Anyway, here is my list of things that I am so grateful for.
- My husband. He sacrifices so much for this family, and does everything he can to give us anything we could dream of. I don't tell him enough how much I truly appreciate him. He is everything that I could've imagined when I was envisioning my soul mate and I'm so thankful that God gave him to me.
- My kids-Noah, Jonah and Sophia. They are all so different in their personalities, and even though I get stressed with them from time to time (okay, ALOT), they each know what little things to do to make me smile. They truly are gifts from Heaven and I have such a huge responsibility to ensure that they grow up fearing God and loving others. While that sometimes seems very daunting, there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life than being a mother to my three precious children.
- My extended family. We are so lucky to have a supportive family. We may be seperated by a few states and lots of miles, but whenever we need anything they are just a phone call away. My parents have raised me to be the person that I grew up to be and I couldn't have asked for better ones. My in-laws are as involved in my kids lives as they can be and we are truly blessed for that as well. My sisters and my husband's siblings are the best aunts and uncles around, and my kids worship the ground they walk on. Hubby and I each only have one grandparent left on earth, and even though we don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like to, we couldn't be who we are without them.
- My husband's job. Yes, I complain about the military alot. There are so many thins that I wish that I could change. But we are so fortunate. He has job security, which in this day and age is a blessing in and of itself. We are currently in a non-deployable slot, which means we are some of the lucky few (for the next 6 months or so) who are guaranteed to have the head of our household at every family function imaginable. And for those of you who are in the military you know that is the best gift of all. I could choose to look at the downsides, like the fact that if we don't get an assignment by next summer my hubby will be deploying for 6-9mos late next year. But instead, I am going to focus on the here and now, and soak up every minute of togetherness that we have. And how can you not be thankful for the opportunity to help other less fortunate that we are...the military is needed and I am so proud to call myself a military wife.
- My friends. Living far away from family for so much of my married life (all of it actually), friends have become so crucial to my well being. The people who have so readily welcomed my family into their own have touched my heart and I will never be able to thank them enough. Recently, some of our non-military friends here in Charleston invited us over for Thanksgiving. We accepted but asked them if they were sure they wanted non-family members over at their house when they'd be having their own mothers and fathers and siblings and neices and nephews at the house that day. They told us that yes, they did want us to come because we were extended family and it wouldn't be the same without us. That brought tears to my eyes. I am also incredibly thankful for having friends that, even when months (sometimes even years) go by without seeing one another, as soon as we are reunited it's like we were never apart. True friends are so hard to find these days, and we are so blessed to have so many people, both military and civilian, like that in our lives.
- Trials and hard times. I know what you're thinking- "Why in the world is she thankful for hard times?" But it's the hard times and the trials that make me reach deep down into myself and remember that everything happens for a reason. God gives us these trials to bring us closer to him, and closer to the people who mean the most to us. Sure, life would be so much easier if everything went my way. But it is when things don't go that way that I realize that I am stronger than I think I am. I will get through, I will persevere, I will survive. I have to keep reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and that God won't give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I think that maybe He forgets that I'm not Superwoman, but in the end I always get through it and I am even more aware of the good times that follow.
There are, of course, so many other things that I am thankful for (like running water, my car, my computer) but when I have all of the things I listed above, those things seem so small and almost insignificant. All I really, truly need in my life are my God, my family, my friends, and my country.
Thank you Lord for all that you have given to me. Help me to realize how blessed I am each and every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Remind me daily that I need to look for the positives in my life, instead of dwelling on the negatives, and that every day is a blessing.