Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough

Oprah Winfrey


I look back on 2016 with a great thankfulness. Challenges are a part of life that we all deal with each year. No matter how large your bank account or house; problems are an equal opportunity aggressor.  Many stood with agape jaws when our now president-elect made horrendous comments about assaulting women. I have been in a few locker rooms and I have never heard a decent man use such language about a woman’s body. I am not stating this is not possible, but as the father of a daughter I don’t want a man speaking of her in that manner. The largest mass shooting in our history occurred at Pulse Nightclub and we have watched as Native American’s in the Dakotas are treated like refugees on their own land. Even with all this we as a nation have endured. I applaud the protestors for exercising their constitutional right to protest peacefully. I do not agree with rioting because in the past what has that gotten us; more of the same and no real change. We must stand together as a country and fight the injustices that are still present in our nation. From voter suppression to hate crimes we must be thankful for the right to fight these ugly monsters that refuse to die.

I am thankful that I will not be afraid in a country that was built on the backs of my ancestors. I will not let hate intrude on my holidays. I am a God fearing child of the Christ Jesus and I still have faith in my country. Alt Righters raising their hands to hail Trump in a Hitler style salute will not deter my mission to teach my children love and respect. As an educator I am privileged to teach each day at juvenile. I speak the truth into the lives of the children I teach each day. I am thankful to work with three individuals whom I am blessed to call friends, and to see the great work they do with our children. They don’t judge they just teach with love, compassion and empathy. I am thankful for my wife because of who she is. She is a great mother and she steers our children with a steady and firm hand. She never gives up and is always doing whatever she can to move our family forward.  It’s easy to be a lazy parent but the consequences of such a choice can be devastating. I am thankful for my mother in law and her support of our family. She has always been willing to help out with our children at any time. I am thankful for all the extended family that has stepped up to help us over the past five years. Justice’s health problems have challenged us. However, I am thankful this is the first year of his life he hasn’t been in the hospital for any extended period of time.

In closing I will say hug someone you care about or just offer a hug to someone that may need one. Say I love you over these holidays because God may call someone home before the next turkey or ham hits the table. Strive to be good to all you come across in 2017 and beyond. Even the ones whom are hateful and filled with strife offer them a kind word and keep it moving. Be thankful if you are healthy because disease strikes all. Remember, if not for the grace of God it could be you that is touched by unreliable health. Happy Holidays and God bless.





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