for a while, unfortunately, my thoughts on gratitude were mainly focused on the thanks that i feel is owed me by my students, by my family and friends, by the world. but i soon realized that those thoughts were not very productive, nor are they reflective of the gratitude that i have in my heart for my students, for my family and friends, for the world.
so here is a list, in no particular order and definitely not complete, of the things that i feel especially thankful for on this day of thanksgiving...
- my Savior, the gospel, the church. my testimony of Jesus Christ has sustained me through many trials in life and i feel His love in the little tender mercies and miracles He sends me everyday.
- my family. they are the best and i love them with my whole heart and soul. i am never more happy than when i am with them. excited for new additions in the near future.
- my job. i love being a teacher. it is one of the best decisions i've made in my life. my students drive me crazy and cause me more stress than i ever thought possible... but i absolutely love it. and i'm not just grateful for my job - i'm grateful to have a job. i recognize it as a blessing from heaven. my heart breaks for all those who are struggling because of the economy. i pray that the future will bring blessings to those in need.
- the men and women of america's armed forces. i've recently become friends with a current member of the military, and as i've learned more about this friend's experiences in the war in iraq and afghanistan, my perspective and understanding of the military has changed drastically. i respected and admired members of the armed forces before, but now i am humbled by all that they give up in service to our country and freedoms. these men and women, especially those who are deployed to where the bullets are flying, are truly inspiring. this friend is one my new heroes, as are all who have given, do give and will give their lives in defense of freedom and liberty.
- music. this should come as no surprise. it's no secret that i love music. it wakes me up in the morning. it keeps me company on the drive to work. it sustains me throughout the workday. it gets me home in the evening. it helps me finally fall asleep at night. and lately, it's been my rock-out friend during morning runs. my life would be not very much fun without music.
- football. and sports in general. they seem to make life more exciting. i may not understand everything that is going on, but i know enough to make myself a contributing member of any watching party.
- honesty. i appreciate people who say what they mean and mean what they say. people who say yes when they mean yes, and no when they mean no. people who are open and candid, who say what is on their mind and don't play games and make you try to guess what they are thinking. i know i need to be better at being honest with others and, more importantly, with myself, but i am grateful for the example of other brave souls who are confident enough to be honest with what they are thinking and feeling.
- disappointments. without the bitter, we wouldn't be able to recognize or even appreciate the sweet.
- technology. we just skyped for an hour with sisters and nephews in utah. i've had conversations with friends from halfway across the world. my students submit almost all of their assignments through our online home page. with my iphone google map app i am never lost. love it or hate it, i am a facebook fiend and a blogging queen. i watched general conference live on my mac this year. family members who had surgeries this summer are almost as good as new. the super-imposed first-down line makes my heart happy. dad has been able to fly back and forth between dallas and london 12 times so far this year. the ding! ding! that lets me know i have a new text message makes me smile. the ipod shuffle is my running friend. as sad as it may be, without technology i would be lost and alone.
- food. it's almost turkey time. 'nuff said.
wishing you a thankful heart, full of family and friends and food (and football)
on this thanksgiving thursday!