Sunday, November 28, 2010

Give Thanks, with a Grateful Heart

It's that time of year when we are reminded to be thankful. I love how we take a holiday to remember who and what we're thankful for and really embrace it, but we should always be thankful. However, I'm just as guilty as the next person for not taking the time during my every day life to really be grateful. Instead of a New Year's resolution, I think I'll make a Thanksgiving resolution; to always remember to be thankful and appreciative of what I have. For now, here's a list of a few things I am thankful for, in no particular order.

My health. The unfortunate thing is that I even have to be thankful for this. In my perfect fantasy world, there would be no disease, sickness, and especially cancer. When knocked back to reality by hearing someone's story, I find myself more and more grateful for a life without disease. It seems like so many people struggle with health issues, many of them life threatening, or maybe their children or loved one is suffering. I'm not sure if it's pure luck or God's amazing grace but I've never had any of these issues. My kids and I both are very healthy. I see kids all around me literally fighting for their lives and watch their parents hang on to hope.

Our military. We recently celebrated Veteran's Day which is another one of those holidays that I love that we have a designated day, but think it's something we could and should appreciate every day. Men and women risk their lives every single day so we can live our lives. Their spouses and children say goodbye to them and pray that they will return to them safe and sound.

Solid upbringing. I was raised in the middle of nowhere in a fairly large family, where we all worked and had chores. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had parents who loved and respected us enough to discpline us and instill solid values in their children. We didn't get away with anything, we knew how to act right, and we were shown from an early age to work hard for what we wanted.

My ex husband. And his wife. Strange? Probably according to a lot of people. While it hasn't always been roses, I can honestly say that I am blessed that I have them in my life. My ex and his wife loves our children and make plenty of sacrifices for them. We do our best to raise our children while apart. I do know that if it weren't for my ex husband and his wife my life would be much more difficult.

Chocolate. Ask my co-workers. I'm pretty sure they're thankful I have it too!

My right to speak. I may not always say the right thing, or make statements that everyone agrees with it, but that's the beauty of it. In our great country, we are able to exercise our right to speak freely. Citizens of other countries all over the world don't have this simple thing that we often take for granted.

My cell phone. My gateway to the outside world. Good grief, I am ashamedly attached to the device. I feel lost without it, but so thankful that it provides an outlet for me to communicate with those I love most. The advantage is that you can almost always reach me. Almost.

Positive Reinforcement. Some days, you just feel like you can't keep going. It's those positive reinforcements who pick you up when you feel like you are at the end of the road.

My sweet children. Kassidy is 7 and Kayden is 4. I'm not a perfect mom and I make mistakes. I try to teach them values and manners. I make them say "ma'am" and "sir." I'm not afraid to spank but I give them the same respect I expect from them. I'm teaching them not everything is free, that they aren't going to get everything in this world that they want, and sometimes there's going to be disappointment. I do feel, though, like there's a fine line between the sweet innocence of a child and teaching them that sometimes life just isn't fair. But their constant strength and resilience with the ignorance of the bad things in this world make childhood beautiful.

Working for a company I love. I don't wake up every morning before work and think, "Whoo-hoo, I get to go to work today!" but I don't wake up dreading going in. I work for a company who really values their employees. They know that everyone's position is important and they really care about us. I hope I have a long career with Churchill Mortgage. They've been such a blessing in my life; some of the people there I just can't imagine life without.

Good music. Enough said.

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