5 Reasons I'm Thankful For My Immigrant Parents

5 Reasons I'm Thankful For My Immigrant Parents

2. You taught me to work hard -- no excuses.
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My immigrant parents,

Thank you. I know it hasn’t been easy trying to raise me in a new country with a new culture, but that didn’t stop you from taking on the challenge. You constantly put my needs in front of your own to make sure that I succeeded in the America envisioned as full of opportunities. Without your sacrifices, I would not be anything near who I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful.

In my 18 years of life, you’ve done so much for me that it seems superficial to try and thank you for all of it in one go. It would be wrong to sell all that you’ve done for me short, so I want to thank you for 5 important life examples that you, my dear immigrant parents, have taught to me.

1) You gave me a sense of worldliness and a depth of understanding about culture.

As a child I never grew up wondering if there was more out there, I knew. I was never led to believe that the world was small. I was raised to understand that there were many cultures, languages, countries, and religions out there, and you raised me to respect them all. Lumping the rest of the world together as “other” wasn’t an option, and you gave up a lot so that I could experience this wonderful worldview. Thank you for ridding me of my ignorance early on and making sure I was a member of a global community. Thank you for helping me appreciate and understand the different kinds of people early on that now it’s just natural. And thank you for teaching me about my culture so I understood where I came from. Though I may not have embraced everything from my heritage, I was always given the opportunity to be an active member of our culture. I can’t imagine having grown up without special holidays, loud cultural gatherings, and ethnic food.


2) You taught me to work hard--no excuses.

Watching you work hard every single day after you gave so much up or put in so much effort to reach where you are was an inspiration. I may not have commented on it or may have taken all that you did for granted, but through your work ethic ingrained the importance of one in me. You never let me make excuses for bad grades, unmade beds, or unfolded laundry. You showed me that I should put effort into everything I do and work my hardest to achieve my goals. Subpar effort was never okay. Thank you for breaking me of these bad habits early on. I may have complained, cried, and done every obnoxious teenage thing in the book, but I’m better because of it, and I cannot imagine my life had I not been pushed to do my best every single day.


3) You were a good example of selflessness.

You didn’t complain. You guys had a hard life, and you gave up even more to get our entire family to where it is today. But you never threw that in our faces when we were ungrateful. You never made me feel lesser for not having gone through that struggle. You did everything in your power to give me what everyone else had because you felt I deserved it, even though it was you who had the harder childhood. You never asked me to do anything but to work hard in school and to be respectful. I want to say thank you for being true emblems of selfishness. You always put my needs first, even after all that you sacrificed.


4) You taught me that not being like everyone else was good.

Growing up and knowing you are different is hard. But I had time to adjust. You just moved here, and you had to figure out how it all worked. Thank you for being there for me when I had a rough day. Thank you for explaining why I’m different and not making me feel bad. Thank you for not letting me “just be like everyone else,” because it seemed easier. I appreciate you letting me figure out how I wanted to fit in on my own and for not letting me completely conform. I know it was hard when being part of another culture made me feel sad and separated but you guys taught me how to navigate the situation and be proud of my heritage instead.


5) You taught me that I have it good.

As hard as being first generation American is, it is nowhere near as hard as it could have been. Seeing what you guys went through to give me a better life made me realize exactly that—I have a better life. Thank you for everything you’ve done to push me and help me succeed in my life. You always want the best for me and I hope I can do just that.

Thanks Mom and Dad. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Sincerely,

The Proud Daughter of Immigrant Parents

Cover Image Credit: TV Tropes

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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