Although it's hard for me to believe that it is the week of Thanksgiving considering I am still wearing short sleeve T-shirts and sandals, my mind has been busy reflecting on what I am truly grateful for in my life, and I came up with two things:
1. I have amazing friends, both near and far. I have been blessed with so many amazing experiences in my lifetime. From Minnesota to Idaho, Hawaii to China, Cleveland to Utah, and finally Taiwan, I have met amazing people, and while I may have complained my way through far too many of my experiences, I am always left with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for every person who has touched my life. Some may have just been in my life for a couple pages, and other people's stories might be interlaced throughout many chapters. In this season of gratitude my heart is overflowing with love for the people who have welcomed me with open arms and embraced me for who I am.
I feel extremely blessed to have friends that have supported me while I have made this scary life decision to move to Taiwan. There is absolutely no way I would have made it through this year with out this girl. She is a rock and I love her like a sister. I miss her everyday. She will forever have a place in my heart. I am so grateful that she came into my life 5 years ago and hasn't left.
I am also grateful for these guys. Ben and Adam have known me for 7 years and they still keep me around. I am grateful for their protectiveness and making sure that I am always taken care of, I wouldn't have made it through Salt Lake without them. I feel so blessed to have them in my life and I miss them dearly.
2. Religion is not a topic I am often very vocal about. I have spent the last couple years trying to figure out what I truly believe and how I want to live my life in terms of religion. This self discovery manifested itself in many ways from rebelliousness to bitterness to acceptance. I finally feel like I understand what God wants and expects from me in my life. It is with this understanding that I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed me in so many countless ways. I know that He is mindful of me and the challenges I face on a daily basis. I am grateful for a Savior that endured a painful, excruciating crucifixion for a sinner like me. I am grateful the enabling power of the atonement, as the strength it gives me to endure the ups and downs in life. Most of all I am grateful for the love and comfort my Savior has given me as I have gone through many painful experiences and the blessings He has given me throughout my life.
This photo by Liz Lemon Swindle and accompanying story of Peter walking on water is one of my favorite examples of the love the Savior has for each one of his children. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and the knowledge I have of Heavenly Fathers plan of salvation.