Welcome back to Thankful Thursdays. I hope you'll all continue to come by and meet all of the amazing people I'm planning on introducing you to.
I'd like for you to meet Theresa. Theresa is a new blogger who is someone I know IRL (in real life). Which pretty much means we knew one another long before blogging existed in our worlds. Please join me in welcoming her to my site.
It's November now and you know what means. It's time to be thankful. Time to share in a festive holiday meal toward the end of the month and reflect on our blessings. But my question is why do we attach thankfulness to November? What does it really mean, this whole thankfulness thing?
One thing I have learned the past number of years is that reasons to be thankful come at all times of the year, in all sorts of circumstances, and in all kinds of ways. I have reflected on this a great deal and I can only share what I, myself, have learned.
I am thankful for the basic necessities that I've been blessed with... a roof over my head, heat, hot water, plumbing, food to eat and clean water to drink. I have a family to love, who loves me. These are all things that are easy to take for granted. I realize that there are many parts of the world, including my own country, where this is not so, and that is a sobering, humbling fact.
I am thankful that I get to work with some amazing people at a preschool filled with sweet, energetic, precious children. I am thankful that I love my job. I know that many people do not get to say that. I am thankful that my husband is a decent, hardworking man, that he is able to provide for us and I was blessed with the choice to be a stay at home mom for 18 years. I am thankful that I have my health and the opportunity to become fit and strong, and grateful for the chance to help others achieve the same as a Beachbody coach.
I'm thankful for the rain and the grey skies because I know how precious a resource our water is and not all areas get enough, and not having sun in my eyes when driving is a huge blessing! Without rain, we can't see the beauty of rainbows when the sun comes back.
I am thankful that I live where I can worship and be open about my faith, especially when I think about the violence and persecution that is rampant in so many other parts of the world. Thankful that our incredible military makes so many sacrifices to ensure our freedoms.
When I think about it, the freedoms I enjoy and the life I have are tremendous blessings. It is easy at times to forget that so many others in the world do not have these privileges, and if I complain about circumstances that pop up in my life from time to time, it belittles those blessings.
What I did not anticipate learning, though, is that it is possible to be thankful even in the darkest of circumstances. My sisters and I lost our mom very unexpectedly more than 3 1/2 years ago, and it was a devastating blow. We were suddenly forced to confront the reality of losing a parent, of having to plan a funeral, clean out 2 houses, help our step-dad find a new place to live, get him moved, sell both houses, become caregivers at a time we were never prepared to do. But what I learned in that is how much love I found within the haze of grief. We banded together and found a strength I never knew we had. A strength to do the unthinkable.
And I am so thankful I did not have to do any of that alone.
I am thankful for the kindness and the love and the prayers that surrounded me on those dark days. The weeks leading up to the service. The first Mother's Day without our mom, only three days after her funeral. Every Mother's Day since then. Mom's birthday. Every holiday and birthday spent without her. I am thankful for being able to push through the days I'd like to forget. Thankful for every hug, every kind word, every prayer. They encourage me to persevere.
I am thankful for every day, no matter what it throws at me, because it is a gift. Another chance to get it right, to love on and encourage others. Gratitude isn't just a feeling, it's a superpower. Showing gratitude toward others can change another person's life. Sometimes it's clear how, and sometimes you never truly know. That is why I make a point of saying thank you to as many people as I can. You just never know when saying those two words to someone can turn their entire day around. Whether it is thanking that young kid who bagged your groceries, or that person who waits on you at a restaurant, a bank, or the post office. It all matters. Because WE all matter. And I am convinced the more we show love and thankfulness toward the people we encounter, the better our world will become. Gratitude is the superpower we all possess, and we are capable of doing powerful, wonderful things with it. If only we used it more.
So what are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for?
With love and blessings,
Theresa is a wife, mom (to three children), rabid sports fan, preschool teacher and independent Beachbody coach. She loves fitness and has begun to share her journey of working on making her body healthier and stronger through clean eating and working out over at her blog, Faith + Fitness = Freedom. She also enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and crafting in various ways. You can find her on Facebook, as well, so please feel free to stop by and tell her I sent you.