Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today is Thanksgiving, and I think it's great that I have this chance to reflect on all the good things that have happened in my life this year. I am so blessed, and today I remember the incredible gifts of love that have changed my life for the better. My list of gratitude will be incomplete, but I think it's important for me to gather at least a partial collection of my blessings here so that I can remember some of the reasons I have to be thankful today.

Today I am thankful for:
  • My relationship with God. I've felt God's hand in my life very strongly this year, and it's been a very comforting sensation. When I've felt discouraged, God has given me strength, energy, and good cheer. He's helped me see the beauty in the world all around me and even the beauty inside myself. He's clearly answered some of my most heartfelt prayers and given me straight paths to follow.
  • My husband. I am married to a man who tells me he loves me every single day, and he says the words with a deep conviction and sincerity. He is the only person I know (apart from my parents) who is constantly overflowing with affection for me and who always believes that I am beautiful and worthwhile. Living with this kind of consistent morale-booster makes a phenomenal difference in my life, and I am so happy that I have begun to fully understand and appreciate this year the gifts that my husband gives me every day.
  • My family members. My parents may actually be my biggest fans. I have had special conversations with them this year that I might not have believed possible a year ago. They are such wonderful emotional and spiritual resources to me. I also really appreciate how special it is to have a sister who is also my friend. The more I reconnect with my family, both close and extended, the more I realize what a valuable resource they are. I am happy that technology like phones, e-mail, and Facebook allows me to have contact with my relatives who live far away from me. 
  • My friends. I'm not exactly a social butterfly, but I really do have a lot of friends. I reaffirmed some relationships this year and celebrated the birth of some new ones. I have so many people in my life who care about me, spend time with me, and connect with me on a personal level. I can't even convey how much that means to me. I am the sort of person who fears being alone, but I so rarely feel isolated anymore because I have so many wonderful people in my life. Each one of you is a special gift from God, and I love you so much.
  • My church. I have never felt so connected to the Body of Christ as I do today. I have often struggled to fit into faith communities, but I finally feel like I belong. I go to church with so many wonderful, welcoming, spiritual people, and I love being among them. This year I really started to appreciate what it means to be part of such a loving and supportive faith community, and I'm thankful for that. 
  • Financial security. My husband and I don't have much in the way of savings, and we've got a mortgage and student loan debt to pay. Still, we don't have any credit card debt, we both have stable jobs, and we haven't missed any payments or had to do without any essentials this year. I feel so blessed to be able to provide for my needs and downright privileged to be in a position to increase our charitable contributions for 2010. I have a comfortable home, nutritious and tasty food, a reliable vehicle, and attractive clothes, and I feel really lucky to have all of that.
  • My health. I am young and healthy, and after losing more than 50 pounds this year, I'm in the best shape of my life! I feel wonderful, and I really enjoy being able to do physical activities that used to be much more difficult for me. I am so grateful for the doctors, dieticians, and personal trainer who helped me get in shape. It's such a relief to know that I am at a low risk for most potential medical problems.
  • Special experiences. This year I did a lot of fun things. I watched one of my favorite films of the year in a beautiful theater where they served food during the movie. I sang karaoke for the first time in five years. I ate chocolate chip pancakes once. I sang and played beautiful music throughout the year. I passed the Adult Basic 1 ice skating test. I learned to contra dance. I went to a dog park for the first time. I hosted a Back to the Future marathon with my friends. I visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I saw Harry Potter: The Exhibition. I participated in a musical. I attended a beautiful and intimate St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert. I discovered how fun it can be to shop in consignment stores. I hiked down to a waterfall with my mom and sister and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I discovered new books, movies, and music. I laughed and cried with people I love.
  • Lessons learned. I've learned a lot about love, faith, and relationships this year. I'm grateful to have this blog as a space to document some of those lessons. I've also picked up new practical and professional skills and completed a variety of projects. I'm grateful for all the opportunities I've had to grow this year.
All in all it's been a really great year, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope I get a chance to share my joy with those around me today and in the days to come.


    Anonymous said...
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    Kelly said...

    I'm thankful for you, Kayla. More than I can ever say and in more ways than I can count.

    I love you sister, always.

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