From the frantic search for the perfect gift for everyone on your list, to all that goes into connecting with family and friends over the holidays, your personal life is likely very full right now. Add in all that needs to be accomplished before the end of December, both at work and at home, and the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be overwhelmingly busy.

Amid all the chaos, don’t forget to pause once in a while, look around, and count your blessings. That’s why I’m writing this. It’s my way of taking stock of the blessings in my own life.

I have a lot of family in my life to be thankful for. My beautiful wife and our 3 boys make life an everyday adventure! Life is so amazingly wonderful as I get to spend each and every day learning how to be a good father and a loving husband. Being loved by my three little men has given me a new understanding of what it means to give love and how it looks to receive love. I also have some very special parents and in-law parents, who love me as much as I love them. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life that I get to call family!

The close friends I have are way too special to be considered buddies or best friends; they’re unique, they’re around when I need to vent, when I need a voice of encouragement and when I need a shoulder to lean on because the weight of the world is just too much to bear alone. I am blessed beyond measure to have a life full of great friends to experience life with. It’s my hope that I am as good of a friend to them as they are to me.

To be able to help people live comfortably in the present and prepare for the future brings me great joy. I am blessed to have so many wonderful clients who put their trust in me, who share with me their dreams as well as their worries. I’m blessed also to have the opportunity to reach out beyond my clients, to teach financial classes out in this community. None of it would have been possible without the education and experience I have been so blessed to receive.

Of all the things to be grateful for in my life, nothing compares to how grateful I am to be considered a son of Christ. The value that I find in my relationship with Jesus is little compared to the value He sees in me! The greatest decision I ever made happened at the dinner table, My dad and I were talking about death, because earlier that day I had broken my right arm and at the tender age of 8. I thought I was going to die! An hour into our conversation, I decided to give my life to Christ and that single decision has changed everything in my life. The blessings that I find in life all start with my relationship with God and for that I am truly thankful.

Now it’s your turn. Take a few minutes to count the blessings in your life. Having just done it, I can honestly tell you, it’s an invigorating and life-affirming exercise; one I plan to do on a regular basis.