I remember when I was growing up as a kid and my parents would ask, “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” I was quick to name what seemed like 100,000 different toys at the time without even thinking about how much money all those toys added to be. Fast forward 15 years and things are a lot different.

My parents now ask, “What do you want for Christmas” Your budget is $_________.” I might have at the most 5 different items that I can think of. How has this happened? What changed from the time I was 10 years old to now at 25 years old? The answer is a lota whole lot. I am so thankful for how my parents have raised me and that they make the tough decisions to help me grow up.

The one thing that has changed is that I have way more than I could have ever imagined. When I was younger, all I cared about was that I owned the coolest shoes, had the best bike in the neighborhood, and was walking around with a Sony portable CD player. It’s not like that for me anymore. Are the electronics cool and fun to have? Absolutely, but I could live a perfectly wonderful life without all the extra stuff.

I’m the most thankful today for the things that I cannot buy in a retail store or at Chick-fil-A. I now have a different perspective in life. My family means the world to me. I’ve now realized that a lot of my friends don’t have a family at home all the time. The life that I have had growing up is not the same for everyone. I’m the most thankful for people in my life that God has given me.

The secret to being thankful is to focus on Jesus. When we have a relationship with our savior, it puts life into perspective. If you’re someone who did not have a mom and dad at home, or maybe you’re older and family members have passed away, know that you have a God who loves you and wants a relationship with you more than anything else.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18