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My good friend Debbie over at Just Another 15 Minutes posted a challenge on her blog: to publicly give thanks for a specific aspect of our lives on each of the 30 days in November.  I am taking that challenge, and I hope you will join us!

Day 9 – I am thankful for my parents.

My dad "Papa" with A.W., Christmas 2006

My mom "Nana" with A.W., Summer 2006

God blessed me when he chose Bob and Debbie Tuten to be my parents.  It is because of their nurture and sacrifice that I am the person I am today.

From my dad, I have learned to try my best, to believe in myself, and to know that I could talk to him about anything.  Most of all, I learned that my daddy loves me unconditionally.  He portrays the unlimited love of God the Father, and this has made it easy for me to trust in my Heavenly Father.  I have watched my dad grow spiritually, and face traumatic circumstances with faith and determination.

From my mom, I have learned how to care for others, and how to show love by acts of service for other people.  She has always nurtured my faith in God, reminding me of His care and provision when I have lost sight of His goodness.  Family is the most important thing in Mom’s life (next to God) and she has always made family time a priority.  She works hard to make sure family gatherings take place, and are enjoyable for all.

My parents have taught me that staying married is possible, but both partners must sacrifice a lot.  I know they have encountered many tough times, but they have been committed to their marriage, and have provided an excellent example for me and my sister.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being my parents, and for loving me in good times and in bad.  I thank God for both of you!

Dad, Mom, A.W., me, and hubby at Disney, 2006

Mom and Dad, Mount LeConte, Sept. 2009

Mom and Dad at the beach, October 2010