I am celebrating my 28th birthday later this year, and just yesterday I graduated (again). During the reading of a MASSIVE list of names of graduates like me, I was thinking about my life thus far, and about how I got to where I am now. So many different people have touched my life in so many different ways, to try and think of each person was a humbling and incredible moment (er.. several moments.. that list of names was indeed massive). 

While I couldn't possibly begin to thank each one of those amazing people here (I want to be intentional in thanking you personally so you know how much I mean it, and it would take longer than reading the graduate list) I wanted to take just one moment (a little one) to show you all how much you mean to me. 

That photo above is one of my "Gratitude" boxes (this is my RI box). I don't remember exactly when I started saving cards and notes that people gave me, but I know for sure I was young, as I have cards saved from my summers as a camper at Deer Run. I have shoe boxes (yes, multiple boxes!) full of cards from people who know me as a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, student, employee, teacher, acquaintance, and even some from total strangers (those are often hilarious). Some of these cards remind me of times that were happy, some remind me of times that were challenging, but they all point me to the fact that there are people in my life who love me and care for me, even at times when I feel alone. If you've ever given me a written note of any kind, chances are I've saved it. When I go through an organizational purge of my room, these gratitude boxes are the one thing I allow myself to keep intact. In fact, I will often quit organizing and spend the afternoon going through each box, thinking of how amazingly blessed I am and saying a prayer of thanks for the writer of each card in my box. 

In closing, here is a passage from Philippians 1 (The Message version). It summarizes quite well how I feel about y'all. 

"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."
10/30/2022 11:31:37 pm

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