Saturday, November 26, 2011

everything you're thankful for

I came home from an incredibly long day at work today and was feeling a little grumpy. I could tell the grumpiness was going to be leading into a pity party for myself that evening as I walked through our back entrance. I got to the kitchen, only to find a disaster (as per usual... ha) and I grumbled a bit to myself, now understanding how my own mother felt when she arrived home and nothing had been done. I glanced at our white-board, where the sometimes bitter notes to each other usually sat, and read something that really softened my heart. My roommate Melissa had wrote, 
"What if You Woke up Tomorrow with Only the Things You Thanked God for Tonight ?" 

I really pondered this thought as the night progressed. (I still had a little pity party for myself, but it was necessary haha) I then turned it around to, "What if I woke up tomorrow without the things I forgot to thank God for tonight?" So often we don't think about the things we are truly grateful for, until a moment makes us realize it- and sometimes too late. Like the old saying, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." That's a pretty sad thought, if you ask me. There are so many things in this life I take for granted, and I don't want to anymore. I'm challenging myself- and all of you!- before you go to sleep at night, think of everything you are thankful for. Remind God (and yourself) of the things you don't want to wake up without. Maybe even make a list, and continue adding to it every day. I bet we could each fill an entire book of everything we are grateful for! 
In the spirit of Thanksgiving (even though Canadian Thanksgiving was last month, I missed it because I was in Europe), I will start my "thankful" list here, of the things I most definitely could not imagine waking up tomorrow without. 

1. I am most grateful to a certain blonde haired little boy, who completely turned my world up-side down. I could never in a million years imagine continuing life not knowing him. He did not make the decision to come here, but through being here he made me a completely different person. My whole perspective on life (and love) changed, and for that I am truly grateful. 

2. I can't imagine waking up tomorrow without my family, each and every single one of them. My dad, who has the biggest heart of anyone I know... My mom, who became my best friend when everyone else walked away. Those 6 adorable kids who call me "Auntie", the ones I would unquestionably give my life for- My sisters, my brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... the list could go on and on. I am super blessed to be born into the family I was, and I love each of them so very much.

3. I am thankful for my friends- there are a select few who stick out the very most to me, but each of my friends over the years has made a big impact on my life in their own way. Those friends who, when things got tough for me, didn't walk away. The ones who stood by my side in the face of adversity and pulled me through it, making sure we would make it out alright together. I am grateful for the friends who were forgiving, sometimes more than once, and who just wanted what was best for me- even if it wasn't always the easiest thing to do. 

4. I am grateful for the gospel in my life, and for the beliefs and values that I have. Although (clearly) I have faltered at times, I have never doubted what I know to be true. Without that guidance in my life, I honestly do not know where I would be at right now. Life would certainly be different thats for sure.

As long as I woke up every morning with these 4 things, everything would be alright. The material things in life really don't matter (although I am grateful for all of that, too!) So make a list, and make sure you think specifically about all the things you can't imagine living without. Thanks Mel, for giving me a little wakeup call ! 

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