Days like Veteran’s Day are my favorite. They are days of reflection, days where you actually take the time from your busy life to appreciate everything that causes you to rush. They are days where we can appreciate all we have even amidst the chaos and the stress.
Waking up early to a baby? Wow! What a gift babies are! Taking a shower in the morning before work? Can you believe that we are spoiled enough to have hot water so readily available? Stuck in traffic? I can’t believe we have the luxury of automobiles. Too busy at work to eat lunch? How great it is that we have jobs and food readily available! And even if we don’t have one or more of the things listed above, it’s incredible that we live in a country where we can get the help we need when we are lacking.
Veteran’s Day. It’s a day to honor the men and women who fought with glory, and it’s held in the month where we live in gratitude. I wish we could live all days like we live today.
The men and women who have fought or died for our freedom for two and a half centuries deserve so much more than twenty-four hours. They deserve more than their meager pay, more even than all of the blessings I’ve listed above. But when I’ve spoken to veterans, what they’ve appreciated most is this:
A thank you.
So I decided to write about the things in life I am thankful for: things that I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of so many brave souls. The crazy thing about thankfulness is this: Once you start thinking about all of the ways you are fortunate, your gratitude can’t seem to stop. So I apologize if you think I’m being to grandiose in my gratitude, but truly, I’m not exaggerating.
I love my son. So much, in such a different way than I love my daughter. I love his dimpled knuckles, his rubber band wrists, the way his eyelashes spill over the top of his cheek ones when he sleeps. As a baby, I loved it when he continuously paused when nursing and smiled up at me, as if to say, “Thanks, Mom!”
Makes me want to kiss his cheeks off.
I love my daughter’s kind and caring soul. She wants everyone around her to be happy. Her ideal day would consist of someone holding her hand wherever she walked and hugging her whenever they could. She is smart and funny, a combination that always keeps us on our toes. She is in love with love. She gasps at Cinderella in her wedding dress and dances with her stuffed animals as Cinderella dances with her prince on the TV. Her heart is so genuine and caring. She’s only three, and at times her age and the drama that goes with it makes me want to scream, but the purity of her heart is unparalleled, and I wish I could be more like her.
I am so thankful to have my babies: at different times, they are a reflection of my husband, of me, of our other family members. I am so thankful God gave us them to give us a taste of how much He loves us.
I am thankful for a warm home filled with things that comfort my soul when I want to rest. Sure, part of it looks like a daycare. But that’s okay. Those toys bring comfort to my kids’ soul the same way that thick blanket slung over the couch brings comfort to mine.
I am thankful for my health and for the health of my family. Too many people I love lately have been sick. Too many. And I can only thank God that He gave us souls to not only make our bodies fight harder against sickness, but to triumph over the sickness in the end.
One of those sick people is my grandma. And it’s hard to see her health failing. It’s hard to see her prepare to leave this world, because she’s so much more to me than “just” a grandma. Last year around this time, my husband and I got to go on a double date with my grandparents. About halfway through the meal I reveled at the fact that somewhere along the way, I didn’t just respect and love them like one is supposed to love his or her grandparents. I’d grown to truly love their companionship.
They – at 89 and 93 – are my husband’s and my close friends. I’d choose to spend time with them over almost anyone else. And these people held me as an infant and saw me through my worst tantrums and awkward stages. Amazing.
I am grateful for my friends, who I’ve collected into my own selective family over the years. My closest friends are such amazing servants of God. They love me, give me grace, at times even stumble with me, but they always push me to be a better reflection of Christ. I am proud of them and what each unique person is, and I always try to be more like them, a better servant to God and less of a slave to the world.
There are so, so many other things for me to be thankful for: my faith, my husband, my relationship with Christ, my job, my other family members, my things, my students, my freedom, my…, my…, my…
Both the most wonderful thing about days like today is the certainty that those can be written about another day. I have the safety and security to know that those things will be there tomorrow and the next day. Amazing. So many people don’t.
Veterans, thank you. Thank you. Your love for our country – your love for us – is phenomenal. Thank you for giving me all of the gifts I listed above and the freedom it takes to write about it.
Thank you for sacrificing so I can relish the simple things and have too many blessings to write about in one day.
Source: Amanda Deich