You wake up, check Twitter as you lay in bed, absentmindedly petting your cat. The last thing you expect is to see news about a mass shooting; a fire; a bombing. Yet this is our reality lately. I’m beginning to forget what it was like to go days, maybe even weeks, without hearing of some major disaster. Some days I just have to jump off social media to reset, to re-focus on myself and my loved ones.
As many of you probably know, half of our beautiful country has been fighting flames in the last couple of months. It first hit close to home when one of my favorite places on Earth, the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, was caught up in a fire that has so far burned more than 48,000 acres.
I had the great opportunity to visit a friend in Portland back in March and it is so strange to think that a lot of the beauty I saw there is now gone. It’ll take years for the gorge to grow back to the thriving forest that it was. Fortunately, my friend’s never had to evacuate, but there was times of touch and go when they might just have to.
Now, in California, dozens of fires are burning and have turned thousands of homes and businesses to ashes. If you haven’t seen some of the before and after photos, I warn you now, they look like some post-apocalyptic movie.
These fires are destroying everything that so many people have worked for and it has left me feeling so unstable. To wake up one morning and realize that all you have left in the world is whatever you could fit into your car in a rush, is almost a debilitating thought.
Yet this is the reality for so many people today.
I want this blog to be a place for everyone to come and feel like they belong to a family, a community, where you are supported always. But I couldn’t just ignore these horrible things that are happening all around us.
If there was ever a time in your life when you should sit back and be thankful for everything you have, it is now.
You never know when that phone call or that hug may be the last.
You could never imagine that when you leave your house that morning in a rush, it may no longer be there when you go back.
I’d like to challenge you all to something. I want you to take a piece of paper and a pen. Now write down everything you are thankful for. Don’t think too hard, just write down whatever comes to your mind.
Be thankful you have a roof over your head.
Water, clean water, that comes from a tap.
Socks to keep your feet warm.
A family that loves you.
Electricity to charge your phone or laptop.
Sunshine to warm your face.
Writing down everything you are thankful for will help you realize how many things you have to be thankful for. I hope you never have to limit that list down to what you could fit into your car.