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Day 18 – Bible Study

I am thankful that I am doing a Psalm 119 Bible Study 🙏🏻 with my friend Jenna who is living clear across the world in Cambodia! Doing a bible study allows me to not only be closer to Christ, but gives Jenna and I a way to stay close and encourages us to communicate almost daily 😊 And as an added bonus, it’s letting me work out some of my lingering questions and anger regarding my mom’s passing.

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Day 17 – Calligraphy

Today I am thankful for my new hobby, calligraphy. Back at the beginning of October, I took a calligraphy class at a local stationary store, Joyful Noise. Since the class, I have been practicing my skill and it sure makes giving presents and writing Christmas cards a little more exciting and festive! Plus, having a new hobby is fun; it gives me the opportunity to mentally check out from everything else and focus on something that is solely for me every couple of days.

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Day 14 – Time Off

I am thankful that I had three and a half months off last year between jobs. Don’t get me wrong, it was oh so stressful when it was happening and I didn’t know how we’d pay all our bills, but in hindsight I learned a lot of lessons during that time. It gave me time to relax, rest and focus on myself. I was able to realize that I am worth more than I give myself credit for. I learned the true value of friends and family. But most of all, I was able to clear my head and get back to being me. Now that I’m at a new job, I’ve got a work-life balance, and a separation of the two 😊

And while it isn’t realistic that you’ll always be able to take that type of time off, I’m quite looking forward to having 19 days off for the holidays this year!

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Day 13 – Friends

I am thankful for my friends. While family loves you, friends who love you unconditionally are even more valuable – they make a choice to have you in your life. My friends support me, pick me up and are always there for me. I especially learned this much I rely on friends this pay year. Whether it be through hoping on a plane to fly up for 36 hours just to keep me company, opening up their homes to welcome me and my state of wanderlust this year (or joining me in an adventure) or simply being there 24/7 for me to call when I just needed someone to listen, or to distract me and just occupy my time so I couldn’t think of sad things.

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Day 12 – Family

I am thankful for my family, their unconditional love and support. I am also thankful I was born into two very large families! With 16 aunts/uncles, 17 1st cousins (plus their significant others and kids) and more 2nd cousins than I can count, family is not hard to come by. With such a large family, there is always someone there for any given situation – blood really is thicker than water and family comes together for good times, and to hold you up in the not so good times. God blesses each of us with the families we are born into and from the very beginning our families are there for us. Having such a large family certainly makes the holidays festive and allows you to celebrate over and over with different groups of family. This year I have been blessed with spending a good amount of time with some family members I don’t get to see as often, but even though we may live far apart and our lives don’t give us time to see each other frequently, we pick up as if nothing has been missed (and can thank technology for keeping us close even when there are many miles between us).

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Day 11 – Backyard

Today I am thankful for the wonderful backyard Tom and I have. While it may take at least a full day to do a leaf clean-up 🍂🍁, we are blessed to have ample room for sheds, a vegetable garden and fire pit, all while leaving half the yard still wide open to practice softball, play corn hole or do whatever we like. The property is large enough that we can ride our ATV or dirt bikes around it (not to mention the ATV pulls tarps of leaves so we don’t have too 😊).

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Day 10 – Plentiful Harvest

Today I am thankful for having a full freezer, pantry and fridge…and our new fridge! Every day I thank God for blessing us with enough, even more than enough. Whether it be food we grow, buy or prepare, we do not go hungry. The fact that there are people who don’t have enough to eat does not get lost on us, we donate food to the food pantry often (and don’t forget the leftovers from one of my birthday dinners). And with this blessing, we have the privilege to host dinners at our house and share meals with our friends.

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Day 9 – Communicating Worldwide

I am thankful for my iPhone, computer, iPad and all other technology that allows me to communicate with friends and family. My friends live all across the world, I literally mean spread out from Boston to Alabama to Cambodia and everywhere in between. Thanks to technology, my friends are literally at my fingertips any minute of the day. I am able to see their faces thanks to FaceTime and hear their voices, even when they are halfway around world. When we can’t figure out the time differences with our crazy schedules, we are able to stay in constant communication, with updates and advice given via email and text. It’s one thing to have Facebook or Instagram, but it’s not that personalized love you need from your best friend – but I’ve got other apps to cover that 😊