1 Chronicles 16:34 says "give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever". Today on this beautiful and chilly Thanksgiving morning, I sit here agreeing with such a statement. This year has been a stellar one, truly as I look back on all of the blessing that that LORD has bestowed on my family and I, there is nothing I can complain about. He has gifted me so many blessings, it would be impossible for me to list out the small tokens of His love that I have.
Thanksgiving always puts into perspective just how small and insignificant things are sometimes. We all get caught up in the moment and although drama, long nights at work, a low grade on an exam, or an afternoon stuck in traffic all seem like detrimental things, it's important that we recognize what is truly important. Take today to look at the bigger picture of things. Look on the bright side of your troubles, think not about the little and unimportant things in life that pass by in swift moments. Your school, your family, your friends, your home, your job, the food on your table each night, the sun that greets you each morning, your house of worship each week, and the clothing you put on your body every day. Recognize the constants in your life -- those are the things to truly be grateful for.
The biggest blessing by far is my family. I always knew I was blessed with a special family. It is so full of love and gratitude, things would be very different if I didn't have them. My parents are some of the best role models a girl could every have and as I get older I see how many people weren't as fortunate as I was to have parents like mine. I am thankful that they are still married and still love each other very much. They celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in two weeks. I see their love for one another every single day and know it is a rare gift that God gives us -- an unchanging and unwavering love. Similarly, the love carries through to my sisters and I. My parents really did a great job raising my siblings and I. They taught us hard work, determination, what it means to fail and try again, what it means to succeed and celebrate, and how to love. I was gifted with three best friends and although we get a little wild, Leslie, Lisa, and Libbie are three reminders that God is with me every day. No matter how far apart we are, it is His love that flows through my family members no matter if one is in Texas, two in Harrisonburg, and three in Richmond or if we're all together, knowing we have each other is a awesome blessing.
Secondly, I am very thankful for my friends. I am one who enjoys having a few extremely close friends and a ton of more distant friends. This year, a handful of the kindest, funniest, and most trustworthy people I know walked into my life and I thank God every day for them. These ladies know exactly who they are and if they read this, thank you for the friendship we have! At the beginning of this school year about 5 girls sadly drifted apart and walked out of my life and it was a big eye opener for me. Although that was a temporary situation for me, the constant people stayed true and showed me exactly who the gifts from God are. I love seeing my handful of friends each day and feel at home when I'm with them. At college it's nice to know that there is someone there who will amp you up for a big exam, take you to med express in times of need, make brownies with you when you need a night in, and split and Uber with you when all you want to do is go home and watch Bob's Burgers. Thank God toxic friendships walked out of my life this year, because once again, it was the LORD not giving me what I wanted but giving me what I needed.
I can't count my blessing without talking about school. I didn't want to return to JMU this August. Still in the wake of my UVa defeat, I really didn't know what I wanted. James Madison really proved itself to me this year. I did have to do some soul searching and go out of my comfort zone a little, but with some hard work and exploration I know exactly what I want to do with my life, which truthfully is a blessing in itself. I am one of a lucky few who know what they want to do as a sophomore in college -- making decisions for the rest of your life can sometimes be stressful. I absolutely love my major! I seriously can't say that enough. I love studying how communication works, how to talk to people from other cultures, how to communicate in a group, and how to speak publicly. I also am really enjoying my writing minor. Further enhancing my knowledge on writing and persuasive writing can only help me in blogging and my career path.
Blogging is another huge gift from God that I never knew was there until I took it by the reigns and said, "OK let's do this". The amount of joy Daily Dose of Prep and all of you give me is inexpressible. Being able to share my thoughts, experiences, vacations, style, and life with all of you and actually have people care is incredible to me. I wouldn't be nearly as happy or feel nearly as full each day if it weren't for the love, support, and appreciation you all give me on the blog, on Instagram, Twitter, and even in person. Someone even recognized my grandmother at the grocery store over the summer because of this blog (and she felt like a superstar haha). So for that, thank you! With this blog came the incredible opportunity to work with brands I thought I could only dream about working with. Going from an everyday consumer to a paid partner of some of these brands still makes my brain spin and makes my heart soar. I love pretending to be a model in front of the camera at photoshoots and I really enjoy sitting in on business calls with big companies because it makes me feel like I am worth it and can do absolutely anything I set my mind to. With Daily Dose of Prep has come a gift basket of so many character traits -- confidence, honesty, creativity, decisiveness, time management, respectfulness, responsibility, and authenticity all came out of DDoP. I can never thank you, God, or anyone enough for this incredible gift.
I have also been extremely blessed with opportunity. From the incredible vacations I am lucky enough to go on, the new home my family has moved into, and the career moves that have come my way. I recently accepted a really exciting internship for the summer that offers me everything I was looking for and more. It offers incredible PR experience, the opportunity to work work with a CEO, monetary compensation, work from home, and travel opportunities. Opportunities like these all take hard work to accomplish whether it be through money, connections, or persistence -- they happened because God let them happen. At some point, we all just have to throw our hands up in the air and realize that we have done all we can, and He is to take over.
Health and faith are other gifts that I never take for granted. My family (knock on wood) has had a pretty healthy year with the exemption of a melanoma scare back in August. No emergency room trips, no accidents, nothing out of the ordinary seasonal cold. There are so many people spending today in the hospital, one of my blogger friends is spending it with her grandfather who is in hospice -- truly there is nothing for me to be complaining about. Take a moment today to thank God for your good health and longevity. Faith is another gift not to take for granted. I am eternally lucky to not worry about going to church, making the sign of the cross, or saying the rosary. I am free to practice my Catholic faith wherever I please, not everyone is able to say such things. Being able to go to church on Sundays, kneel in the house of the LORD and ask for forgiveness, protection, guidance, strength, compassion, or even a simple sunny day is more than some of our brothers and sisters around the world can do.
It's the 21st century so there are a few trivial things to be thankful for. I am thankful to live in a world where there are J.Crew's, ChickFilA's, and Dominos'. How the pilgrims got by without pizza, I'll never understand. I'm thankful for cheery Lilly Pulitzer prints, Taylor Swift's new album and Game of Thrones. I seriously think about it everytime I plug my phone in or finish a season on HBOGo. I really have millions of things to be thankful for this year. Today, when you gather around your table take time to thank the LORD for the uncountable blessings He has given you. If you won't gather around a table, before you close your eyes tonight just silently thank Him -- He will hear you. Enjoy today. Enjoy being in the company of those who you normally do not see. Enjoying being back in your home with your family, or having a nice, hot, homemade meal. Enjoy listening to Christmas music and eating until you cannot eat anymore -- these are gifts that the LORD has given you because "He is Good" and He loves you very much. Happy Thanksgiving.