Thursday, November 24, 2011

Days of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Today is a day that, all over the country, people become remarkably thankful for their blessings. Why is it that on this day you see more posts on Facebook about what people are thankful for? In the month of November people, including myself, post everyday about what they are thankful for. . . why do we only exercise our thanks one month out of 12 and our especial thanks on one particular day out of 365?
As I spend time with my amazing family I reflect on all the ways in which I have reasons to be thankful, not just today, or in the month of November, but everyday and every month.

I have freedom. The freedom to vote, to voice my opinion, to become educated and then share that education to help those around me. I have the freedom to drive myself where I need to go, wear the clothes I wish to wear, show the world my hair and my face. Not everyone in the world, or this country, have these freedoms. I am thankful for the freedom to be raised as a strong, independent woman that has the option to someday have children and raise them as strong, independent beings.

I have a home. Every night when I get off work or off school I am able to get in my vehicle and drive to a warm, or cool, home that is filled with furniture and food and love. I am certain that a minimum of once a week I drive by, look at, or speak to someone that doesn't have a roof over their head at the end of a long day, blankets to cover their children up with on a winter night, or warm, hand prepared food to feast on. I am also certain that weekly I come in contact with someone who has not grown up knowing the unwavering support and love I have been given from day one, and probably take advantage of from time to time.

I have friends. I have been very fortunate that in my life, bullying was not a severe issue that plagued me. I have grown up with a small group of the same boys and girls that I am still fortunate enough to call friends. Some of my friends I've known since pre school, and in recent years have had the pleasure of being a part of their wedding day. How many people can say they've had a friend that long? I've been lucky to meet new friends along the way that love me as if they have known me since pre school and still love me all the same. There are children all over this country that fear going to school or riding a bus because ignorance is a concept that seems to be fed more than suffocated in our time. College students would prefer never to see the sunrise again than face the ramifications of a cruel "joke." I have never had to weigh my options on such a devestating level. I love and I am loved in return by wonderful friends and this is something that is invaluable. Friends are the family we get to pick and I've met all the right people to fill my second "family."

I have gifts. I have grown up in an environment in which my gifts and talents have been harvested with support and love, so they may grow versus remaining stagnant. In the last few months I have seen my life begin to point to certain directions and I realize that what I've always wanted to do is going to become not just a possibility,but a reality. None of this would be in process if it weren't for the design in which God created me and the love of the two people who made me.

I have life. Everyday that I wake up is a gift. People my age, and younger, and older, all over the country and world, are waking up today fighting for their lives, both figuratively and literally. People are being diagnosed with hateful diseases that attack their bodies, people are losing their lives at someone else's hands, people are taking their last breath to go meet their prize. But I am here; alive, awake, and hungry for what the day will bring me. God put me here for a reason and everyday that I rise is another chance to fulfill that purpose and destiny written within the fabric of my soul.

So not just today or this month, but everyday and every month, I vow to be aware of the people around me, realize the luxuries and rights I have, and understand that it can all be taken from me in an instant. I will make an exerted effort to list the reasons I am thankful and to bring joy to those around me so that they may be thankful, too, because Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.
So go give someone a gift, yell why you are thankful, and celebrate. . . 'cause life? It's too short to do anything else.

What are you thankful for?

-Stephi D.

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