I usually save my posts on thankfulness for November, but I have some thanks to dole out, so bear with me.

Through the magic of Facebook, I recently had a chance to reminisce with a childhood friend about the way we used to sit side by side with a Sears catalog (or JC Penney, or whatever our parents had on hand) and pick out all the stuff we were going to have when we grew up and had our own husbands, children, and homes. Needless to say, I do not have the country blue  decor with geese and ganders that I wanted in 1985. I was eight, and it never crossed my mind that styles might change in the time it would take for me to grow up.

For instance, in 1985, I assumed that when I grew up and became a mom, I would look something like this (the ladies, not the creepy guy gawking at them):

I thought that because, well, that’s what everyone’s mom looked like, right? That’s just what a mom looked like. Well, except for mine. My parents looked like this until 1997:

Um, yeah. I don’t look like the JC Penney ad seen here. I also do not look like contemporary ads that detail what a woman in 2011 should look like.

When I was eight, I assumed that when I was a grown up hauling my kids to school, I would be hauling them in one of these (because, again, that’s what many of the moms who came to pick up their kids at my elementary school drove):

Hey! What do you know? I actually do drive a Honda Accord! However, times have changed and the general consensus today is that, in order to keep your children safe and be a good mom, you have to drive one of these:

This is for one child. You must add an entire extra row of seats for each child, so that by the time you have three or four, you morph into Shirley Jones and start chauffering your brood in a multi-colored bus from gig to gig.

Do you know what I realized a few years ago, that I didn’t know in 1985? I’m a square peg who is never going to fit into a perfectly coiffed, bone thin, expensive brand wearing, football loving, potato salad eating, Top 40 music listening, ginormous SUV driving, McMansion dwelling, round hole. I think those are fine choices for those who do fit in somewhere. I just, well, don’t.

Please understand that I am not judging the choices of those who do enjoy the things I mentioned. It’s just that I spent a good portion of my life – most of it, actually – trying to fit into one particular place or another by doing what other people did, and I just never quite felt comfortable doing that. I used to think that if I didn’t become like them, I would never be normal and my life would never be complete.

 It has taken me until now to be OK with admitting that I’m shy and say dumb things when I’m nervous, or that I miss my Doc Martens and really don’t care if someone else likes my haircut or not. If you like potato salad, good for you. But, I don’t like it and I don’t have to like it just because everybody likes potato salad and I’m a freak if I don’t.

But, the awesome thing is that I have friends who don’t care what I wear, what I drive, where I live, or whether I have the same things they have. God sent them to me, and I am so thankful for them.

I have an incredible husband who knew I was a square peg when he fell in love with me. He knows I’m quirky, and that I’m never going to fit the mold of the…um…whatever the Southern equivalent of a Stepford wife is. He loves me. Not my waistline, not my hairstyle, not my clothes or my make up. ME. He loves my nose in a book, my stupid questions when he’s watching sports, my picky eating habits, and my soapbox rants about education and theology. He makes me glad I’m the misfit I am, and I don’t tell him enough how thankful I am that God chose us for each other.

I serve a God who does not give two figs whether I drive a Honda or a BMW, whether I wear my best dress to worship on Sunday or my favorite jeans, or whether I went to Alabama or Auburn. (I know some of you are looking that last one up. I promise, it’s true!)

In 1985, I wanted to grow up to be a teacher, wife, and mother. It’s 2011. Well, look at that. 3 for 3.

Not bad for a square peg, huh?