Life can be pretty awesome and there’s a lot to be excited about, but some days are a challenge. Maybe you feel stuck at a job you don’t have a passion for. Maybe you feel overwhelmed or alone in your responsibilities. Or maybe things are going really well and you feel a deep sense of purpose. Whatever the case may be,  we have the choice to be bold and brave in the midst of it all. Don’t forget that every single day, every single breath is an opportunity to become more like the person you were meant to be. Embrace that!

When I am facing frustrations and worries, I have found that one of the best ways to combat my self-focus is through intentional gratitude. I start thinking through all of the incredible gifts in my life and, before long, the once huge mountain before me now looks more like a rolling hill.

Here are some things I’m currently pretty stoked about.

Summer adventures. Summer, the season of frolicking and exploring, it is my favorite time of year. Whether it’s road tripping to see the brother, discovering hidden Orlando gems, or taking Live Alive: The Film on a little tour, I’m excited about the months ahead.

Cooking good food / trying new things. I think if I had the ability to chop veggies and enjoy my creations, I would love to cook. I was obsessed with the Food Network in high school. Since losing the ability to eat regular food, I just assumed food and I could no longer be friends. Yesterday, however, I whipped out a tasty pan of mom’s manicotti and was able to serve it to my friends for Sunday dinner. Though I couldn’t enjoy the food, it’s a cool feeling getting to provide for people you love in that way. Cheers to breaking down barriers and finding a new, fuller normal!

Fun mail from friends. Words are one of my favorites. Words have the power to transform our days and shift our perspectives. I don’t usually get a lot of fun mail but this last week I received two little notes from two dear friends. God’s timing is quite perfect – those words pulled me out of my overwhelmed state and planted me back on “let’s be brave” land. Words are powerful. Let’s use them to lift each other up!

Opportunities to share stories. It’s pretty cool when your story resonates with other people and can be used to impact others’ stories. Thank you to Tim Schurrer and the Storyline crew for giving a piece of my story a platform on the Storyline blog! What a cool and surreal expirience. (Read Tim’s words here.)

What are you thankful for?