A Year of Gratitude

2017 is winding down quickly, and recently I have the feeling that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I have family and close friends, both near and far, who fulfill me in so many ways. I’ve met and am dating a man who seems to be everything I could have hoped for. I work for an organization where I see our impact and where people care. My faith has grown exponentially and I see and feel God at work in my life everyday. I am truly blessed.

This final month of 2017 is about to be a whirlwind. December brings with it such joy and excitement. The coming weeks will be filled with holiday parties, shopping for presents, new and old traditions, Advent wreaths and Christmas ornaments – a wonderful way to close out a wonderful year. It will also come with worrying about money, a jam-packed schedule, safety in the snow and inevitable darkness both on the way to and from work.

It can be so easy to lose sight of what matters and the importance of this season and let it pass you by. In fact, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important most days. The daily grind can often overshadow the small, often hidden daily blessings.

This year, I’ve made a conscious effort not to let those blessings pass me by. Last year, I was given a Christmas gift by my aunt and godmother that has helped me pause and give thanks for the beautiful, often insignificant moments each day that are true blessings.

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So this is 2017

Tonight I put away my Christmas decorations. My apartment feels a little less cheerful and a little more back to the regularity of everyday life.

While taping up boxes of ornaments and shoving the artificial tree in the closet, I thought of the John Lennon Christmas song “Happy Christmas.” In it, Lennon sings, “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?”

So now I’m thinking. We’re a week into 2017, and what have I done?

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