Growing up, Thanksgiving had a different meaning to me than it does now. When I think back to the many Thanksgivings celebrated as I was growing up, I remember things like classroom parties, in which we would wear headbands decorated with feathers while eating together. I remember the Thanksgiving meals shared with family and friends in my home or theirs. I remember the silly things I was thankful for, as well as the serious things for which I am still thankful for today, like friends and family. When I was younger, I hadn’t experienced loss and grief. The worst thing that would happen in my world was someone touching my long hair, or being told “no.” But now that I’m older, I fully realize the giant impact a three syllable word has in my life.
Often times I am so consumed with complaints, anxieties, stress, and “I wish this or that,” that I forget to give thanks. I am so quick to turn to the negative, leaving myself blind to the positive in my life that is present every day. Becoming consumed with negativity leaves little room for me to see the good things in my life. I’ve had many days where I am so drained because I have had nothing but negative thoughts and the things that come with that, like anxiety and stress. That is not a way to live. Not everyone has the same spiritual beliefs as I do, and I am aware of that. But for me, prayer is a part of my life. Too often, I pray for things I don’t have, some of those things being things I need but often just things I want in life. I’ve realized that I also have to be thankful for what I do have and deliver that thanks to God, because all of the blessings I have received in life are ultimately from Him. I thank Him every day for the things I have, but He is not the only one I need to give thanks to. If there is one thing I have learned, it is to let people know how thankful and grateful you are for them. There are countless times I have depended on someone else and could not have gotten through whatever situation it may have been without them. I know some people say you shouldn’t do things for the “thank you” or the recognition, but I try to thank people as much as I can. I don’t do things for others simply to get recognized, I do them because I want to, but it is nice when someone recognizes what you’ve done for them. I just want to reach out to anyone who may be reading this that is going through a tough time. I’ve been through plenty of tough times, and when it seems the world is a dark place, and you’re looking for a way out, give thanks. In the process of giving thanks, you may realize there are things you are thankful for that you hadn’t even thought about before. There are so many things we take for granted and don’t even acknowledge, but when you sit down and think about it, you realize it’s there. Since I’ve started giving thanks, a new light has been brought into my life. I see the world a little differently and it isn’t such a dark place. So I urge everyone to try it. Whether you write it out to no one in particular, just making a list, or if you give thanks in prayer, I believe it can bring some light into your world as well.
I was originally going to write this post on Thanksgiving day, but I did not have time to do so. I always like to write out some of what I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving, even though I try to give thanks every day. My father and I spent Thanksgiving at my boyfriend’s parent’s home. It was a lovely Thanksgiving with amazing people, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. But now that I’ve found time at 11pm on a Wednesday, almost a week later, I figured I would go ahead and share some of the things I am thankful for.
I am an only child, so I don’t come from a large immediate family. Growing up, it was just my parents and me, and our dogs which were the closest thing I had to siblings at home. My parents were my playmates and I made them do all sorts of crazy things I’m sure. I’m definitely thankful for my childhood. I have been well provided for, I never had to question when my next meal would come, and I was never too cold or too warm because I’ve had a roof over my head. My mom was a stay at home mom and spent all the time in the world with me when I was younger, and my dad has always worked hard to provide for us. I am thankful for my parents because I have no doubt they’re what helped me get to where I am today. Whether it was through their support and encouragement, or just being there when I needed them, they have always told me I could achieve anything I put my mind to and I thank them for that.
I am thankful for my extended family as well. I may not get to see my nana, grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins as much as I would like, but the time we do get to spend together is awesome. I’m thankful for my family’s love and support and kindness, and I am thankful for all of the fun times we share together when we do get to see one another.
I have never been someone with a huge crowd of friends. But the friends I have mean the world to me. I am so blessed to have found the girls I call my best friends, even though we are really more like sisters. I am thankful for everything they have ever done for me, whether it be talking to me on the phone in the middle of the night because I got my heart broken, or driving through three different drive thru restaurants with me because I can’t decide on just one place to eat. My best friends have been with me through thick and thin, and have stood by my side loving me when I didn’t feel I was worthy and couldn’t even love myself. My friends have saved my sanity more times than I can count, just through simply texting me until I come to my senses. Even the newer friends I have made, I am thankful for them as well. I have always been a very guarded person and have learned to not let people in due to things that have happened in the past. But the people I have let in are amazing. My friends have kept me from going crazy during college, and DEFINITELY during grad school. I’m thankful for the reminders at 4 am that I could get through grad school and that I was doing a great job because sometimes it felt like I was not going to make it. I could literally type all night about the things my friends do that I am thankful for, but PLEASE know how much I love each and every one of you and how thankful I am for everything you do for me. I may not say it enough, but I couldn’t get by without all of my friends. They are my anchor when my mind starts wandering, they are my strength when I’m weak, and they build me up no matter how many times I try to tear myself down. I’m getting teary eyed just typing this because I have the BEST friends ever, and I really do hope they know how much I care about them. God blessed me with you all and I couldn’t thank Him enough for it!
My Boyfriend, Chris, and His Family
Now, I am not going to go through my dating history right now so to make a long story short, I have never been in a healthy, happy, and amazing relationship where I could be myself. I finally turned my attention to God and began to pray that He lead me to the man I am meant to be with. In July of 2014, I met Chris and was immediately attracted to him. But the attraction was on a deeper level than I had ever experienced. I feel that I am connected to him in a way that I have never been with anyone. He is my boyfriend, but also my best friend. I thank God every day for bringing Chris into my life. He is an amazing guy in every way. He is supportive, trustworthy, hardworking, funny, caring, kind, and respectful. He doesn’t judge me if I want to eat a second helping of dessert and he doesn’t tell me I need to lose weight. He doesn’t belittle me in front of others, or at all. I know I don’t tell him enough but I am so thankful for him and his love. I have never felt this way towards someone and I can honestly say that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I believe God has an amazing plan for our future and I can’t wait to see it unfold.
Not only did I meet an amazing guy, but Chris’s family is awesome as well! They are becoming just like family to me. I’m thankful for all they do for me, whether it is buying my meal on the weekend when I visit or buying me a special snack at the grocery store. I am thankful for their kindness and for making me feel, dare I say it, like a part of the family. I have always said that I don’t just want to find a boyfriend but I want to find a family I can be a part of. I have finally found both of those things, no doubt due to God placing them in my life.
I could spend hours typing out everything I’m thankful for. Those were the three that I really wanted to hit. I know I hit a few more here and there while typing those out. There are a few more things I would like to say but I am not going to separate them out like I did previously.
I’m thankful for where I’m at in life. I have two college degrees, which that second degree is something I didn’t know if it would happen or not, so I am thankful and proud to be able to say that I have two degrees. I may not have a job right now, but I am thankful to my dad for supporting me financially and providing me a place to stay rent-free. I am thankful to my mom for supporting me financially as well and making sure I am able to pay my car payment each month. I am thankful for their support while I do my “thrifting” business (okay, it isn’t really a business…yet) and job hunt. I’m thankful for my health, and know I do need to keep taking care of myself so I can continue to be healthy. And most of all I’ve just thankful for this life I’ve been given. I know I make mistakes, I know that I don’t always do what I should, but I am thankful for His forgiveness and His love and peace, which make my life worth it.
I appreciate anyone who actually took the time to read all of this. I haven’t written a long blog post in quite awhile. I always tell myself I am going to blog every day or atleast so many times a week, but then I forget or I can’t figure out what to blog about. Any feedback is welcome! What are some things I should blog about? I’m open for suggestions. I hope everyone has a good rest of their week and that the upcoming weekend is a good, relaxing one. I think my upcoming weekend will be spent decorating for Christmas! I’m definitely feeling the Christmas spirit now.
Until next time.