The importance of gratitude

friendship

I recently came back from a week-long vacation in Maine with family and friends. It was great to see so many new places and eat delicious food everyday! The shopping wasn’t bad too =) When I got back home, it was great to see text messages from friends wondering if I was back in Ottawa. It’s always nice to be missed. And as I chatted with friends again and resumed normal daily life, I was yet again struck by how absolutely blessed I am to be surrounded by such amazing people. God’s goodness has been manifested to me, so many times, in the form of family and friends. Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe it. My treasure will never be found in my bank account (being the perpetual student assures me of that… lolz) nor in the material things I may possess. My greatest jewels are in the relationships I have formed over the years with quite possibly the best people in the world.

If my friends were gold (which they are!), they are definitely 24k. I am surrounded by singers, Masters, lawyers, social media experts, social justice activists, doctors, and all around world changers! It literally boggles my mind that I am surrounded by such amazing people. I honestly can’t believe I get to hang out with them because they are so awesome. People usually pay just to hang out with the kind of people I hang out with and I get to do that for free! Seriously, they are that magnificent =)

Yes, my friends are in society’s standards, super amazing. The jobs they have and the positions they are in are traditionally seen in high regard. But beyond the titles, what makes my friends so amazing is the fact that they are kind, gentle, giving, encouraging, and will do anything and everything to make this world a better place. All of my friends possess this great quality. Which is crazy! How did I find so many amazing people in one lifetime?!?

Because of that, I was reminded about the importance of gratitude. Or as my friend Hélène Campbell (@alungstory) would say… it’s an “attitude with a grrrrr”! (And yes, she has her own Wikipedia page. That’s when you know you’ve arrived lolz) I had the privilege to hear her personal story and how she overcame the adversities that life brings. She overcame it magnificently… and with an immense amount of gratitude. That’s the thing about gratitude: once you live it out, it becomes infectious. Through a series of amazing sequence of events, she received another shot at life as she became a recipient of a double lung transplant. Her campaign to raise awareness about organ donation has garnered the attention of celebrities like Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres. But more importantly, her campaign has translated into more and more people signing up to be organ donors. You would think that the story would end there. But since I already mentioned that my friends were amazing, there’s more. She has started a foundation to help out families who are on the waiting list for life-saving organ transplants. To learn more, please go to www.give2live.ca.

God has definitely spoiled me by surrounding me with a great family and great friends. They continually remind me that I am never alone. To have such a great emotional support network is such a blessing! When the lies of loneliness and isolation creeps in, I only have to hear the sound of a text message with an encouraging story, a tweet of a funny joke, or a wall post of the latest dance craze from a friend to make me smile and remind me that I am never alone. I belong to them and they belong to me.

What are you grateful for?

Advertisements

Day 6 – The Lenten Journey of Sid

Woohoo! Today, I got the chance to see another friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. We went to a resto downtown and it’s so hard not to want what I can’t have.  I haven’t had a craving for some good old shepherd’s pie in a while. Of course, I would start having it when I’m not allowed to have it. I swear, the more something is forbidden, the more I want it. Even if I wouldn’t have it under normal circumstances. I remember when I lived in North Africa, I was soooo craving for KD (Kraft Dinner) and Spam. Two things I would barely touch in Canada somehow became the two things I yearned for the most. Maybe that’s why Adam and Eve wanted to eat the dang apple. God said don’t eat it so the normal human reaction is to go, hmmm… I think that would be really yummy! If they weren’t forbidden to eat it, I wonder if they would naturally go for it. Stupid human nature. Sigh.

Got a chance to discuss Rom. 1:1-15 with Dan today. We meet up once a week to just talk, encourage one another, and learn more about God and the Bible. It’s been great to see how our friendship is being deepened as we become more authentic and transparent with one another. The crazy thing about vulnerability is that it often leads to the very things we are looking for in the first place aka trust and feelings of belongingness. We live such individualistic lives and we long for community, only to look for it and never find it. So sometimes, instead of whining and complaining about not finding community, you have to create it.

Join me on this journey.

Day 3 – The Lenten Journey of Sid

Image

Today, I had the chance to celebrate one of my friends becoming a partner at his law firm. It was a great time to reconnect with old friends as we haven’t seen each other for a very long time. It’s great to see old friends in new roles as mothers and fathers. It still takes some getting used to. There were also lots of good pita chips and dips so I was very happy about that. As the night continued, the boys got together in one part of the room and just started chatting. Obviously, we had to talk about the BB 10 and how I think it’s absolutely amazing! I got a chance to play with it during the launch and it was a piece of heaven! The Hub and the Flow were fantastic. But what got me, really got me, was the typing. You could text like a fiend because of its intuitive nature. *swoon*

It’s hard not to look around the room and not be jealous of others’ accomplishments. The question of “what have I done with my life?” inevitably pops up. I have to remind myself that  singleness is not a sign of defeat. Not being financially wealthy is not a sign of defeat. Lack of prestige is not a sign of defeat. I had to remind myself of how blessed I was as I looked around the room and know that my friends are absolutely amazing! I am so privileged to know a fantastic group of people who inspire me, encourage me, and challenge me to be a better person. And I love hanging out with them coz they’re fun!

Join me on this journey.