Somehow, another year in my life has passed! Time is playing evil tricks on me again and making time go faster and faster. I turn 32 today. There are moments in my life when I have to stop and I realize how truly blessed I am. I look around realize how wonderful my life is. We live in a world of wanting, coveting, instant gratification and pleasure seeking. This time could be called the “selfie generation”. I’m guilty of taking plenty of selfies as well… Trust me. I think we could all, especially me, show a little more gratitude for what we have and a little less time coveting what we don’t have.
Here are 32 things I’m grateful for in my life!
32 – Good Books. They create imagination, fairytales and creativity in even the youngest of us.
31 – Food on the table. Never in my life have I been hungry.
30 – Roof over my head. Never in my life have I been homeless.
29 – Water to drink. Never in my life have I been thirsty.
28 – Modern Medicine. Miracles happen everyday.
27 – Corrected Vision. I can see the details of the world around me. Miracle!
26 – Prophets, apostles. My Church is lead by inspiration and revelation to help us navigate the darkness of today. We ever pray for thee, our prophet dear.
25 – Missionaries. Missionaries for any church are throughout the world. They are a force for good.
24 – Okinawa Japan. #Okitraz, #towerlife. No other island in the world can change you like Okinawa. People sometimes feel trapped here. Some people feel liberated here. Either way my life has changed for the good by being here.
23 – Art. We all need see illustrated the beautiful of the world around us.
22 – Music. There are times when nothing can soothe the soul like music.
21 – For technology. I’ve been overseas for a long time. Technology allows me to be instantly connect with my family back home. I’m exceedingly grateful for this.
20 – To be American. Certainly I’ve gained an appreciation for my country by being in the military. Every morning in Okinawa and on any military base throughout the world the national anthem is played. Every person on base stops, turns towards the sounds and solutes. We do this because we are committed to upholding, defending and protecting the principles and truths this country stands for.
19 – Good people everywhere. I’ve lived a lot of places and no matter where I go I always find good people. They are doing the good that they can in their own small world. Trying to make the world a better place.
18 – Basketball. No matter where I have lived I’ve always been able to find a group of guys that have wanted to play. Great friendships have blossomed because of this. I get to burn energy and release stress and anxiety through playing.
17 – Living overseas. I will have lived 5 years overseas in the last 13 years. I will have left my family’s home in 2004 and have lived in many different locations with so many different peoples and cultures to touch me and influence me. I feel I’ve grown in empathy, kindness and love because of the experiences I’ve had.
16 – Being in the military. Although the military might not be my entire career, I am grateful for what it has done for me. It has given me experience that I could not have otherwise have had. I have learned from other professionals like I never could have in private practice.
15 – My profession. Dentistry is an amazing field. It has opportunities anywhere in the world. I love my patients. I love to make people smile. I love to calm people down who are nervous or scared. I love working with my hands. I love creating things.
14 – The beauty of the earth. Since I’ve been doing photography in the past few years my eyes have opened to new vistas of beauty. I notice the details, the grandeur, the depth of colors, light and textures that constantly surround me. My life is fuller because I see the world differently.
13 – My health. I’ve been able to do anything this world has to offer me so far. I’ve climbing mountains, hiked canyons and swam in the ocean.
12 – Playing football. I learned more about character, heart, grit, will power, and shear determination in playing football than anything up to that point in my life. The memories from games, practices and relationships live forever in memory.
11 – The Book of Mormon. No Book have I ever read as much. No book has ever influenced me as profoundly. It is the ultimate self-help and leadership book. It is what people need in this generation to help heal the evils around them.
10 – Growing up in Monticello. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere. But I grew up next to my grandparents and cousins. I got to go hunting, camping and fishing with grandpa Torres and eat breakfast with grandma Torres. I got to visit Grandma and Grandpa Odette every Sunday.
9 – Friends along the way. I have had so many people who have influenced me for good. I can’t list them all. I am not the best at continuing to keep in touch. But I think of you often. I think of companions from my mission. Families from Las Vegas. Friends from Cedar City. Teammates from Monticello. So many people have touched my life I can’t thank them enough.
8 – Going on a mission. I served a mission from 2005-2007. I served in three countries, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg. It has been a spring board for everything good that has happened since then. It raised my sights of what and who I could become.
7 – 9 years of education. It was a ton of work to get through 9 years of education. But it has opened doors that nothing else could. I’m grateful I stuck with it.
6 – My siblings and their families – I can’t believe how my family has grown in the past years. We have become a very large family with lots of babies everywhere! 11 Grandkids is a lot! My sisters are so kind and good people, they are always ahead of me in their goodness. My brother is so driven and motivated, I’m always trying to catch up.
5 – My parents in law. They raised a beautiful daughter and let me have her. I’ll never know how hard that will be until I have to give away my daughter and my heart my break a little at that moment. They are inspirations of goodness on both sides of the veil.
4 – My parents. I have two wonderful parents who have given their entire life to raising me, teaching me and leading me towards being a better person. They both have strengths that compliment each other.
3 – My children. I have three wonderful kids. Each one brings me joy in their own way. I love it when they run to me and hug me. I love it when they say “daddy”. I love it when they want me to watch them have their special moments. They make me better each day.
2 – My wife, Lindsey. You are an inspiration to me. You have been a shining star since the first day I met you. You have ambition, drive, wit, humor, gratitude, kindness and goodness all wrapped into one person. You have been by my side for more than 13 years. Our relationship is worth more than words can say.
1 – The Savior Jesus Christ. Without him I have nothing and I am nothing. He has given me daily breath. Carried me through darkness and helped me find the light. He had given me courage and inspiration to move down the path towards joy, peace and happiness. In his strength I can do all things.