is, how good is God??
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend!

13 Coco November 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I love your perspective — both looking back in gratitude and looking forward with faithful expectation.

14 [email protected] November 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm

My husband & I moved to NYC this year, & while it has been so tough leaving family & friends behind, we have grown so much as a couple. Being away from everyone has forced us to lean on each other more & grow in our marriage. Of course, we miss loved ones but this year has made us feel more like a family with our own traditions.

Beautiful post! :)

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