The other day, one of my long-time friends had this as his Facebook status:
"Here's a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving custom of giving thanks for all our blessings -- have we made such a difference in someone else's life that they want to give thanks for us?"
That's not food for thought, that's a whole 24-7 all-you-can-eat buffet.
Whenever the Great Reckoning Day is, whether at my death or in some great final moment for us all, I hope that in this life, there is one person for whom I have made a difference and who will witness to it for me. I truly hope that it is because I gave them a kind word, a gentle nudge, or even a bad action of mine that caused a positive reaction in their life. Or perhaps, they saw something in me that gave them pause and because of that, they did a kindness to someone else.
So this Thanksgiving, I am so glad for these people who have made a huge difference in my life, so much so that I want to give thanks for them:
* My parents and brother -- well, duh, because!!
* For my extended family -- aunts & uncles, cousins, new additions, whomever you are. You have shaped my life even more than I realized. For my cousins especially, I am cherishing the time I get to know you more as adults. Fate made us family; love is making us friends.
* My best friend and her family -- you truly are the sister I never had, and it doesn't seem as if we've only known each other for 23 years; it really feels as if it's been all my life, anyway. You & The Mister have loved me and welcomed me as family. You have trusted me as godmother to your children. We have shared our deepest sorrows and highest joys. And for being strong enough to share your faith with me, I am truly eternally grateful. You took a chance on me as a friend and fellow sojourner. For that, my heart is without words, just tears of gratitude.
* Tal & Sera -- for reaching out to me, a total stranger, not knowing anything other than my name, my website, and a few factoids that I shared. If you didn't know already, when I read that first e-mail from y'all, I sat here crying like a baby (speaking of tears). You didn't know how battered my self-worth was at that point in my life ..... all that mattered was "Hey, this girl sounds like she might be a nice friend." For all the joys you have brought into my life, and the friendships we share, thank you!!
* Dr. E and Debbie C. -- for believing in me when I wasn't sure I believed in myself. You both said I could do it, and so... I did.
* My CRHP sisters -- because you listened to my story, separated the wheat from the chaff, and loved me anyway.
* My "sisters of the pasture" -- you are there for me in ways you probably cannot even begin to fathom. In short, I love you all more than Paula Deen loves butter.
* To a couple of people whom I shall simply call "The G" and "Voldy" .... I even thank you. Even though at the time, you had hurt me in more ways than I thought a person could hurt, it is because of that pain that I am stronger and better. In short, I became everything I didn't know I could be. I can hope that you never intended for things to have been so difficult, but out of that difficulty was born the person I was meant to be anyway. Every birth has pain .... so oddly enough, thank you for being the midwives for the new and improved me.
So this week, count your blessings, and pray that you are blessing and grace to others.