I’m so thankful for…

Girlfriends! I'm so thankful for the women in my life who love us unconditionally, who speak truth into our lives, and who always show up, no questions asked. I don't know where we'd be without our ride or die sisters!

Girlfriends! I’m so thankful for the women in my life who love us unconditionally, who speak truth into our lives, and who always show up, no questions asked. I don’t know where we’d be without our ride or die sisters!

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Coffee! Warm soy lattes are so comforting. The creamy warmth. The heavenly aroma. I’m so thankful for the little moments of peace a steaming cup of coffee provides.

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Grace. I’m so thankful for the truths that God allows to be brought to light. I’m thankful that I can rest knowing that He can bring good from bad, that He provides safe places to fall, and that His steady arms will always keep us afloat.

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Kindergarten! Wow, I was a hot mess in the months leading up to this child stepping foot into her Kinder classroom. I obsessed about everything, from her teacher’s educational philosophy to what if I packed the wrong thing for lunch and kids made fun of her. I was a wreck. I’m so thankful for the wisdom and comfort I received from veteran mommas, as well as for my mom, my sister, and my girlfriends who helped us get prepared and who saw us through that nerve wracking transition. Now almost three months in, I’m beyond thankful for her teacher, a true answer to prayer! This woman nurtures my little human’s strong will and positively uplifts each child in her classroom.

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Voice. I’m so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had to participate in challenges that raise money and awareness for women and children in crisis. As a single mommma and teacher, I don’t always have as much money as I’d like to donate to those in need, but I’m grateful that there are meaningful and different ways to serve others.

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Nephews! I’m so thankful for the hunky chunk of love that my sister and brother-in-law brought into this world. This family of nearly all girls needed this precious boy heart.

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Diversity. I’m so thankful to have people in my life of different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths. I’m grateful that as my heart seeks to understand and love those who are different from me, so does my daughter’s. Learning to face our inherent biases and to recognize that differences do not subtract from us, but rather add to us, is a journey that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for those who have shown that when we stop being afraid or defensive, there’s plenty of room at the table for us all.

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Schnoodle. I’m so thankful for this crazy, neurotic ball of fur. She is our ferocious protector, a trash scavenger, a bird chaser, a car sick passenger, a sweet cuddle bug, a wannabe lap dog, and a hilarious conversationalist. She is family.

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ESL. I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to teach ESL in different parts of the world. It wasn’t until coming home and joining a sheltered instruction program that I experienced the true impact that the English language can make in someone’s life. I’m forever grateful for the beautiful hearts that I have the privilege to work with, for the stories they share, and for the humanity they spread. I’m thankful for the humility with which these young people and their families seek what we all desire- safety, love, family, education, work- teaching me about grace and love each day.

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Food! Oh my goodness, how we love to eat in my family! I’m so beyond thankful for the fun we have with food. I love that we have friends and family who love to try new bites in unusual, strange and various forms. I’m grateful that those closest to us lovingly understand that we quickly disintegrate into hot messes if we get too hungry. I’m so thankful that we eat for fun, that we eat for comfort, and that we also eat to keep our immune systems fierce. Food equals love in this home.

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Family! I’m so thankful for the funny, patient, kind, and generous hearts of the people that make up our “no shamey” family circle. I’m so thankful for grandparents, parents, and sisters that laugh easily, defend loudly, and pray fervently.

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Immigrants. I’m so thankful for the multi-cultural perspectives in my life. I’m thankful for what these young minds teach me about the world and how they challenge misguided assumptions. I’m thankful that they share their hugs, their jokes, their light bulb moments, and their resilient spirits. I may be teaching them English, but they are teaching me about different points of view and communities, and for that I’m truly grateful.

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Ice cream with sprinkles. Can’t get enough. Speaks for itself. So thankful.

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Girl time! I’m so thankful for my mom, sister, and sister friends that make the effort to spend time with this momma/little girl duo however we can…and for those grown up only moments when we’re able to check out and just be girls! So grateful for the shared laughs, tears, and encouragement.

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My daughter. I’m so thankful for this firecracker, this whimsical storyteller, this body paint artist, this barefoot wanderer, this keen observer, this obsessive reader, this question asker, this people empathethizer. For this child, from the depths of my soul, I’m forever thankful.

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Colleagues! I’m so thankful for the genuine and uplifting people that I work with. I have met some of the most interesting, big hearted, and inquisitive people through my work, and I’m so grateful that I get to work with people who desire to do good in this world.  As God continues to push me out of my comfort zone, my heart grows more raw, and I’m so thankful for the lessons He is teaching me about truly seeing those who are different from me.

A couple of weeks ago I challenged my students to write down what they were thankful for and I did the same. Remembering what we valued most during this season was healing and affirming. Comment with what you’re thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

 

 

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