November 21, 2013

I AM THANKFUL FOR...

I recently saw a billboard that said, "Go ahead, have it all," and it made me think about our culture's obsession with things.  What exactly does it mean to "have it all"; what is "it"?  A life filled with big homes, fancy cars and designer labels?  Our society has become so materialistic and it seems like the more we have, the more we want; an insatiable appetite for ... stuff.  I myself am guilty of this, too.  I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a Target for shampoo, and walked out with shampoo, new PJs (as if I'm lacking any), red heels (because they're on sale), dishes for the house (because these have a hint of gold and I don't have gold), and Jenga (because ...?).  The only thing I actually needed was the shampoo, but somewhere within those Target aisles I made the decision that I "needed" the other items that made their way into my red cart.  But I didn't need these things; I wanted them.

This year, my last birthday as a twenty-something falls on Thanksgiving.  With the holiday a week away, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I already have that makes me thankful.  My challenge to myself was to create a list of 29 things for which I am thankful.  Here we go:
  1. I am thankful for having heard the Word of God, which makes me a Believer.  
  2. I am thankful for my husband.  Everyday I wonder how I got so lucky, and how the hell he chose me.  He's definitely my better half; God hooked me up.
  3. I am thankful for my family and their unfailing love.  Please don't ever take your family for granted, as some people are truly alone in this world.  If you have family, spend time with them; love them; cherish them.  Remember that your time together is limited.
  4. I am thankful for my health.  Another one we take for granted.  If you've spent any time in a hospital, you'll have a deeper appreciation for this.  Take care of your body.
  5. I am thankful for the ability to see.  The world is a beautiful place, and I am thankful that I have been blessed with eyes to see it.  If you're reading this post, be thankful.
  6. I am thankful for the ability to hear.  To hear the sound of music, the voices of my loved ones and children's laughter.  The world is full of beautiful sounds.
  7. I am thankful for my country and the freedom it provides me.  My parents immigrated here from Egypt where freedom is a foreign concept.  I can't imagine what my life would be like if they never left.
  8. I am thankful for my education.  In this country, education does take you far. It doesn't matter where you came from; if you work hard and educate yourself, you can become whoever you want to be.
  9. I am thankful for my grocery store.  This sounds random, I know, but for some reason whenever I'm in the grocery store I think of how lucky I am to be able to walk into a store and have plentiful amounts of fresh food available to me.  There are parts of the world that do not have this luxury.
  10. I am thankful for the easy access I have to fresh, clean water.
  11. I am thankful for the roof over my head.
  12. I am thankful for being gainfully employed.
  13. I am thankful for the friendships I have developed over the course of my life.
  14. I am thankful for having done some traveling.  While there are still many parts of the world I have yet to see, I am thankful for those which I have seen.
  15. I am thankful for having healthy limbs that allow me to freely move about.
  16. I am thankful for our paved roads.  This sounds like a dumb one, but if you've ever been to a third-world country, you'll know what I'm talking about.
  17. I am thankful for access to a healthcare system.  All political debate aside, we are lucky here in the U.S. to have access to some of the best doctors in the world.
  18. I am thankful for having a mode of transportation that allows me to go where I need/want to go.
  19. I am thankful for having the ability to take care of myself.  Some people depend on others for life's basic activities.  If you are able, you are lucky.
  20. I am thankful for having access to recreational activities.  Some parts of the world are so repressed that such activities are non-existent.  
  21. I am thankful for having access to modes of entertainment.
  22. I am thankful for having the ability to exercise.  Not gonna lie, it's not my favorite thing to do, but I am able; and for that, I am thankful. 
  23. I am thankful for having had a childhood where we actually played outside.
  24. I am thankful for affordable access to clothing.
  25. I am thankful for my parents' investment in my braces.  My teeth were BUST-ED.
  26. I am thankful for my parents having taught me to work hard; life isn't easy.
  27. I am thankful for my strict upbringing.  While I certainly hated it at the time, I now appreciate the morals that my parents instilled in me.
  28. I am thankful for my parents making me put my education first.
  29. I am simply thankful for today.  I know we tend to complain about getting older, but I try to think of every year as a blessing.  Some people don't get too many years, so cherish each one.  
So there's my list.  It did get harder to think of things at about number 20, but this goes to show that there is always something to be thankful for.  Thank God for all that you have today.

What are you thankful for?


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