"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
On the eve of Thanksgiving there is a lot on my mind, mostly what I am grateful for…. And yes, I will list them…read on if you like.
- The Gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So often I take for granted all this church has taught me and the person that I have become because of it. This church is not just a religion that I chose to distinguish myself from one being to another. It defines me, it refines me. This church is a lifestyle and I am indeed grateful for the countless abilities, opportunities and lessons I am able to partake of because of it. I am very grateful for both the doctrine and the people of this church. I met someone recently who has both challenged and inspired me to dig deeper and to explore the scriptures and my beliefs. I am indeed grateful for their questions and friendship and a renewed sense of truth and understanding. Thank You! (You know who you are)…
- Family. Really, what is the purpose of life without a family? Nothing in this world would mean anything if I didn't have a family to be with. I have a wonderful, strong family of whom I know love me unconditionally. It is an eternal family. A family that supports one another and laughs with one another. This includes my nuclear and extended family. It is such a blessing to be a part of a unit that I know will not be broken despite life's challenges.
- Teaching. What a challenge it is to be a teacher. I love it. I get so excited when the students I teach understand a concept and repeat it back to me, or better…teach one another. I love dressing up in silly costumes and seeing my students eyes grow big, wondering what their crazy teacher is going to do next. I love growing from overcoming challenges in teaching. I love creating, singing, dancing, finger painting. Heck, I even love observing my students. I am so lucky and grateful to do what I do, and I feel so blessed to have a job that I love.
- Education. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn. I have only three classes of my Master's degree left and as it is winding down, I'm finding myself a little sad that I wont have the challenge of it anymore. Granted, life will present new obstacles as I persue my career in Secondary Education but I have loved learning in a formal institution and I will miss it. I guess the trick is to keep taking classes, to keep reading, to keep gaining knowledge.
- Music. A couple of weeks ago I sat in a concert my good friend Steve Nelson put on. As I have been in the past, I was again inspired by his cello music. I have always loved making and listening to music and have a developed an appreciation for a variety of genres. I bought a Christmas Piano book at the concert (thank you Marshall McDonald), and have been so uplifted as I play. I also joined the choir at church. We have an amazing director who takes choral music very seriously, but has taught us so much. Singing at pre-school has been fun as well. Now that I've had a couple of months with my students, they have memorized the lyrics and it's the most adorable thing in the world.
- The ability to run. Most people I talk to do not like to run at all. They scoff at the thought. I thank my lucky stars for this ability. It gives me the chance to think, to feel alive. I'm reminded every day what a gift this is, when I come home and see my father who isn't able. He has countless abilities that make him an incredible person, but I know if given the opportunity, he'd run to the moon and back. It is a wonderful thing to be healthy and strong.
- Turkey, pie, and food in general. I've worked with a lot of people that struggle to feed their families. I have seen severe poverty in rural areas of the world. I will not forget the many times that the orphaned children in Africa brought me bread and tea when they themselves had nothing to eat. The division of food in this world is haunting and something I will never understand. I do not know I am fortunate enough to have bread on the table while others do not. I only know that I am blessed.
- Friendship. I have so many wonderful friends, from all over the world. Each friend I have, I feel is in my life for a different reason. I only wish I could see those whom are far away more often. If I ever win the lottery, first purchase is a plane and a pilot to fly me to various cities to hang out with friends. Really though, friendship is something that I treasure and I am very grateful for all of you!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!…I'll be out for a few days due to Turkey Coma and Skiing. (I'm not really sad about that at all).