Lord, we thank you for this blessed meal, our wonderful family and for all the happiness in our lives.
As Thanksgiving rolls around once again, many of our minds are set on the annual successes, safety and plentiful fulfillments that we are all so grateful for.
This year, I am more appreciative of the challenges and difficult decisions that have been pressed upon me throughout my life. Although this statement seems contradicting, it's those barriers throughout life that we owe much of our gratitude.
From the first time we started walking, there have been obstacles in the way of achieving what we instinctively want. As a toddler, you quickly became miffed that your precious toy was sitting on the counter, too high to reach. You squirmed and whined, but the doll just wouldn't come down. You ran to Dad who directed you to retrieve the stool and do it all by yourself.
When your buddies in fourth-grade wanted to ride bikes down to the beach, Mom said you had to clean room instead. You went into fits of rage, throwing a tantrum. After 45 minutes of sulking, you learned to apologize and take care of the situation appropriately.
As a sophomore, your second year in a serious athletic career, your knee went out at the third cross country meet, ending your season early. But you didn't want to be finished, causing you to attend practice everyday, trying your best and putting in every ounce of effort to heal the injury.
You've had your own hindrances and drawbacks, and they are different. Without these lessons, you might not have learned responsibility, forgiveness, hard work or toughness. No one said life was going to be easy, or fair for that matter. When we are challenged, then we are tested and able to find out who we really are.
This year, whether it be deciding on the right college or wishing you hadn't taken advanced calculus, there is yet again, some type of steep hurdle daring you to jump and succeed.
It's going be a long and hard trip, but the reward will more than likely be worth the ride.
Working late hours at a high school job trains us for the the necessary work ethic in the real world. Giving a pint of blood at the blood bank, may be a painful venture, but it helps someone, somewhere more than you will know.
So, this Thanksgiving, my 17th Thanks-giving, I am more grateful than ever before. Besides my appreciation for a safe and healthy life, I am in gratitude for the difficulties and painful obstacles I have overcome. It is to those encounters that I am proud of and in acknowledgement for having gone through.
Shamra Bauder is a senior at Kenai Central High School who has worked as an intern at the Peninsula Clarion.
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