Giving Thanks every day of the year

I read this saying a couple of years ago and it is something that has stayed with me. There are so many things in this world that I take for granted and reading this really made me think about what I would do without all of the things that I have been blessed with. Even the small things. My daughter and I often pray together and I reference this saying when teaching her the importance of showing appreciation and giving thanks for what He has given us. I know praying isn't for everyone, but everyone should reflect on their lives and, in whatever way they choose, give thanks and be thankful.

As Thanksgiving approaches my social media feeds fill up with posts from friends and family members sharing what they are most thankful for. Reading their posts puts a smile on my face. Some of the things I read are funny, some are sweet, some pull at my heartstrings and some make me want to be a better person. Remember though that appreciating the things you have been given and giving thanks for the people, things, experiences, memories and lives we have shouldn't just happen once a year. Remember to be thankful every day. One day you might wake up without the blessings you had yesterday. Never take anything for granted. 

This year I have so many things to be thankful for. We've had both a wonderful year, and a somewhat difficult year. It is hard, in the midst of things not going our way, to not get bogged down with negative thoughts. A few times I had to step back and truly examine my life from an outsiders perspective and remember that I have an incredibly wonderful life. Things might not always happen the way I want them to, but I believe everything happens for a reason.

This holiday season I encourage each of you to tell those around you why you are thankful for them. Let them know how much they mean to you and what it is about them that makes you feel so blessed to have them in your life. Give to those less fortunate. Whether it's buying a stranger a cup of coffee, volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen, buying a toy for a child who might not otherwise get one or donating food and clothes to those in need, do something nice for someone who might not have as much as you. Another thing I've read somewhere is that those with less are usually the first to give. I've witnessed this first hand. It is easy to help others and the outcome is so rewarding. You might just become the very thing they thank God for at night. 
Ashley Elizabeth

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