30 Things I am Thanks Giving
Psalms 107:8:9 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
As I have gotten older Thanksgiving has easily become one of my most favorite holidays of the year. It's not because of all the amazing food, fun gatherings with family and friends and football (which all of these things are great reasons) but because it allows me to reflect back on the year and in my life and it truly allows me to count my blessings. I love this holiday because unlike Christmas there are no gifts involved. Don't get me wrong, I love gifts, but for many years now, the Christmas holiday has been so misinterpreted and has slowly lost it's true meaning, LOVE. Like I said, I love Christmas, and I love seeing my kids open their presents, but Thanksgiving stripes away the possessions and puts the focus on God, family and friends; there are no strings attached.
Since becoming a father, my mindset and outlook on life has changed completely. I no longer see the same, think the same or live the same. Something about parenthood humbles you and the older you grow to be, the more you step outside of the box. Thanksgiving does just that for me, it's steps me out of my box. As I sat and thought about the layout of this article I wanted it to be simple, but I also wanted it to be personal, from my heart, but applicable to every reader.
So, to kick off this Thanksgiving season, I wanted to list the top 30 things that I am thankful for in this 2016 year.
I am thankful to Jesus for giving his life for me so that I can have a relationship with God and have eternal life. That has meant more to me this year than ever and I have been more intentional about pursuing Him in prayer, word and devotional.
I am thankful for my wife Jennifer Sierra and that God has allowed us to share our lives together. On November 3rd this year we celebrated nine years of marriage and we are more in love today than what we have ever been. She is my rock and my support. Everyday that I get to spend with her is a gift from God.
I am thankful for my twins Micah and Aria. They are my heartbeat. They bring new meaning to life. I am thankful that God has entrusted me to be their father and lead them in this journey of life. I am thankful that they are healthy and happy. I know that God has great things in store for their lives and I can't wait to see it unfold.
I am thankful for my mother, Ana Garcia. I am who I am today because of this woman and her sacrifice. She didn't always get my brother and I what we wanted, but she got us what we needed and I will always honor her for that. She has also been an amazing grandmother and enjoy seeing her love on her grandchildren.
I am thankful for my father, Juan Sierra. He has taught me how to work hard, be consistent, but he also laid the foundation of Christianity in me and my brother's life since the moment we opened our eyes in this world. Those seeds have remained deeply rooted in our hearts and our blossoming in our lives and our children's lives.
I am thankful for my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law, Carmen & John Cruz. There is not enough room to write down how much they have done for my life and how much they mean to me. I owe them my life and can't thank them enough for the support and love that they have given me since day one. Thank you for letting me into the family and thank you for giving me the greatest gift I could have, your daughter. Thank you for also being the best grandparents, anyone could ever have. We promise we are stopping at three, lol.
I am thankful for my brother, Jovanni Sierra. It has been a pleasure to be his older brother and although we are not as close as I long to be, I know one day we will be. I wouldn't trade all the memories that we have shared and the experiences that we have been through. My prayer is that one day he fully commits his heart to Jesus and lives out the life that God has designed and planned for him to live.
I am thankful for my sister-in-laws, Charlene, Marlena and Janicely Cruz and also my brother-in-law Alex Cruz. Thank you for all the years of fun, laughter and love. They have truly been my sisters and brother throughout for all these years. It has been a privilege to share life with each and every one of you. Thank you for all the support, love and help that each of you give to us on a daily basis. Thank you for also being exceptional aunts and uncles to our children. You guys are the real MVP's!
I am thankful for my niece and nephew, Kiannii Sierra and Eli Sierra. I love these two to the moon and back. I am constantly praying for them and know God has a great plan. I love that they get to share life with my kids and it brings me so much joy to see them all together.
I am thankful for my church, Rethink Life. I am thankful for this community of people that have embraced me and my family with open arms. They have embraced the good and the ugly in our lives. I am thankful that I get to share life with a community of people that long to see the City of Orlando changed and transformed.
I am thankful for our new location and second campus in Lake Nona. It is amazing to see Rethink Life church growing right before our very eyes and to see our reach expanded to different parts of this City.
I am thankful for Pastor Rodney and Michelle Gage. These two have been monumental to me and my family's life. They have embraced us with open arms and have shown us a level of care and love that we have never witnessed. I am so glad that I have them by my side praying and supporting me and my family.
I am thankful for my career at Nutrex Research. I never imagined being where I am and doing what I am doing. I am so thankful to be a part of a company that believes in my skill set and gives me the opportunity to thrive and succeed.
I am thankful for Sabrina and Chris Boesch. These two have built a solid and lasting foundation for my children. I owe them my life, but they continue to give us theirs in their daily love, generosity, support and care. We would not be where we are if it was not for them. There have been Angels in our life.
I am thankful for my extended family. To all my aunts, uncles and cousins, thank you. Even though we have not remained as close as we would like, we still are together. We become stronger when we are United and despite the recent passing of my aunt Minerva Garcia, we stand together. We mourn together and we laugh together.
I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that everyday I get to utilize my hands and feet. I am thankful that everyday I have the strength to provide for my family and to give my kids the best of me.
I am thankful for my wife's pregnancy, health and soon arrival of our baby girl. Even though this announcement rocked us with fear and doubt, we remained firm in God's word and His promises for our lives. God willing are baby girl will arrive in late January of 2017.
I am thankful for my home and neighborhood. Thank you that my children, wife and I have a roof over our heads every day in a safe and friendly community.
I am thankful for Rethink Life Worship, lead by Pastor Nick Schultz. It has been a true blessing to be a part, serve and grow in this ministry. I have learned a ton and continue to learn every week what it is to truly worship in spirit and truth. I am so lucky that I get to do ministry with some of the most talented and passionate people on the planet.
I am thankful for an incredible year full of amazing concerts, conferences and events. I was able to see Hillsong United twice, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Urban Rescue, and more. I was also able to see Pastor Joel Osteen live and hear his message of hope and I was able to visit Church of the Highlands and be a part of the life changing GROW conference.
I am thankful that I was able to travel to many different locations this year. I traveled to Wisconsin, Illinois, Alabama and Las Vegas. I was able to meet great people and have great experiences in each city. Traveling really allowed me to step out of my box and see what is happening in the world around me. Traveling brought great perspective, humbleness and appreciation for my life.
I am thankful that I got to see my father three times this year. This is the most I have ever seen him in one year since I moved down to Florida in the year 2000. He first came to surprise in February for my birthday. I then paid him back by surprising him twice, once in July and the other in November. Sharing this time with my father is something that I will always hold in my heart. I was able to have conversations with him that I don't think I ever would if I did not visit. I may not have gotten much alone time with my father growing up, but I am surely making up ground this time.
I am thankful for growing in my music. I have been able to grow in my ability and skills of the piano and learn new music software, but the best thing is that I also began learning the acoustic guitar this year. This has been a goal of mine for many years and this year was the year that I really committed to learning and for the most part have stayed consistent till this day.
I am thankful that I launched my website this year and took a step of faith in my writing. I am so thankful for each article and podcast that I have released. I am so thankful that I have been able to include my wife in some of the podcasts. She brings a lot of attention to the site so I think she will be a permanent contributor.
I am thankful for David Conley and the Worship Exposed team. I am so thankful that they gave me the opportunity to share my heart and writings. I am so thankful that they trusted me and took a shot on me. They have taken my writing to another level and I can't thank them enough for that.
I am thankful for my friends Josh, Ylonka, Tommy, Emely, Kelly and Otto. Although our lives have gotten busy we still find ways to communicate either text, call or visit and share important events and times together. Thank you for the memories and for sharing life with us.
I am thankful for growing in my reading this year. I have completed several books and currently working on some other ones. Leaders and learners, so to find time to read has been a huge accomplishment for me.
I am thankful for the relationships that I have built at work and through work. It has been a blessing to have awesome coworkers like Raul, Paul, Chase, Ben, Patrick and Weston. As well as awesome clients that have made my job easy.
I am thankful to give. This has been an area in my life that I have struggled with, particularly with my finances, but this year I have not hesitated in my giving. I have not thought about it twice. I have done everything possible to be a blessing to my family, friends and church, whether financially or with my time.
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's guidance, correction and love in my life. My character has truly been worked on this year. I have been stretched and broken like never before, but only for my better and for my growth.
(EXTRA) I am thankful to God for my life. I am beyond blessed and continue to see God's fingerprints all over my life. I would not have my life any other way. Thank you God for my past, my present and my future for my life is completely in your hands.
No it's your turn!
I challenge you to write down 30 things, one for each day of this month, that you are Thanks Giving this holiday season. It does not have to be as long or detailed as mine, but let it reflect your heart. Take your time, but think hard and don't be afraid to write down the good, the bad or the ugly. We all have each one, but I believe that the beginning steps to true freedom is through reflection and expression. I hope that you are challenged and encouraged by this article. And remember that no matter how life has been for you, we all have a lot to be thankful for.
Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!