In the midst of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wanted to pause and reflect on why I am thankful, as well as provide a few clever ways to give back.
I know Thanksgiving has passed, but that does not mean the time to reflect on gratitude is gone. This really should last all year round, but I know November and December are especially good for reflection, which is why I wanted to take a moment for this post. Do you ever get so caught up in comparing yourself to others that you forget your life is incredibly amazing? In fact, there are probably multiple reasons people are looking at your life comparing theirs to yours thinking they fall short. The comparison game is a sick and twisted little thing that we all unfortunately fall prey to. During this time of year especially, I think it’s important we count our blessings rather than think about what we don’t have.
As the holiday stress builds, keep in mind that this time of year can be a really hard time of year for a lot of people. Those that are alone, that have recently lost family members, everyone facing new normals. Look people in the eye and give them a hello because you never know what it could do for their day, it may be just what they need that day! I wanted to spend a bit longer pondering reasons I am thankful this year than we usually do. Typically, we list family, health, friends, and don’t think twice about it.
I tried to dig a bit deeper into what has meant the most to me this year and hope you all will do the same! Set aside 30 minutes to an hour, grab a cup of hot tea, and write out a list of what you’re thankful for, but then write out what specifically that reason means to you. Here are four reasons I am extra thankful:
I Found a Church Home
I want to shout it from a mountaintop! This was one of my New Year’s Resolutions, so clearly it has been top of mind for me and I really couldn’t be happier to announce I joined a church one month ago. It took me forever and a day a bit to find the right church because I wanted to find one that loves people the way Christ does in the Bible and encourages community (amongst so many other important qualities). I’ve grown so much in my faith since going to this church and the excitement I wake up with everyday to learn more and to spread His love is something I can’t contain!!
I Have a Great Support System
My friends and family go above and beyond to support me. From offering me advice when I don’t shut up about something pointless (basically all the time) to letting me embarrass them in public by causing a scene trying to take a pretty picture of food to sweet texts about new blog posts, the people in my life constantly make me smile and the way they love me so well is enough to make me get all mushy gushy everyday!
I’m Constantly Challenged Creatively
I feel incredibly grateful to be at a job where I am pushed creatively in a way that is completely different than with my blog. I never saw myself working in healthcare, but I still love the challenge of not only figuring out an unfamiliar industry – although it is much more familiar now 1.5 years later – but also how to tell the system’s stories in new ways. Additionally, I’m constantly pushing myself to think of new blog post ideas that will be exciting for you all as well as ways I can learn more in order to make the most of my online space. It’s thrilling how much I have learned since graduating because of my job and blog!
I am Healthy and Can Provide for Myself When I Need Medical Attention
I’d be lying if I said this one was easy for me to write. But, I AM healthy and am truly thankful to be able to support myself to see the doctors that I need to for any issues that arise. I think my frustration arises from the fact that I’m not 100 percent, but hey, that’s life. In church, they always speak about arming ourselves with the power of scripture so that no matter the doctors’ report, you PRAISE HIM. For those who don’t know, I struggle with chronic migraines, and they’ve recently pretty rough, but I am confident knowing that God’s power can conquer all and He’s with me during this frustrating season.
Ways to give back:
Truly, truly, there are countless ways to give back. You can start by volunteering and giving back at a local non-profit. I’ve mentioned how much I look forward to volunteering on Monday mornings and again, really encourage everyone to pay it forward in this way. I want to highlight ways to give back that are simple enough that you may inspire others to pay it forward as well since they aren’t costly ideas. It’s all about showing the power of God’s love!
Bake a holiday treat and give it to your neighbor
Surprise your friend with her favorite coffee order in the morning
Place water bottles and pre-packaged snacks in your car to hand out to homeless men and women when you’re at stoplights
Sign up for a race that benefits your favorite charity
Clean out your closet and donate the clothes you don’t wear anymore
Donate toys to a local toy drive – folks in North Texas, here’s a great option: https://www.cftexas.org/santas-helper
I love this time of year because everyone seems to have an extra generous spirit, which should also apply to the time you spend giving to others! How do you give back to others?
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