So much has changed since the beginning of this year. And there are so many things I am thankful for.
In light of this week’s Snopocolypse, I’m first and foremost thankful that I have a roof over my head. As I was shivering in my house, a blanket over my legs, a cat on my lap, and the heater going, I couldn’t help but think of those who weren’t as fortunate. My heart aches just thinking about it. I’m thankful for the shelters that are open and providing a little bit of warmth on such cold nights.
I’m thankful that I have food on the table and a stocked pantry. I’m thankful that I’m able to go to the store and purchase a turkey.
I’m thankful for my husband. My husband, Ryan, who has put up with my crazy ways for seven years – and decided to marry me for good in June. I’m thankful he’s employed – it’s not the career he was hoping for at this point, but so many others are in the same boat. I’m thankful he works a regular schedule – and that he puts up with my long nights working in the office.
I’m thankful for the family and friends in my life. I’m thankful for the love, kindness, laughter, hope and encouragement. The new friends I’ve made this year – I hope we grow closer next year.
And last..I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful that when I was laid off in the spring from the job I had held for nine years, I decided to take a chance and give wedding photography a go. And 16 couples took a chance on me.
Angela, Nate, Erica, Christian, Rena, Rodger, Brianna, Rick, Christina, Shawn, Hanna, Tony, Kristen, James, Christie, Jeremiah, Kristie, Paul, Emily, Ryan, Crystal, Hung, Robyn, Joe, Heather, Nikita, Jennifer, Doug, Janee, Shane, Candace, Zach, Jamie, and Nick – there are no words to express how thankful I am that you let me into your lives and let me photograph one of the most important and special days of your life. Thank you.
As we sit in our warm homes, bellies filled with wine, cider, and turkey, think for a moment of those who aren’t as fortunate. And be thankful for what you do have. You don’t have to give money – your time and presence is enough for many.
A few years ago, while home from college for Thanksgiving break, I had the chance to accompany Landmark Missionary Baptist Church to a park in Martinez, California. Every Sunday, members of the church head to a local park to feed those in need. Some are homeless; some are not. Men, women, and children. Their circumstances and stories are all different in their own way, but one thing unites them all: they need a helping hand.
Instead of handing out their normal bagged lunches, the weekend before Thanksgiving, they fixed a Thanksgiving dinner for the 30 or so who showed up. The church asks for nothing in return, but offers a hot meal, a hand to hold, and an ear to listen. I imagine now that more than 30 people show up.