on this day of thanks and giving.

t h a n k s . . .

“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”

As I’ve spent the past couple months making lists of things I am thankful for, I have discovered the above statement to be true. The more I am aware of the abundance of blessings in my life, the more I feel happy with my life. It isn’t until you really stop to look around and count your blessings that you realize just how fortunate you are. It’s not just the pretty things that I’m thankful for, but also, the mess. Dirty dishes in the dishwasher means I’ve had a large meal. Crumbs on the floor mean I’ve had food to eat. Piles of laundry mean I have clothes to wear. A dirty house means I have a place to live. Messy sheets mean I have a bed to sleep in. Millions of people don’t even have their basic needs met. I am so, so blessed. So are you. Today, I am incredibly grateful.

g i v i n g . . .

In the past couple weeks, I’ve started volunteering at the food pantry through my church. This week, the line of families waiting for food was well out the door and around the building. Since it is Thanksgiving, it does not surprise me that this many people wanted food this week. At the same time, seeing all these people in need of food in my own community reached my heart. I am well aware that millions of people are starving around the world — we hear/read/see this information nearly daily. Yet, what about the people in our own communities? Our neighbors? Our students? Our friends? These struggles are often hidden from our eyes and yet, there are there. In the midst of sports cars, designer clothes, shopping centers, and restaurants, are many people who simply cannot afford the lifestyle. People have lost jobs and homes, medical bills pile up, and parents don’t know how they will be able to afford their children’s lunch next week. I strongly encourage you to consider reaching out to others in your community this holiday season: volunteering in food pantries, giving anonymous gifts, offering donations, buying gifts for children in need (many places work with organizations that do this), etc. The opportunities to give are never-ending.

If there are two things you can do to enrich your life, it is to consistently be grateful and never stop giving.

f o r  y o u . . .

May your day be filled with thoughts and words of joy and gratitude. May your tables have many plates of food. May your stomachs be full. May your hearts be open with love. May your eyes be open to see all the blessings in your life. May your weekend be surrounded with all the people you love and cherish.

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