A Thankful Heart

So as many of you know I am living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Although as I think back to it, as a family we never did the same thing every Thanksgiving. We sometimes went to Las Vegas to see my paternal grandparents, other times we went to Southern California to visit my maternal family, and sometimes we did the “deadly triangle” where we did both in one weekend. My favorite Thanksgivings that I can remember have been the most recent ones: progressive dinner with the neighbors and renting out a house on Hermosa beach with family. I don’t know if it was my favorite because I don’t live at home anymore and Thanksgiving brought me to my family or if it was because we spiced things up and did something different. I think it is a mixture of both.

IMG_2246This Thanksgiving is different as well. I am living in a country that doesn’t celebrate this holiday. I had school today. And homework. There will be no cranberries, turkey or mashed potatoes. However, I will be celebrating thanksgiving with my “new” Spain family tonight by going out to Mexican food. It brings me back to last Thanksgiving where I ate the best Mexican food at Hermosa beach with my parents, aunt and uncle, and two great friends.

Despite the craziness of Thanksgiving, we always held onto one Tradition. We would go around and say what we are thankful for. Although I am almost 6,00o miles away from home, I realized I can still hold onto this Thanksgiving Tradition:

I am grateful for so much that words cannot express my joy.

I am thankful for a God that loves and cherishes me even when I mess up. I am thankful for the strength that he gives me each day to face new challenges.

I am thankful for a family that loves me who for I am.

I am thankful for my mom who always knows what to say to brighten my day.

I am thankful for my father that has taught me to be a hard worker, but also how to laugh at my mistakes.

I am thankful for my sister. She is one of the most caring, loving, and thoughtful sisters. I love how she shows her love for me constantly through her letters, emails and skype dates.

I am thankful for friends that I can laugh and cry with. Friends that I can share life with. Friends that grab a coffee with me and two hours later we are laughing sipping on our third cup.

I am thankful for my mentors who have helped shaped me into the women I am today through advice and sharing the love of Christ.

I am thankful for the little things in life that give me joy, like a letter from a friend in the mail, peanut butter, the smell of coffee brewing, and seeing the leaves change colors.

I am thankful for the constant but also for change. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be in Spain and travel around Europe.

I am thankful for a roommate that travels with me, listens to me, and always has a story for me.

I am thankful for this spiced chai I am sipping on as I write this post from a friend who sent it to me from 5,000 miles away.

I am thankful for the life I have been given.

In a weird way I am even thankful that I can’t be with those I love this Thanksgiving because it shows me just how much I love and appreciate the people in my life and how hard life is without them by my side.

Happy Thanksgiving!