After a day with family, some time at the beach, a wonderful meal and some quality couch time, I’ve realized for the 100th time today how blessed we are, how thankful I am, and how much love I am surrounded by.
This year more than ever, I find myself thankful for my faith. Until a few years ago, faith was a foreign concept to me. Something greater, something more than me, someone loving me like that was just unbelievable. I never thought that I would be crushed to leave a volunteer position at a church, to miss services each Sunday, and to have to drop my bible study. I’m thankful that my faith means this much to me.
And while I’m sad that it has interfered with our time in Church, among many other things, I am thankful for my job. As a 23 year old with no degree, and a heap of student loans, I am thankful for the opportunity I have at work. Not only am I paying my bills, and earning a stable living, I am beyond blessed with my job. A gentle girl with no experience was given the opportunity to be trusted with more responsibilities than I ever thought possible. I’ve been given a year of learning, which has lead to time teaching, which has lead to new goals, all in a job I never even saw on the radar. I’m thankful for people ahead of me in the job that always lead me in the right direction, and thankful for the opportunities to come.
And while the job has taken away some much needed time with my fiance, it reminds me on a daily basis how thankful I am for him! Marshall has made my dreams come true for nearly 2 years now, and became THE dream come true in the process. This handsome man, this gentleman, makes every minute a happy one, every night a safe one, and every day an adventure. I cannot say enough about him, no words could ever describe the love we share, the dreams we have, and the places we are going. I am so thankful for Marshall, his kind heart and his sweet soul. And I am thankful for the future we will share together, with our Kenya ;) I’m thankful for the dog too!
I am thankful for family that have become friends, and friends that have become family. I reconnected with my cousin this year over the loss of our grandmother. While we miss her, I’m thankful that she will never again experience any pain, confusion, or exhaustion in the way she did the past few years. I’m thankful that she saw my cousin and I together again after years apart. I’m thankful that she was able to open her eyes once more. I’m thankful for the alone time I had with her the night before I left. She couldn’t talk back to me anymore at that point, but I am thankful that I got to say everything that was on my heart, and hold her hand one last time. I’m thankful for time at home with family, no matter the reason.
I’m thankful for friends that are like family. I’m thankful for friends that I grew up with being able to all come together to say goodbye to one of our own this year. You don’t realize how much you love someone until they are gone. I’m thankful for those who make cancer research, and helping others, their life mission, and I’m thankful for the lives changed every day by those fighting, and those who have overcome such a life changing battle. Cancer has made my home a different place than it was growing up. My home no longer has a Jackie, or a Rita, but my home has pieces of my heart who share the love for these people that I have.
I see them in the sunrises, and for sunrises I am thankful that I live at the ocean. There’s no place on this earth that humbles me like the ocean does. There’s no other place that reminds me of my dreams, my God, my love, and my hopes all in one spot. The ocean reminds me how small I am, and how big this world is. It reminds me that there is so much more out there than my little problems, or my nonsense struggles, or the materials I hold so dear. The ocean reminds me that this life is about something more, something better. And I’m thankful to live so close to it that I can hear the waves crash.
I’m thankful for these things each and every day. Today just lets us be thankful over some turkey and football. Remember who and what you’re thankful for each morning and each night, and breathe in each moment as if it’s your last. Love everyone and everything you have in your life. And live out loud!!