1. The blessing of loved ones. During these short weeks, we have spent time with over one hundred people whom we love. Blood ties or not, we are connected by time and experience, and the influence you have had on our lives is clear in our desire to keep improving ourselves. Thank you for your love, your support, your encouragement – you have no clue to your influence.
2. The blessing of trials. We know many of you are enduring hardships of economics, physical or emotional health, loss of family members, or the other struggles that are part of the learning of this life. And we have been awed by the determination you demonstrate in meeting and dealing with these struggles. We all have good days and bad days, but thank you for strengthening us by your words and your examples. And we thank God every day that you are able to persist, to endure, to remain true. We hope our poor service has provided you some of the blessings you have needed.
|One portion of the Air and Space Museum at Dulles.|
|Kudzu overtaking an old farm silo.|
We came out of a restaurant the other night and a young man stopped us and pointed to the sky. "I was just looking at those white puffy clouds, and that particular color of light blue in the sky," he said, "and I've decided that God must be a Tarheels fan!" That man just might have a point!
|"The Golden Warrior" in front of the Kazakh|
Embassy in D.C.
To those of you staying behind in these United States: count your blessings. Be a blessing to someone else today, and strengthen the bonds between you and someone else. Be aware of your part in your trials, and continue to teach those of us around you through your trials. Be conscious of the abundance of advantages in your own life – not just the physical and economic advantages, but the advantages that come because you are living in the United States of America. You are blessed beyond compare – I know that from first-hand experience. Enjoy your blessings - and more importantly, make use of them. Go BE a blessing to someone else, and seize the opportunities that your own blessings bring you.