Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reason #6 – I have a lot of things to be thankful for

I’m not intensely connected to Thanksgiving as a holiday. To be honest, turkey is far from my favorite food, although I enjoy it. And I’m just about to eat a Thanksgiving meal for the second time in one week. But no one feels sorry for me, and I truly can’t feel sorry for myself. It will be great. So, in the spirit of all of this gluttonous feasting, I want to recognize the abundance that has been poured out upon me from the Lord over this past year. So here are the things I am most thankful for:

I am thankful for God’s hand in my life. I would be lost without the guidance He gives me daily, even when I least deserve it.

I am thankful for family.

I am thankful for friendships; especially for best friends that live right around the corner and can show up my most desperate moments whether I ask them to or not.

I am thankful for the bond that we build with others, sometimes complete strangers, that show we are all one as a human race, just facing the fierce storms of life side by side.

I am thankful for my own special someone, regardless of our circumstances.

I am thankful for a place to call my own; I love my little sanctuary where I can close the door on the rest of the crazy world and just be me.

I am thankful for those that have shown me what it means to love someone else, and have opened up and allowed me to love them.

I am thankful for a good job, and an amazing boss who takes good care of me.

I am thankful to be healthy.

I’m thankful for lessons learned the hard way, because I don’t have to learn them twice.

I’m thankful that I have only had to scrape snow off my car twice so far this year (even if others aren’t so excited about the lack of snow).

I’m thankful that I got an A- in my stats class, even if I didn’t deserve it.

Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior and the Gospel, without which I can’t imagine where I would be.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reason #5 - I can accept change

I should have been in bed at least an hour ago as I've finally finished all my homework, but I felt I needed the cathartic release of letting my thoughts find a home outside of myself. Besides, my good friend Maren just gave me a hard time because I am TERRIBLE at posting. I made a promise to her that I would start updating regularly.

I sat with a good friend last night and held her while we cried together and talked about growing pains. I was remembering tonight the first time I made my way home from my student/waitress life in Provo for just a night of respite and some comfort found at home, only to discover that my parents house was torn apart for remodeling, and everyone was moving 100 mph at their own pace doing their own thing. Not only was home not feeling so "homey", but no one seemed to have time to sit down and listen to all of my stress and frustrations. I left that night feeling empty, and lost. The one place I thought I could find comfort temporarily didn't exist.

I also remember clearly the night I prepared for my one and only hospital stay, and how my mother sat on my floor with her knees tucked under her nightgown trembling in despair because life seemed to be falling apart and she wasn't sure she could handle it. I found myself calmly reassuring her that I would be fine, and that the rest of her concerns would all be resolved in time. I was the epitomy of calm and collected despite my predicament, while she could only stand helplessly by and hope things would all turn out okay.

I also remember sitting in the temple watching my cousin Wes sit across the altar from his new bride and commit to her for eternity. And a little piece of my youth died, because the last of the days on the ranch were fading away. Even though we are both far from those days of riding around the mountains for hours in a day, creating mischief because no one else was there to be the troublemakers, and talking until 4am about life and our dreams and fears... I knew the last of those that shared those days with me are married or gone to the next life.

As I look at the black and white of my thoughts the perception of them could be sadness and loss. But as I listened to my dear friend talk of her struggle with change last night I realized that I treasure all of these experiences no matter the emotions that came with them as deeply as I treasure the comforts and joys of my life. It is through the changes I've endured that I've grown and I've become. Our lives are beautiful no matter the occasion, and our experience is invaluable.

I am learning how to treasure every moment I have with those I love regardless of my expectation in the outcome. I know that tomorrow may not bring my heart's desires, but with its sometimes demanding expectations, I know I learn new truth and deeper fulfillment as I accept the will of God in my life, and love the life I have, not hurt from the loss of the life I thought I wanted.