Another Thanksgiving is fast approaching. With it, I might as well post another quick reminder of what I am thankful for. I seem to be starting a few traditions – Thanksgiving posts, Easter Posts and starting (but never finishing or posting) New Years resolution posts. Last years Thanksgiving post probably covers it all and looking back, I find myself in the same theme but will post this one now anyway. Different readers, different perspectives on some of them. I was planning on posting this anyway butJason Strate is jumping on the blog carnival bandwagon so I’ll oblige. This will be a part of his group of Thanksgiving posts from the SQL Server community.
A quick disclaimer – These are my thoughts. Not my employers. I talk about professional and personal items here and I realize not everyone is in the same boat and I respect the fact that you have the right to be in whatever boat you want to be in
Much To Be Thankful For
This has been a good year in many ways. Once again, I can say I am blessed beyond deserve. No. I’m not saying this to brag, for as I think you’ll see I give the credit up. I take full responsibility for my failures but the blessings that I get in spite of my best efforts to introduce disaster? I can’t take credit. As they come to mind:
- I serve a living, powerful and wonderful God – A God who loves me in spite of falling short of His standard. A God who took me just as I was when I found him 9 years ago this fall but doesn’t want to leave me there. I already have eternity promised to me and a blessed and joyous eternity. Even if every other bullet that follows was turned upside down, this one can’t be. I am His because He first loved me. Because Jesus Christ paid my way and clothed me in His righteousness. I was recently talking to someone in the SQL Community about this. He asked how I know it is real. My answer was simple but it gave me cause to be thankful and reflect on the work being done in my life.. I said that there are logical rational arguments from the side of the Bible on every argument I have studied about my faith but even still that isn’t how I know. I know because I know how I was. I know myself (more now than I did last year and probably more last year than years past) and know that there is no way I would be where I am today in my relationship with God on my own. I know I wouldn’t even want to want the things I want now. I know that those things I still do that are less than what I ought to do (or more than I ought to do) bother me like they never could or would. I’m different and that difference is growing in spite of the me I know too well. I am thankful that I serve a God who loves me enough to make Calvary happen. Who loves me enough to work on my heart.
- My Wife – She doesn’t read this so I can say this – She’s great. She is the giver in this family and she is an example to each of us in humility and thinking of others first. She loves me in spite of me too. She is such a great mother, wife and friend. I love her and still don’t know how it happened t hat we ended up together!
- Three Kids – Oh man, they are fun. They are a lot of work and make you want to pull your hair out some days but they are fun. They are so loving (when they want to be and when they don’t think you are noticing it ). The 5 year old looks out for her two younger brothers (yeah, she still tries to use them, abuse them and get “more”, but she really loves them and when she shows it, she REALLY shows it). The middle boy looks out for both his sissy and his baby brother (If I play monster with them and pretend to go after his sissy, he’ll start beating on me “You weave my sissy awone, you!” until I stop). They give awesome hugs, they tell great stories and they have really cool imaginations. I’ve learned more from them these past 5 years than I have in many other settings for much longer. They make me want to work harder to provide a living, be home to be there with them and try and leave this world a better place for them.
- Where I live – I was blessed to be born in a free nation. I can worship how I want to and when I want to. I can own a disgusting number of Bible translations (when compared to parts of the world where people count it all joy to have a burned out scrap of one page of a Bible they snuck past their prison guards!). I can be open with who I am and, for the most part, be left to it. I am able to choose a career of my liking and interest and my wife and daughter are free to make their own decisions about how they live their lives and have the ability to make their own paths.
- Blue and Gold Star Families – Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful for those who serve or have served in our military, it takes a special kind of person to be willing to go where they are told to go, when they are told to go and leave their family where they were in doing so, knowing they are potentially putting their own life on the line. I am also so moved and touched by stories I hear of what Blue Star families go through (If you don’t know, this is a family who has a service member serving overseas in combat). The strength those left behind need to lean on to make it through the length of deployment with the added stress of sometimes not knowing if their loved one is safe. Gold Star families are those that paid the ultimate sacrifice in one of our nation’s wars or conflicts. It is because of them only having a memory to hold onto that I have the freedoms that I have. Every day of my life I am grateful to these families and these Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines and their families for what they have to deal with.
- My Job – I have been at the new role for about a month now and I am LOVING it. It is just what I have been longing to do – help more people. I get to go into a customer having issues that they may or may not know about, analyze the situation, make suggestions and either fix the issue or (even better) mentor them in fixing it themselves. I get to combine my passion (weak word but it is late, I can’t think of a better one) with SQL Server and my passion (better word here) for teaching/training and helping people and get paid to do it. That is fun. I am also spending a lot of time drafting up service offerings and helping to shape the SQL Server side of the business at my company, I really enjoy that part of the business also.
- SQL Server Community – Last, but not least. I blogged about this a few times, most recently when at the PASS Summit one night in my post about Community, Community, Community. I said a lot there but it comes down to this – not all technologies seem to have what we have in the communities that make up the SQL Server community. We get along incredibly well, we are there for each other when something bad happens, we are there to celebrate a success for each other and all the contributors (well at least most, if not all) seem to really want to see everyone else grow. A selfless bunch of givers who really enjoy their chosen technology field but love helping others get ahead. We can even have religious or political discussions in easy to misunderstand electronic formats and come out as friends still. Pretty cool.
- Health, Shelter and Food - This isn’t bragging and if I don’t start eating better and working out it is likely to take a turn sooner rather than later. So far my family and I have been blessed with good health as well as a roof over our heads and meals on our plate. All you have to do is turn on the news, search through twitter or blogs or news sites and you’ll see that this isn’t the case everywhere in the world or even in my country. We have been blessed in abundance and while I am thankful for each breath I take, I am thankful for what the skillset I have, the opportunities I have been blessed with and the answers to prayers in our life in this regard. I hope to continue to teach this lesson to our children so we can raise a group of appreciative children with hearts on fire for those in need and attitudes of gratitude and giving/sharing.
What are you thank ful for?