Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

This post will undoubtedly join the thousands of others today on the topic of celebrating the things for which we are thankful.  I think it is still important to say, no matter how many times it is repeated.  The truth is we should not be thankful only one time of the year but all year round.  So what are you thankful this year?  My list could go on for quite a long time, but I guess I will start with the highlights.

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FAMILY– As many of you know, I am adopted.  I have always been grateful to my birth mother for giving me a chance at life when so many other young mothers chose a different road.  I am even more grateful for the parents who raised me, the only parents I have ever known, or ever wanted to know.  They have guided me through the most amazing life I could have asked for.  This year, I made an addition to my family.  I have been with my boyfriend now for almost a year and from day one I knew this was it.  His family has become my family and my family has become his.  We both strive for a Christ-centered relationship where we can support one another unconditionally and I could not be more blessed.

FRIENDS– After I moved to North Carolina, I knew I would leave behind many friends.  I knew I would talk to them less but that they’d still be there for me.  I had no idea that every time I talked to them, be it on the phone, through Skype, or even via text, that it would feel as if I had never left.  Some friendships are for life and you only realize it, I think, when something separates you, like great distance in my case.  I have made new friends here that I am also grateful for.  As an only child, I have always associated my friends with my family, so for me they are one and the same.  I could only be so lucky!

LIFE– I never realized how difficult life could be on a single part-time job salary or multiple part-time jobs.  Until I turned 26, I didn’t have to worry about health insurance, I was always covered on my parents’ plan.  All that changed last year and the several months I spent job hunting were extremely stressful, never knowing whether you’d get a call back or not.  Telling yourself, “This time you’ll get the interview.”  Or getting the interview and never hearing back.  It’s maddening!  All the hours spent filling out online applications only to have your Internet go down, or your computer crash and you lose everything and have to start all over again.  I have never been so thankful to have a full-time job.  As a public service employee at a library, I feel so grateful that now I can pay it forward.  I can reach out to the community and connect with them on a new level.  I’m not bound to the laws of retail where the customer is always right.  I am held to a higher standard of being there to serve and create a working relationship with patrons rather than squeezing money out of greedy customers.  It’s a whole new atmosphere and I’m so blessed to be a part of it.

GOD– I would be nothing without my God.  I usually don’t post religious topics, not because I do not want to, just because they usually do not come up in my writing.  But none of the above would even be relevant let alone worth being thankful for if it wasn’t for God.  This Thanksgiving weekend, we are being told to be vigilant and that every country is on high alert from terrorists.  In a world where our holidays are now a time of great stress and fear, I refuse to be afraid.  “Grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”  Hold tight to your family this year and all year long.  Enjoy the time you have with them.  Cherish every laugh, every talk, every tear shed in joy or sadness, but most of all, cherish the memories that you make because those memories will be your legacy.  You can’t take anything with you when you leave this world, but you can leave something behind for the next generation.

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