Thankful – \ˈthaŋk-fəl\ adj. glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.; pleased or relieved.

Today, I am starting a weekly blog post series where I remind myself to be thankful. Usually, amidst troubles, trials, and tiredness, looking at the bright side helps me get in a better mood. It is a mindset I like to keep myself in daily. So to keep myself well-aware of things that I am blessed with, and hopefully to remind you guys that there is always a brighter side to life, here are 7 things that I am thankful for tonight:

1) BIOLA University. I take education for granted. I complain about having too much homework or having boring classes. But I always have to remind myself that this is a huge privilege that not everyone in the world gets. When I went to Kenya, I remember seeing really young kids walking on the side of the road in their adorable school uniforms. They would walk 10+ miles on their own in the scorching heat just to get to school. In America, we have had education easily handed to us since the age of 5 years old. Now, I am blessed enough to attend a top Christian university with little loans taken out. God is providing. I am blessed enough to receive a Bachelor’s of Arts degree this May (God-willing) in FILM! If that isn’t a wicked cool major, then I don’t know what is. I am blessed enough to live on campus so that I do not have to take time out of my day to be stuck in traffic. That is one stress I don’t have to deal with everyday. And my school has the sweetest people. That is such an understatement to how personable and genuine the people at Biola are.

Man, my heart already feels a little more full just starting to write this post.

2) Food. When my stomach growled today, I was able to fill it up with delicious food. Food is great. Food is life. I’m thankful for food.

3) The Internet. Today, I was doing an assignment on html coding like for websites and when I saw how complicated the code is just for one page on Facebook, man, was I thankful for people like Mark Zuckerberg who can understand and create things like that on the Internet. I couldn’t even figure out how to put a photo on a webpage without Taylor’s help. We use the Internet daily and never think about the people who invented the things we use in our daily lives. Thank you guys. #nerdsrule

4) The people at my job. I guess this goes with #1 since I work on campus at the film office, but I have just been overwhelmed with welcomes ever since I started back at my job yesterday. I started working at the film office during the Spring semester last year, but I took a break since I was in London. Now I’m back and I couldn’t feel more at home than what they make me feel. Their big hugs and excited faces just speak waves to me. They truly care for me as a person and I’m thankful to be in a workplace like that.

5) An umbrella. I rained pretty hard yesterday (well, for Southern Californians’ standards) and I know a lot of people are living in the streets and got poured on yesterday. Not everyone gets to stay dry when it rains.

6) To live in America. Tonight in my church media class, we watched a documentary video on women in the Philippines who live in the slums and go through childbirth on their own. They do not have comfortable hospitals that will take care of them during that vulnerable time of their lives. They usually can’t even afford any hospital care for that matter, or care to go to one because they are treated with no respect. The organization that made the video provides trained doctors in those areas to be the support these women need. It really hit home because my family is from the Philippines. I was born in the Philippines. If my parents never migrated to America, I could be going through a difficult child-bearing experience like that one day.

7) My bed. I’m just laying here in the comforts of a bed. I have never experienced a time in life where I did not own a bed. I’m feeling tired and I will be able to sleep here comfortably and cozily tonight. My head hurts and I have a pillow to rest it on. It’s chilly outside and I have a blanket here to cuddle in. It is a huge blessing to have a bed.

So the next time you’re feeling down and want to beat yourself up about things in your life, maybe take a few moments to acknowledge the good things in your life, big or small. Even the least of these have something to be thankful for.

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