Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches I like to take some time to remember the things that I have in my life and my days that I am thankful for.  At dinner yesterday Brad and I started a little tradition where we talked about what we were thankful for and also something that brightened our days.  There is so much negative in the world, in the media and in our personal lives, and I think it is important to take time to reflect on the good things.  We get so caught up in what's going wrong that we fail to think about what's going right. 

Some of the good in my life is: my amazing husband who would do anything for me, my family who are always there when I need them, my pets who never fail to make me smile, my friends who always know the right things to say...

Things that I am thankful for: I have a wonderful family, a home, all the things I want and need in that home, I have a job, cars, the ability to go to school and the fact that I am doing well...

There are some people out there who have none of those things.  I might not always like what I've got, but at least I have it.  

Working for Catholic Charities has really opened my eyes to the devestation some people out there are experiencing.  People who are our neighbors.  Even before the economy tanked, there were people out there who couldn't afford the gas to make it to a job interview and some who couldn't put food on the table.  As I'm sitting here, winding down from a day at work and about to begin some school work with a full belly, I think about how lucky I am and how awful it must be for those people.  What would I do if I couldn't afford my daughter's insulin medication? If I got an eviction notice or my lights turned off? I'm not sure I'd have the courage to call and ask for help and I have to commend those people for at least doing that. 

I hear people complain a lot about United States organizations collecting funds to donate to disasters in other countries.  Why help them when there are so many people here in the United States who need help? Good point, what are you doing to help? What are you doing to assist people here in the United States who are in need? I know I don't do as much as I'd like and I don't have much to give, but I'm not complaining either.  I do what I can.  I am an animal lover so Brad and I donate some money to the ASPCA.  When I hear about things on the radio, like text X to 12345 to donate $10 for this or for that, I do it.  On Veterans' Day I donated $10 to Fisher House, an organization that houses the family members of military members who are stuck in military hospitals away from home.  When Haiti had the earthquake, I donated $10 to the Red Cross to go towards their relief efforts.  Just by texting.  It's not hard and it just got added to my bill.  $10 isn't a lot of money, but it's something.  Especially to someone who doesn't have it.  We easily spend $10 on a night out at the movies, more if you go out with a group or get snacks. 

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  Corinthians 9:6-7

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