Dear people who read my blog--
I love this season, and though it has been different from every other Christmas in my memory, I have loved this Christmas. The sun is shining, I traded shivering for sweating, and the local banyan tree is all lit up to welcome the season.
In deep thankfulness and the spirit of the season, I just wanted to list a few of the things I'm grateful for today:
1. My Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I know He lives. He is the reason I celebrate this season. I am grateful for His birth, His life, His atoning sacrifice for me, His love, and His perfect example. I am grateful for His patience and His forgiveness. Additionally, I am unspeakably grateful for my membership in His church. I know it is true.
2. Family. This season has reminded me even more strongly how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. I am grateful for the traditions and love that spills so abundantly from my mom's home this time of year. I have felt that love and the spirit of those traditions even here, and have shed many tears of joy and gratitude at thoughtful gifts mailed from a loving family at home. It's not the gifts, it's the thoughts they represent. For all the love from my ohana, both immediate and extended, I am truly grateful.
3. Friends. I am so grateful for friends whose acquaintance and example teach me to be better in so many ways. I am blessed to have beloved friends all around the world and am thankful for their examples of faith, sacrifice, love, and great dance moves. :)
4. Education. I am so thankful for my university education, I cannot even think of BYU without feeling teary-eyed. It's been strange to be graduated, but I look back with love, thankfulness, and an wonderful feeling of WOOOOHOOOO! when I think about my time as a cougar. I am grateful for learning.
5. American Citizenship. I love my country, and I am thankful for all of the blessings that are a part of my life because I belong to it. I am thankful for the sacrifice of my forebearers for generations. I am grateful for their courage to leave their homeland and start a life here. I am grateful for the American dream.
There is so much more that I am grateful for, especially at this season. Employment; financial security; a roof over my head; nutritious food to eat; clean water to drink; beautiful, comfortable, and modest clothes to wear; things on my schedule; my wonderful, healthy, beautiful, and incredible body; passion for life; all of my senses; the earth; technology; trials; hope; heritage; etc. Life is so beautiful. I have great reason to rejoice.
Merry Christmas once again. I hope yours was great.