Feb 23

Being Thankful and Giving Thanks is a Powerful Force

I wrote an article called – “Being Thankful and Giving Thanks is a Powerful Force” that was published in Inspirations Christian Magazine November 2012 edition! It’s a great magazine. For more info contact inspirationschristianmagazine@gmail.com. Blessings ♥



Life is a journey of peaks and valleys. It’s easier to be thankful when things are going well and we are standing high on our peak. The true challenge is can you still give thanks when times get tough going through the “valleys” in our lives when things seem to be falling apart?

What a difference a month, a few weeks or even a day makes! Life has a way of exposing us to experiences that can change our total outlook. Sometimes it is not until we are subjected to extreme trials that we begin to truly appreciate or maybe even recognize the little, and more significant things in life.


Life is a lesson. We live and we learn. As a young girl my family did not have much material or otherwise. I was born into dysfunction and raised amongst confusion. I was scarred from childhood issues and from not having material comforts like some of the people in my surroundings. So as I evolved into a young woman, I was more focused on material things and being financially successful. Money was my motivation and at the top of my list.




I once had multiple real estate investments during the peak of the housing boom, that I subsequently ended up losing or having to sell. My husband at the time had several businesses that failed so it was a time of financial difficulties as with many people during that recession. Due to some challenges, the marriage did not work out so in 2009, I filed for divorce after a 10 year relationship/4year marriage. I packed my things and moved my 14 year old, 2 year old, and 11 month baby out of our big house on the hill to set out for our new life knowing that by being a strong, independent woman, we would be just fine.




I subsequently had a decrease in income which then led to having to sell my remaining valuables and jewelry. Notice how everything I just described was material. It took having to lose those “things” to really humble me and for me to step back and see that all of those material possessions did not define me and were merely a way for me to fill the void for pain and my own issues I had never addressed stemming from my childhood.


I have learned that the most valuable things in our lives are not things but rather the people in it. Since 2009, my walk with God and learning about my own spirituality has enlightened me on so many levels. My journey has become even more amazing and powerful because now I have a closer connection to His power as well as my own and see life and people in a whole new light.


Now comes 2012 bringing both blessings and lessons. In May 2012, my eldest daughter at the age of 18 was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, a form of mental illness that can lead to risky behavior, and can destroy many aspects of one’s life and/or lead to suicidal tendencies — if not treated. She was hospitalized for a short period in her final weeks of high school. She barely regained her mental state back just days before her graduation. It took 3 months for us to find the right medication to stabilize her and get her back on track. Those were the toughest 3 months of my entire life!  Or so I thought…


Then in August 2012, I received the worst news of my life. My mother age 64, a woman who for the most part has been healthy and strong all of her life, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer had externalized and had spread to her lymph glands, ribs, both breasts and chest cavity. Sometimes it is not until death comes knocking at our door that we really step back and look at life from a different perspective. All of the other things I have ever dealt with cannot compare to having to watch a loved one fight for their life, literally.




My mother has a difficult road ahead and a tough battle to fight. Even through this all, while she was in the hospital lying in her bed deathly ill after her 1st round of chemo, she still said to my sisters and I that she is not afraid of going to be with God and how she was thankful that we all came together. She said that this was just the beginning of the blessings that would unfold from this sad situation. Being thankful is such an amazing and powerful force. It allows you to better understand and appreciate all aspects of life, the good and the bad.


It seems as time goes on and we mature through our experiences, we start to recognize and become grateful for things that we probably never noticed or paid much attention to during our youth such as our health or that of our loved ones. I have endured and overcome some very difficult, life-changing situations throughout my life I’m sure as we all have. It’s because of these very difficult experiences that I have discovered one of the greatest gifts that we could ever give to God, to ourselves and to others, is simply the ability to give thanks for all that we are faced with. It’s our trials that strengthen us and it’s from the painful lessons that we gain wisdom.


It took all of those peaks and valleys for me to really grow into the woman that I am today and for that I am so very thankful. I was able to step back, see my life through wise and humble eyes and then reassess and prioritize what was really important to me. These experiences forced me to be honest with myself and really address personal issues I had long ignored.


With age, comes wisdom and I now find so much significance and beauty in the simplest of things like just listening to someone who needs a friend or offering words of encouragement to someone who is broken. When life changes, your focus and priorities change. I have now discovered my purpose and ignited my passions and I am able to help others by sharing my struggles and my triumphs.



I have also learned that a grateful spirit and a thankful heart is a powerful force. To be able to give thanks for all of your daily blessings and to be able to thank God in the midst of adversity and trials is a true sign of strength. You might not be able to see the light while you are going through the darkness of your valleys, but

when it’s all said and done and you are still standing then you will recognize the lesson that was gained from overcoming the pain. I am stronger and wiser now than I have ever been and will continue to strive for growth spiritually, physically, and mentally as well as help others to do the same along the way. An attitude of gratitude and how we treat others is the best way to show God that we are thankful for His love, His grace and His mercy.



Written by Ms. Rita R. Kelley


When you stand amongst the strong, it’s harder to go wrong. If you are standing amongst the weak, help them to reach their “peak.”


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