The ABC’s of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans! It’s time to stuff ourselves with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and of course…pumpkin pie! What a wonderful holiday we get to celebrate, yet every year it gets overtaken by the consumer-hungry day that follows, also known as “Black Friday”. America is funny. We’re funny, because there is a day filled with fighting over material possessions to purchase with money we don’t have, exactly 1 day after a day spent giving thanks for what we have. Contradict, much?

I’d like to take this time to say what I’m thankful for, Sesame Street style. Here goes:

  • A- Apartment. I’m blessed to get to come home to a warm/cool apartment (depending on the season) every day. It may be small, but it’s all we need for now. Thankful for my comfortable bed I get to lay in every night with my sweet husband.
  • B- Bible. Thankful for God’s Word and the guidance He has gives us through it. Many take it for granted, but I am so thankful I can read my bible without worrying if I’m going to be arrested for doing so. I love digging into scripture and learning more about my faith and strengthening my relationship with the Lord.
  • C- Creation. Of course this is an obvious one. I’m thankful that the Lord created me. I’m thankful for his beautiful creation, such as people, animals and nature. I stand in awe when I see a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous mountain range, because it shows how big our God is!
  • D- Dad. I’m so thankful for my dad and how hard he worked to provide for our family. He spent a lot of time away from us growing up, but I appreciate that now more than ever. I’m thankful for his sacrifice for us. Thankful that he raised our family in a church and showed my sister and I what it means to be in a Godly marriage. Thankful for their 30+ years (sorry, can’t remember exactly how many!) of marriage.
  • E- Employment. I am beyond thankful that I was able to find a job straight out of college. It may not be exactly what I saw myself doing, but I love my job. I love my boss, my co-workers, and our patients. Blessed to work with people who encourage me and follow similar values as me.
  • F- Freedom. Many of us Americans take our freedom for granted. I know I have at times, but I am beyond thankful for all those who have served to defend my freedom. Blessed to be able to worship the Lord without fear and have the opportunity to vote for the leader of our country.
  • G- Girlfriends. I am so blessed to have wonderful, encouraging, hilarious friends. My roommates from college have been such a blessing to my life. I am thankful to have found life-long friends in high school and college. They keep me accountable have shown me what true friendship really is.
  • H- Husband. I have the best husband in the world. I’m so blessed to be married to such a Godly, encouraging, loving man!
  • I- Indiana. I was born and raised in the great state of Indiana. Although I don’t live there anymore, I am very thankful for getting to grow up there.
  • J- Jesus Christ. So thankful for my Lord and Savior. Thankful for his never-ending love and mercy!
  • K- Kayaks. I promise I’m not just throwing this one out there because I can’t think of a word that starts with ‘K’. I really am thankful for the kayaks that my husband and I have. Kayaking is such a fun and relaxing hobby…well, it can be. I love the days in the summer that we spend paddling down the river in our kayaks, enjoying a beautiful, warm day. I love being in nature!
  • L- Love. Corny, I know, but it’s true. I’m so thankful that God has shown me what TRUE love looks like (sending his Son to die for me) and that because of  that, I can love the people in my life.
  • M- Mother. I have the most supportive and encouraging mom ever. I know everybody thinks theirs is the best, but mine seriously is! She sacrificed more than I will ever know as I was growing up and still does! I’m so thankful for her many years of sitting through countless swim meets (God bless her!), driving me all over the place for activities, and providing me with everything I needed, but not always everything I wanted (yes, I’m thankful for that looking back now!).
  • N- Nieces (and soon to have a nephew!). I have the cutest nieces in the world. My sister has to little girls and a boy on the way. Abby is 3 1/2 and Brooklyn just turned 1 in Sept. They are precious and I love spending time with them, though it’s not often due to distance. They are so smart and I love them both so much.
  • O- Ocean. I’m so thankful for getting to vacation at the beach every summer while growing up. My family was blessed to be able to do that and I loved every minute of it. I still love going to the beach when we get the chance. Not much else beats a beautiful sunset over an ocean.
  • P- Pepe le Pew. Pepe is our adorable tuxedo kitten. She has brought us so much laughter. She is a hyper-active, sweet, cuddly kitten. She does some pretty funny stuff and I’m so thankful we got her a few months ago.
  • Q- Quiet Time. I’m thankful that I have time in the morning before I leave for work to spend reading the Bible and having quiet time with the Lord. Also, it’s a blessing just to get to have solitude. So many people don’t ever get a chance to be alone and I’m thankful for the times I get to have a little silence in my life.
  • R- Running. I love to run. I am thankful for the ability to run and exercise. I have recently become a fan of running races, which motivates me to stay in shape.
  • S- Sister. My big sister means the world to me. She is more than a sister, she’s a best friend. I love her and value our relationship so much. So blessed to have been her maid of honor and have her as mine.
  • T- Technology. Though it can be a curse in so many ways, I am still very thankful for the modern technology that we have today. It is beneficial in so many ways. Things like Facebook (to stay connected or reconnect with friends and family), Skype (to see loved ones far away), and cell phones (to be able to get ahold of people when you need to). Thankful for the smart people who created these things!
  • U- United States of America. I am SO blessed to be an American citizen where I am free to believe what I want to believe and be who I want to be. I’m thankful for my country and what it stands for. Most of all, I’m thankful for the men and women who fight to defend all of those things for me.
  • V- Vaccines. This may sound random, but I am truly grateful for vaccines. When I was preparing to go to Kenya a few years ago, I was given 4 or 5 different vaccines. I was able to avoid contracting any diseases while in Africa. I am blessed to have good health. I’ve seen first-hand that so many around the world are not fortunate to have this technology. So many men, women and children in other countries don’t have the opportunity for a vaccine, therefore, making them more likely to develop diseases. SO thankful for intelligent people, working to create vaccines, such as the ones I was given and many others are given every day.
  • W- Western Kentucky University. I’m very thankful for my education and my college degree. I met life-long friends while in college (including my husband) and made some incredible memories.
  • X- X-rays. Ok, I may be pushing it with this one, but it’s one I don’t really think about often, but am thankful to have. X-rays are incredible and we are blessed to be able to have. My dad recently had to have X-rays to see if he needed surgery. The technology is incredible when you think about it. What did they do 100 years ago? Just deal with the pain, not knowing if they needed surgery or not? We are just so blessed to have this available to us today and I’m very thankful for that.
  • Y- Youth. My husband and I lead the youth group at our church. The student in the youth group have blessed our lives more than they will ever know. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve, while hopefully being a model of Christ for them. It’s encouraging to see them grow in their faith.
  • Z- Zach. Zach is my brother-in-law (married to my sister I mentioned earlier). He is a Navy SEAL and spends a lot of time away from his family. I’m thankful for him and what he has done and will do for our country. I’m thankful for the sacrifices he makes so that I can feel safe and continue enjoy my freedom. I’m thankful for ALL of our troops that fight daily for this country.

Shew, I have a LOT to be thankful for…and that’s just ONE thing per letter. I could have listed multiple things for some letters. God has blessed me in so many ways.

So, before you start listing off all of the many things you WANT this Christmas, start by listing off all of the many things you HAVE! Be GRATEFUL and give THANKS. Maybe that will change your perspective a little. 🙂

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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