We are all familiar with poem number 43 of Sonnets from the Portuguese written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It begins…
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I’m no Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but I do like her romantic style in this sonnet, and decided to borrow from her title for this blog post.
I’ve been trying to decide whether I could write a Thanksgiving post worthy of the way I feel about my life, and the people with whom I am connected. I know I can’t truly do it justice because my life has been filled with thousands of Blessings too numerous to even remember, but which serve to fill my heart and soul with immense gratitude and love for so much and so many.
I am thankful for the life and love my parents have given me all of these years. In almost every card they have ever sent me, the words “We are so proud of you” have always been written. Do you know what that does for a child? I have never had to question their unconditional love and acceptance as their daughter and human being. I have felt stronger, and stood taller, because of these words of pride, always followed by a loving salutation. I love you too, Mom and Dad, and I am very proud of you also.
I am thankful that I found the love of my life 24 years ago, and have come to know a love that is amazing, fun, fulfilling, protective and more important to me than I know how to describe. I have a husband who has more confidence in me than I do of myself, and who has always told me so. His love and strength are among the most wonderful gifts in my life. I love you back.
I am thankful for my siblings, all four of them, because they are four of the most important people in my life. Our family is strong, and close, because we have so many anchors among us, making us feel safe enough to be as different as we’d like to be, all the while knowing we have a family that loves us very much. I love you.
I am thankful for the spouses and families of my siblings. They are wonderful, caring, loving people that all share a bond that isn’t always spoken, but it is real. You complete our family. I love you.
I am thankful for all of the puppies that have filled my life. God made me with an enormous heart for animals, so the joy and pleasure I find in my pups helps complete me also. I can’t get enough of them, and find myself smiling just writing about them.
I am thankful for the values I was taught at an early age, and which were non-negotiable. No matter how big our britches got, we were given a reality check to make sure we kept life, people and our egos in check.
I am thankful for how hard my Mom and Dad worked to make sure we were comfortable. Dad worked outside the home to accomplish that, and Mom worked inside the home to accomplish and secure that comfort.
I am thankful for all of the people I have been fortunate enough to call friends over the years. They have been endless sources of comfort, company, connection, sharing, love and fun.
I am thankful for the education I’ve received; in the classroom, at home, in the swimming pool, on the flute, on the golf course, on the job, and now through all the people I have to come to know around the world via Social Media.
I am thankful for the people with whom I have worked. I have worked with, acted silly with, performed cartwheels with (okay, maybe not with, but in front of), shared with and learned from some of the most wonderful, down-to-earth people you would ever want to know.
I am thankful for the bosses that threw me in head-first when I didn’t know what I was doing. You caused me to learn, grow and mature, for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for those people who stepped in to help me secure job interviews, were responsible for me starting my business by suggesting they needed my help, and for the amazing kindness so many have shown me for reasons born of huge, loving, caring hearts.
I am thankful my career has evolved in to being able to run my own company where I can serve, connect and advise those who need help and direction in their careers so they can serve their clients. My constant prayer starts with “Help me become master of myself that I might be the servant of others…,” which is my guide.
I am thankful for the clients and others who have placed confidence in me and my work, and have engaged me to help them along their path. Without you, I have no business. Your success is my motivation.
I am thankful for all of the people I have met via social media. It is incredible to me that my life is filled with so many caring people who go out of their way to discuss, educate, help, share, console and support me in so many ways. My heart is full constantly with the kindness so many of you have shown me. You are amazing people.
Again, I know I haven’t done my life, or the people in it, justice, in my simple attempt to thank you, but I want you to know how important all of you are to me. Don’t ever question that.
Oh, and in case you’re curious what the rest of the prayer is as it’s a good one for all to hold inside throughout our days, here it is:
Oh Lord, help me become master of myself that I might be the servant of others. Take my mind and think through it. Take my lips and speak through them, and take my heart and set it on fire.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear your story.
Thank you to jksparks98 for the beautiful image above.