What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For?

Hopefully a lot

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like the food of course, but mostly I like the fact that it’s about family and, as the name suggests, giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for, and it’s far too easy to take those things for granted. I forget how blessed I am all the time. Thanksgiving is a good reminder of that, so, without further ado, here are some of the things I am most thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my family in general. They are all incredible. More specifically, I am thankful for my parents, because they taught me how to be a good person, showed me how to live a good life, and always support me in my attempts to do those things. They exemplify strength and virtue in everything they do, and I can only hope to be a fraction of what they are. And they buy me Sour Patch Kids for my birthday even though I’m an adult.

I’m thankful for my siblings. They are hilarious, smart, kind, and always there for me. I cannot imagine anyone better. They’ve been around my whole life, and I have no idea who I would be without them. Even if I am the only one out of the four of us that cannot sing, well, I can live with that.

I’m thankful for my friends because they’ve got my back no matter what happens. They put up with my quirks and weirdness without any sort of familial obligation. They tolerate my loud music and stupid jokes. Plus they like similar movies which is cool too.

I’m thankful for my dogs, because they’re cute and energetic and amazing. Everyone should be thankful for dogs, mine are just particularly great.

I’m thankful for my education. I’m super privileged to be able to attend the school that I do. I have great professors, great classes, and I know that I’m lucky to be there.

I’m thankful for my books, particularly my favorites, because they take to me to a place far away from reality. They make imagination and fantasy real, and they make heroic tasks and insane adventures seem possible. Also they provide a good distraction from schoolwork, so there’s that.

I’m thankful for good days, because they are a bright spot in a frequently dim world. They give me strength. And I’m thankful for bad days because they teach me how to be better, and remind me that there is a lot of work to be done. They make me stronger.

I’m thankful for my favorite Winnie-the-Pooh mug, because it’s giant and is capable of holding all sorts of delicious things. It also has cute cartoon characters on it, which is a bonus.

I’m thankful for post-it notes, because they’re awesome. They’re bright and colorful and they help me organize all the crazy things that are always happening. I don’t know who invented them, but that was genius.

By now you’re probably noticing a pattern. I’m thankful for a lot of things. A lot. Big, small, material, imaginary. I think it’s really easy to look at the world and see nothing but the bad. I do that a lot, particularly in my own life, so much so that it sometimes feels like I’ve been trained to do it. But I hate that. I refuse to accept it. The world has a lot of problems, sure, but there is so much good in it too. My life might feel like it is falling to pieces, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to be thankful for. I have so much. If I had nothing but one of the things on this list, that would be enough to be grateful. But I have all of them, and so many more I didn’t even name. My family alone is more blessing than I could ever earn or deserve in a thousand lifetimes. Everything else is just a cherry on top.

So I’m thankful this year for everything good in my life, and there’s a lot of that. And I encourage you to make a list, mental or actual, of things you are thankful for, too. Not vague stuff but specific concrete instances of blessing in your life. It’s worth remembering how much you have going for you.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Forget The Beach, Do These Things Instead

These 25 thing won't break your bank this summer.


When you think of summertime you think of the beach. Going to the beach usually involves a lot of driving and necessary spending. These 25 activities are perfect for summer and will not break your bank.

1. Take A Walk.


As simple as it sounds, take a walk. Walk around your town or neighborhood; you'll be amazed at all of the little things you normally miss whenever you're driving by.

2. Have A Picnic.

Nothing says summer like a picnic. It can be at your local park or even in your backyard; just don't forget the watermelon!

3. Roast s'mores!


Everyone loves a good s'more, and the nostalgic smell of the campfire.

4. Make your own ice cream.

Ice cream is the perfect sweet treat to cool down on the hot summer day, but it can also break your budget. Homemade ice cream is fun, delicious, and will not hurt your wallet.

Here is a sweet recipe!

5. Blow bubbles.


I mean come on, who doesn't love blowing bubbles.

6. Watch the clouds


Whenever you're having a stressful or sad day grab a blanket and head outside and watch the clouds blow by. Make a game out of how many different shapes you can identify.

7. Pick some berries.


Find a local strawberry or blueberry field that allows customers to pick their own berries, it is a lot more fun than it sounds trust me.

8. Go to a minor league baseball game.

Hot dogs, ice cream, and fun memories are all to be had at a local baseball game.

9. Go to a parade.

Your town or a neighboring town most likely has a holiday parade on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or labor day. Go to these parades, you'll get to see all of the local youth organizations, support your community, and maybe even get some candy thrown your way.

10. Watch the fireworks.

Really watch the fireworks, don't try to take pictures that will come out blurry. Live in the moment.

11. Watch the sunrise

It may involve an earlier bedtime the night before, but it will be worth it.

12. Watch the sunset.

Megan Adair

13. Make a slip & slide


Tarp+water+soap=endless fun

14. Paint with bubbles.


This takes blowing bubbles to a whole new level. Add your favorite colors of food coloring to your bubbles grab a piece of paper and blow onto the paper; you'll come away with a masterpiece.

15. Make a bird feeder.

Give back to mother nature by building a bird feeder.

16. Catch lightning bugs.



17. Build a fort.


Let's be real, everybody loves a good fort.

18. Tye-Dye something.

Shirt, socks, blankets, it doesn't matter what it is as long as you have fun.

19. Read.


Go to a local bookstore, run your fingers along the spines of all the books and pick the one that calls to you.

20. Color with chalk.


Unleash your inner artist on your driveway and/or sidewalk.

21. Pick up litter.

Go outside and help clean mother earth, it will not only benefit you but everybody around you as well.

22. Have an absolutely epic water gun battle.

Swim Pool Boy Water Swimming Summer Water Gun


Grab your friend, enemy, kid, neighbor, parents, whoever you can find and challenge them to a water gun battle.

23. Go camping.

Get back into nature in your backyard, or at a free campsite.

24. Volunteer.


Many of us have extra time in the summer so volunteer your time in your community!

(Dog walking at the local animal shelter is always a great choice)

25. Find joy.


Find what makes you happy, and never stop doing it.

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