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November 23, 2016

The idea of a holiday focused on giving thanks is one I love, because I think gratitude is one of the greatest tools we have to help us live our best stories.

But the reality of the holiday season is that it can be really tough for a lot of us, as we think about all of the things in life that aren’t the way we’d like them to be. Truth is, this Thanksgiving isn’t our easiest or happiest.

But I’ve learned even those things that are uncomfortable or discouraging or challenging in our lives can offer up hope, perspective, contentment, and, ultimately, grateful hearts.

roast-turkey-1As I went to write a list of some things for which I’m grateful, I decided to take all the things I tend to complain about and search for gratitude even in those challenging circumstances.

And here’s what I’m thankful for…

Early morning wake-up calls from a toddler who trusts his parents’ love for him.

For ever-multiplying strands of gray hair that mark 34 years of life and prove that “beauty” is fickle and fleeting.

For small passing ailments and colds that remind me that health is wealth, and right now, I’m rich.

For friends to host in our apartment, who remind me to slow down and enjoy people instead of worrying about having the perfect home.

For the problem of clutter, because it points to the overwhelming abundance I live with.

For a body that’s been changed by the gift of childbirth.

For family that doesn’t see each other all the time but rallies together when it matters most.

For losses that make me grieve, because they remind me of all I’ve been blessed to have.

For friends who live far away, because when we’re united I laugh twice as hard.

For times when things or people disappoint me, because I’m reminded of the only One who is consistently faithful.

For every cold walk with heavy bags, cramped grocery store, and expensive meal, because I get to live in the city people save up for and dream about visiting — the greatest city in the world.

For long to-do lists that give me opportunities to contribute.

For difficult times that force me to lean on others.

For a community full of imperfect people that is mine to call my own.

For my limitations and failures that remind me of my need for a Savior.


Wishing you a Thanksgiving holiday that allows you to feel moments of gratitude.


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  • Reply
    Ma Rice
    November 23, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Oh, how I needed this! In the midst of what our family is going through, Jess, you put everything in its proper perspective. God bless you, my daughter!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    So grateful for you and this blog. Happy Thanksgiving to the Rice family from Shakirah and Lil Chino from the 4th (ward).


    • Reply
      Jessica Rice
      December 4, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Ha! I love it. Thanks so much, Shakirah! Love you.

  • Reply
    Deborah Kuo
    November 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Awesome list Jessica! Thanks for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Reply
      Jessica Rice
      December 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Deborah! Hoping you had a great holiday too!

  • Reply
    Lindsay Travis
    November 25, 2016 at 7:14 am

    A beautiful list. And one that is easy to relate too. Thank you.

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