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My Thanksgiving Wish for You


When life gives you dung, be sure to find the ponies.

Editor's Note: Minyanville welcomes back Jessie Smith, who is sharing her journey from financial fiasco to fiscal fitness every Tuesday and Thursday in Going for Broke ... and Back.

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday -- the one day of year that we stop a moment and give thanks and show our gratitude to God and to each other for all of our many blessings: our health, our families, our lifestyles, our ability to serve others.

One of the things I'm most grateful for is something most people dread. It took me awhile to see the gift it really is -- in fact, I think of it as a blessing in disguise.

I'm referring to all of the financial challenges I've had over the last couple of years, but the last year (which was the toughest) in particular.

But before I share with you exactly how my financial fiasco is really a blessing, there's a story I want to share with you.

The Gift (Author Unknown)

Once upon a time, there were two young brothers -- twin brothers -- whose birthday was this very day. Their father told them that he had a very special present for them.

He led these two boys, now very excited, down a long hall to a large room. He opened the door, and the two boys stared, wide-eyed, at a massive pile of ... dung. Yes, dung. There was a huge pile of manure that filled the room, almost to the ceiling.

The one brother screamed in disgust! "Father, what have you done? What kind of present is this? It smells disgusting! And there's so much of it. I think I'm going to be sick! How could you do this to us? And on our birthday no less!" Then, he sat on the floor and cried.

The other brother, eyes still wide, and with a huge grin on his face, dove into that massive pile of manure, head first! Soon there was manure flying all over the room and it seemed to the brother sitting on the floor that his twin had lost his mind.

"What in the world are you doing?" he shouted. "Can't you see that this is a huge pile of crap that our father has given us for our birthday -- and you, you are playing in it!"

The second twin's head popped out from the pile, and with a broad smile he said, "Brother, don't you see? With this much manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere."

You see, the bigger the life you're creating for yourself, the greater the challenges will be. And sometimes, the bigger the pile of crap.

When I realized this, it was as if a light bulb went off in my head, and a whole new world of gratitude opened up for me.
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