Giving Thanks

As the holiday season comes upon us, we often find ourselves looking back throughout the year in wonder and awe, asking ourselves:  How did we survive this crazy journey called life?  With Thanksgiving here, we spend time with family, sharing what we are thankful for.  There are so many things we overlook throughout our daily lives, it is good to step back and reflect on the blessings that God has poured out onto us. 

A year ago, I was finishing up my first round Spike with AmeriCorps*NCCC down in Houston, TX.  I met a number of amazing individuals, discovered friendships beneath hard work and proximity, and had an experience of a lifetime.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside three separate teams and hundreds of individuals.  I give thanks to God because he gave me the strength so serve in Houston, TX, Tulsa, OK, Crown King, AZ, Williamsburg, MO, St. Louis and Joplin, MO.  These experiences helped to shape me into the man who I have become. 

I find myself thankful for the hard times of disaster response, the experiences of St. Louis and Joplin.  Looking back at the volunteers that I had the priveledge of leading and learning from, I am thankful for their individual stories of survival, of hope, of suffering, of perseverance.  They showed me what strenght really was. 

I am thankful for the leaders that stepped up to lead, my TLs, teammates and advisors that watched over us.  Although we had our differences, I learned from each one as they did their best to deal with the situation that they found themselves in.  For those that are currently leading, you are something amazing, especially after you saw what your TLs went through. 

I am thankful because I have a job that I love and enjoy.  Working with wildfire is not something that many people would consider fun, so I am thankful that you run the opposite way as the flames run through knee high grasses, shrubs and timber. 

I am thankful for the beautiful daughter of God that I have the opportunity to share this journey with. 

I am thankful for my family who has stood beside me through the thick and the thin, the good and the bad times. 

I am thankful for the struggles, because God gave me the strength to get through. 

I am thankful for the paths that I have crossed, all the lives that I’ve been affected by and the opportunities to share the journey with others. 

I am thankful for each breath that I breath because I know that each one could be my last. 

I am thankful for so much, it cannot begin to be put into words.  For each moment.  Each opportunity.  Each glimpse of heaven. 

I am thankful for God who has given me this life, who leads my feet, and who gives me the strength to keep moving down this path of life.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey, ham and football, let us remember all that we are thankful for, both big and small. 

God Bless and PEACE

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