Thursday Thoughts: Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!!  

Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite holidays.  I love the time together with family, the reminder of how blessed we all are, and the food...I mean come on, who doesn't love the food?!?  But seriously, my absolute favorite part is getting to spend time with my family.  Un-rushed, relaxed, one-on-one time with family where our main focus is each other.  It's like Christmas without the presents, which almost makes this holiday better since no stressing over gifts is necessary.  I love the holidays!

How does your family celebrate?

My family always makes it a point to get together and enjoy a ridiculously large amount of food, combined with lots of reminiscent stories, laughing, and hugs.  On Thanksgiving day, we spend time with my mom's side of the family.  The location varies each year, but a pot luck meal is always to be expected.  My favorite items of this meal are the macaroni and cheese (I know, no surprise there) and my great-grandmother's cake (or at least my Aunt Missy's best attempt at it, which is just as good!).   This cake is literally to die for.   It's incredible.

Then on Friday, we head up to my Grandma's and spend the rest of the weekend with my dad's side of the family.  Since they live two hours away, we typically spend the weekend to make the drive and gas go a little further. The best part about this meal is Grandma's stuffing.  I like stuffing, but her's is a-ma-zing! Friday's dinner is also where I can typically be found laughing so hard my sides hurt.  I mean you put Pa, Andy, and the rest of the family in one room together and this is only to be expected (anyone that knows Pa knows what I mean).

I literally love this holiday, too bad it has to come and go so quickly.  However, in true thanksgiving fashion, this post would not be complete without a list of the things I'm thankful for.  So here goes:

I am most thankful for:

  • My Savior.  I know I say this a lot, but I can never truly express how grateful I am to have a Lord that loves me so unconditionally that He would send His only son to die for me and you.   I'm so thankful that my Lord is not only unconditionally loving but that he is full of grace, mercy, guidance, forgiveness, and goodness.  I'm thankful that He pushes me every day to be better than I was the day before.  I'm thankful that he never gives up on me.
  • My Family. This may seem cliche, but I seriously have the best family ever!  I'm so thankful that they love me unconditionally, support my dreams, push me to grow, and teach me how to be a better person every day.  I am most thankful however, that I am blessed to have a family that taught me to love the Lord and show me the importance of having a relationship with Him. They never give up on me and I can't thank all of them enough for that!
  • My Friends. A few years ago I did not have a lot of close friends in my life, due to some very selfish decisions I made.  It wasn't until college that I learned the true importance of friendship and formed some of the best relationships a girl could ever ask for.  I'm so thankful that my friends support me through anything and everything, and that they laugh hysterically with me through it all.  I'm thankful that my friends are always there when I need them.  That they teach me to be more patient, understanding, and loving of all people.  
  • Laughter. This may seem silly, but I thank God a LOT for the gift of laughter.  It is by far one of my favorite things in life.  The way it brightens your day, lifts your mood, and is oh so contagious.  You simply can't have a bad moment if it's filled with laughter.
  • The simple joys in life. You know, things like a comfortable bed to crawl in each night, food on the table every day, an abundance of clothes in your closet, or the joy of enjoying your favorite items.  And then there's things like the way your heart races when you meet a guy you like, or the comfort found in a hug from a loved one, or for that high you get after a job well done.  There are so many little things in life we take for granted and today I'm reminded to be grateful for them all.
  • Second chances. I love the freedom, forgiveness, and sense of hope that comes with second chances.  I've seen this recently in my life and it truly is an incredible blessing.  To give and receive forgiveness and form a stronger relationship from it, is an amazing gift that I am so thankful for.
  • Haiti. You all know how much I love Haiti, so it's no surprise that I am thankful for the country, people, and friendships I've formed there.  My only regret is that I cannot wrap my arms around those sweet children in Haiti and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving in person; but I do send my love to them!
  • Love. Love is the greatest gift any of us can ever receive or experience. It is the glue that holds this world together, creates bonds, and blesses relationships.  I never ever want to take love for granted, it's a true blessing!
  • The unnecessary blessings in life. Like my car, iphone, computer, TV, music, movies, etc.  All of these little things that make life that much more enjoyable can be so easy to overlook.  It's easy to forget that they are blessings, not necessities.  I am thankful that I am able to enjoy all of them, but am reminded that they can be taken away as easily as they were given, and I'm thankful for that.
  • Hope & Dreams. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I am a dreamer.  Sometimes the things I dream up can leave me disappointed, but usually they remind me of how powerful a little hope can be.  When things get hard, I'm grateful to have that hope and promise of a future as written in Jeremiah 29:11.  I am thankful that the Lord gives us a hope and that we have everything to look forward to, even when things are really hard.
  • My education. I am so thankful to have been born and raised in a world that allows education to be readily accessible.  I'm thankful that my parents pushed me to be more and allowed me the privilege of going to college.  I'm thankful that my education allowed me to explore my hopes and dreams.  I'm thankful for the opportunities that my education has and will continue to bring me. So many people in this world never get the chance to go to school, I am so thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity. 
  • Our Freedom. I am so thankful to live in a Country where we are all free. I am beyond thankful for the sacrifice all of those who have or are serving our country give.  I can't thank all of our service men and women enough.  You may our world a better place, thank you!
  • My sweet puppy dog. Again, this may sound silly, but I am so thankful for my sweet puppy.  I'm thankful that his cuddles, sweet face, and cuddles can brighten any day.  I love how he lights up when we get home, and always wants to be in the same room as us.  He is a part of our family and I love him oh so much!
  • Everything. Literally, there is nothing I'm not thankful for.  My life has been beyond blessed.
Hope you all have an incredible, joy filled Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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