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November 26, 2015

Today is Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks for the good things in our lives.  I woke up feeling grateful for the usual stuff: family, friends, health, etc.  The things I sometimes take for granted but know are real blessings.

I feel like I always try to have a grateful heart and appreciate the good people and experiences in my life, but today I also spent some time thinking about the not-so-obvious things I have to be grateful for.  The things many people will never have or experience.

I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about my children starving.  That I can go to a grocery store and spend money that I have to purchase sustenance for my family.  That I don’t have to watch my children waste away and feel helpless to do anything about it.

I’m thankful I can turn on a faucet and get a glass of clean water to drink.  That if my kids tell me they’re thirsty, I can provide them with safe, life-giving water with virtually no effort on my part.

I’m thankful that war and violence are not a direct part of our daily lives.  That I don’t have to worry about my children playing outside and catching a stray bullet.  That I don’t have to wonder if men with machine guns will break down our door at any time to drag us from our home.  I’m thankful I don’t have to flee my hometown in fear for my children’s lives and place our family in peril to escape an immediate threat.

I’m thankful I don’t have to sit down with my son and explain to him how he should act in front of law enforcement in order to avoid being shot.  I’m thankful I don’t have to instruct my daughter on how to avoid looking suspicious when she boards an airplane.

I’m thankful that I live in a country where I can speak my mind and vote for a leader.  I’m thankful that I can choose my religion (or choose not to believe) and not be persecuted for it, that I can marry who I love and raise a family with that person.

I’m thankful that I can do what I see fit for my own body, and that my daughter can one day do the same.  I’m thankful that we have the same opportunities and rights as the men in our life.

I’m thankful that I had an education provided for me and that my children have the same.  I’m thankful they can readily absorb what is presented to them because they aren’t distracted by hunger or fear.

I’m thankful that my children are healthy, but also that we have access to quality health care and life-saving medical treatment if (God forbid) they weren’t.  I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry that an abscessed tooth will kill them, or a disease that could easily be prevented with vaccinations.

Today I am thankful for the beautiful, bountiful blessings in my life.  But I’m also thankful for the ones I don’t have to think about, because that is what makes me truly blessed.


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