I remember one beautiful afternoon when I was about 11 years old. My Mema and I were walking through one of the pastures, a popular spot to find arrowheads and Indian tools. I remember how peaceful things were that day, the wind softly blowing through the trees around us and the sun warmly shining on my back. We were quiet, just walking and looking. As we started our way back to the house, my Mema reached over and took my hand. We walked that way for a bit and then she looked at me and said “Kim Marie, don’t grow up too fast. Enjoy these years, because they go by so fast. And don’t forget to be thankful.”

We walked back to the house; hand in hand, just quiet.

It was one of those days that I knew was special. One of those days I knew I would not forget, and I never have.

Being thankful is so vital to life.

It’s so easy to start longing for more, longing for what someone else has, longing for the greener grass on the other side. To start longing for what we used to have, longing for things to be easier, longing for things to be better, longing for things to be different.

But all of these longings, discontentments really, they always nullify thankfulness.

It’s all a choice.

This year I have so much to be thankful for.

A God who loves me so much and proves it every day.

A Cowboy who loves me so much and makes my wildest dreams come true.

Our Techie. He’s so smart it’s just scary sometimes and so incredibly helpful.

Preston’s Side Kick. The only boy on earth that could melt my heart while talking about snakes.

My Shadow. A princess with dirt on her face, dough on her hands, and a fear of nothing.

My Dad. I am so thankful for the years we shared as kids when things were good. And thankful for the years we had as adults, all the laughs, all the hugs, all the knowledge he left with me.

My Mom. She gave so much to raise me, and is still my biggest fan. She is a giant in my eyes.

My Stepdad. He is a character that rounds out our zany family, takes forever to open presents, and one amazingly giving man.

My Sister. We are total opposites, but I couldn’t love a sister more than I love that girl! She is so faithful.

My Brother. There are times I still forget he’s not here with me. I will never stop being thankful for all the memories I have stored of him, and I will never stop being thankful that his laugh is forever imprinted in my heart.

My Grandpa. I am so thankful for all he imparted to me, all the love he gave, and thankful that he is at peace.

My Mema. Words can’t even sum the love and thankfulness I have for this woman. She is wise. She is giving. She is my Mema.

Aunt Carolyn. She’s not my aunt by blood, but she’s as much a part of this place as anyone is. She is a lover of all things, and can spit and scratch as good as any cat, and no family meal would be right without her tasting all the dishes before they are served.

All The Rest of My Family. Everyone of you have given something into my life and I am thankful for each of you!

My Church. They are my big family, a place were our family belongs, and I place we can give. Pastor Allan and his family are an inspiration to us and real, good people that I trust and love.

My Friends. The encouragement, the fun, the companionship you bring to my life is never taken for granted.

This Land. The thankfulness runs over and over and over. I could literally kiss the ground I walk on.

Our Cows. They faithfully provide milk for our family, exfoliating licks to my arms, and the trust they hold in their eyes when they look at me challenges me to give them the best life they could ever have.

Our Goats. Their spunky, rebellious attitudes are not always a joy, but when they faithfully provide for our family, lean into my side for a scratch, and run and kick up their heels in  delight of a new day, it makes up for all the mischief.

Our Chickens. Hard, hard working girls! Who couldn’t love a chicken?!

Our Bees. Neck in neck with the chickens. Hard working creatures and they already provided more than their expected share!

Our Garden. Preston is an amazing provider and has the greenest thumb around! The garden is his happy place.

My Pantry. I love seeing all the fruit of our labor stored away and preserved. The pantry is my happy place.

Work. Good, hard, muscle burning, sweat pouring, so exhausted at the end of the day-work where you fall in bed with your dirty jeans on and don’t really even care.

Teaching Our Children. What a huge joy this is. There is nothing like seeing your child’s face light up when they read their first word,  see a seed germinate for the first time, recite all 50 states and their capitols, or generally show you how much smarter than you they really think they are.

Dinner Time. Talking the day over, laughing at wild stories, or debating. These times are precious, and, if I could have it my way, I would make them never, ever, ever end.

The Good Days. The days that leave you overflowing with happiness, elated to be alive and shouting thankfulness from the hill tops.

The Bad Days. The days that knock you on your butt, knock the wind out of you, and leave you struggling to get off the ground. Yes, these days teach me to be steadfast, keep on keeping on, look fear in the face and spit, and say “I’ll be damned if I give up now.”

Our Freedoms. Never, never taken for granted, nor is the blood and pain that bought them ever forgotten.

I could go on and on listing all the things, both little and big, I am thankful for. No blog could hold them all.

Thankfulness is not a yearly turkey.

Thankfulness should be given in daily doses. It’s something to ground us, make us remember, direct our future, and keep us content.


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