Thanksgiving is a time where we pause to really reflect on what we are thankful for. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to be thankful for all we have. I know I have been guilty of coveting what others have instead of realizing all of the blessings I have been bestowed. Today I reflect on many things. A quote that has stuck with me, is to remember that blessings we have, were once things we hoped for.
• I am so thankful that I own my own home. I know I complain about my house sometimes. It can be too small, there are things wrong with it, things break, and things need to be fixed. It is one we can afford. The fact that it is small equals less cleaning, a smaller heating bill, and the fact that we can’t avoid each other even if we wanted to. It keeps us safe, comfortable and warm. It is in a safe and small town. It is a place we are beginning our lives in, and that I am grateful for.
• I am thankful for this new bundle of joy we are expecting in April. It wasn’t easy getting pregnant for us. There were many nights where we prayed, cried, and clung to hope together. We watched as other friends got pregnant, siblings, and co-workers. We coveted. We prayed. We prayed for forgiveness, for the recognition that a child is a gift, a blessing and not a given right we are owed. The Lord blessed us with this pregnancy, and though it hasn’t been an easy one, we are beyond thankful for the opportunity to be parents this spring.
• I am thankful for my family. Especially for my mom. My mom has been my biggest fan and supporter. She continually looks out for Mark and I, supporting us, praying for us, helping us. Everything from making us pizza sauce with the tomatoes from my garden after I couldn’t stand smells anymore, to fixing our clothes, to taking us out for dinner when we come to visit. I can’t thank her enough for everything she does for us. I am also thankful for my big sister, who has really helped me out this year. With a rough pregnancy, she has stepped up to the plate with coming over and helping me clean and organize multiple times. There is nothing I have been more thankful for than her help with everything from laundry to dishes.
• I am thankful for my vehicle, even if it is old. This has been a difficult one for me this year. My vehicle is 14 years old, a lot of miles plus towed miles, and is starting to get to the point where I feel like I keep sticking money into it with everything from blinkers going out to it overheating. Mark and I are still trying to figure out how to afford a new vehicle, if we even can at all, and what we do in the mean time. We’ve been carpooling a lot more, he keeps checking the vehicle over, and we keep watching the used car lots. I know I need to work at being more thankful for my vehicle, the fact that I have one that does run and gets me from point A to point B. I have a husband who can fix almost anything on it, and we work close enough where we can carpool. I am thankful for that.
• I am thankful for the opportunities I have had in agriculture. With this new job, I have been so blessed with the opportunities that have presented themselves and the people I have met. Agriculture is full of events, wonderful people, and great ideas. I have been able to travel to places like Washington, D.C. for agriculture, and attend conferences in places like New Ulm, MN, Fargo, ND and Willmar, MN. I have traveled to schools, through small towns, and to presentations. I have been challenged, and put myself out of my comfort zone with competing in the Discussion Meet. I have been able to really focus on where my heart is in agriculture and make a difference. For that, I am truly thankful.
• I am thankful for another successful harvest. Harvest was a little rough this year. We had plenty, and I mean plenty of breakdowns. Mark opted to stay home a few times with me while I was sick as well, so that put a strain on the crew. Prices are bleak. The outlook for the next year and the year after are not much better. Difficult decisions have to be made still. It is a struggle with what the right answers are. However, the harvest is done. Grain is in the bins or being sold. Equipment is being winterized and put away. Everyone came home safe every night. Meals were provided in the field. This is what I am thankful for. This is a successful harvest. It isn’t easy by any means, but it is something we love, and at the end of the day, we are blessed to be working with our family and God’s land.
• I am thankful for my husband. He is my rock, plain and simple. He keeps me grounded, propels me forward and keeps me calm in times of strife. He never hesitates to help me with anything, or help others for that matter. I am so proud of him for joining the Fire Department this year, and his new commitment to his education. He continually surprises me with the things he does and wants to do in life from the honeybees to woodworking to going back to school. His unwavering faith in the Lord and that everything will work out, is one I have to come to depend on when my own faith falters. At the end of the day, he truly is my best friend.
At the end of the day, I am beyond blessed. This year has been a whirlwind from graduate school to a new job to expecting our first child. It hasn’t always been easy, but I firmly believe the struggles make you stronger. It is through the Lord’s grace, and his alone, that I feel as if I am so blessed. Thanksgiving really is a time to stop and reflect. We are blessed with food on our tables, a roof over our head, family and friends and many other wonderful opportunities throughout the year. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and take the time to be thankful for all the blessings you have.