The older I get and yes I know, I am still young, but I am older than I once was , the more I realize how I have everything to be thankful for. Having been raised in a large family with limited financial means I used to complain about not having the newest designer clothing or about not being able to go out to eat all the time or about how we never went on a fancy trip like a cruise. Now I wonder why? Why did I care so much?

I may never be the wealthiest person financially speaking, but I have always been one of the richest people I know and I always will be. I am rich in love, support, friendship, laughter, adventure, and did I mention, Love?!

My parents and family have always shown me unconditional love. You know, the really good never-ending, no matter how bad things get kind of love. This is the kind of love that  rekindles the flame inside us all when it begins to dim, this is the kind of love that conquers all hate and doubt. This love, these blessings in my life make me so incredibly wealthy.

When I stop and think about it though, I am financially very wealthy too. I do have financial limitations, this is true, but I have a roof over my head, a car to drive, food to eat, clothes to wear and the most amazing community of people around me.

My family vacationed every year, in what is not a destination resort, but what was my castle and what is my escape. Trips to Maine and my mom’s family lodge brought peace and weeks of joy-filled adventure. I will forever cherish those trips…

Beginning in 2010, my want to travel only continues to blossom…  Today I do work very hard to fund my travels, my study abroad experience and mission trips. Fundraising, sponsors, full-time employment and people’s continued belief in my ambitious dreams turned many a dream into reality and for this I say thank you.

I cannot thank every single person who has impacted me in some way here, but I make an intention to thank every single person who has made a difference in my life when I can. To everyone who knows me, loves me, supports me, inspires me, makes me laugh, is a shoulder to cry on, or believes in me, Thank you!

I am human and I do fall short of always displaying my gratitude but know that it is not lessened by shortcomings. I never forget the moments and people that have helped me become the person I am today. You can trust me when I say, “there is no one else I would rather be!”

Thank you Mom, Thank you Dad, Thank you Charly in India who helped get an article of mine internationally published, Thank you to my teachers, Thank you to the children whose innocence shines light always, Thank you family and friends, Thank you to my church family, Thank you acquaintances, classmates, and everyone ❤

Some food for thought, a few quotes on giving thanks:

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. – Massieu

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