Thankful.

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, here are a few things that a St. Joseph worker has to be thankful for. There are many, many things to list, but I will keep it to this list:

*The St. Joseph Worker Program
* Sister Judy
*All of the Sisters of St. Joseph
*Family and friends
* Faith in God

I am forever thankful for the St. Joseph Worker Program. Without it, I do not think I would have all of the opportunities that I do right now. As a St. Joseph Worker you have a plethora amount of blessings. It all starts out when you start considering to be apart of the program. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to be in the program. A few short months ago, we started our official journey as a SJW and there is not a day that goes by that I Thank God for the program. It is a program that challenges you, challenges you in a good way so that you can grow and learn. It’s a program full of different opportunities that come up through the year. I am also thankful for my community members, Kristen and Gabrielle, who are on the journey with me. It’s a program that I am Thankful I am apart of, not only this year, but for the rest of my life. You see, the St. Joseph Worker program is only one year, but all of things I learn will be with me for the rest of my life.

I am forever thankful for Sister Judy. I am thankful that she was so willing to answer God’s call and start the St. Joseph Worker Program on the west coast. She is an absolute God send for the program and for me. Without her and her willingness to start this program, there would not be a SJW program on the West Coast. Not only is she the fearless director of the program, she is an awesome supporter of us workers. She spends so much time invested in us and I am so very thankful for that. I believe with my whole heart that it would be completely different if we did not have Sister Judy on our side. Thank you, Sister Judy, for all of the hard work you put into the program and us.

I am forever thankful for the Sisters of St. Joseph. Before they knew our names, they have been supporting, loving, and praying for us. They are super sweet and so very giving of their prayers to us. Like we are apart of their family, they are an essential part of SJW family.

I am forever thankful for family and friends. Without their support for my service year as a SJW, I would not be able to be as strong as I am. They are there for me to lean on when things get tough. They are there to hear me laugh, cry, etc. They are so special to me, each and everyone of them. If it wasn’t for their constant support, love, and prayers I do not what I would do. All of them are a complete blessing to me.

I am forever thankful for my faith in God. My faith in God continues to grow more and more as I get older. It is an extreme blessing to be able to practice my faith freely. He gives an over abundant blessings to me and that I am grateful. He watches over me while I live here on Earth. He walks with me through my journey. Everyday, I am challenged to have faith in Him. That is what this year is about, growth and challenges. I am grateful that I have the chance to grow and be challenged in my faith as SJW. Without God, this would not be possible. Thank you, God, for walking with me on this journey.

I am so very thankful for everything in my life, and especially for the SJW program. I am excited to see where the year takes me. As always. I will count my blessings and be forever thankful for all of the opportunities that come my way.

Blessings and Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Meet Gabrielle!

 

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Hi there! My name is Gabrielle Burton and I am one of the St. Joseph Workers! I am originally from Las Vegas, NV but went to high school and college in St. Paul, MN. I majored in Communication Studies, meaning… I love to talk! I also love to sing! I am serving at the Alexandria House In LA, which is a transitional shelter for women and children who were victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, or are just facing homelessness. I work in the childcare, and it’s been an eventful three months so far!

Working with kids can be exhausting, especially with ones that have faced some really harsh realities like our little ones . Everyday I find myself being stretched more and more past my comfort zone and giving more and more of myself. Each day I am realizing the importance of making sure that I am filled up with the Holy Spirit so that I am not giving of myself, but that it is the Holy Spirit flowing in and through me. I have to get rid of my personal preferences and hang ups because at the end of the day, it’s not about me- it’s about the people I am serving. While I may be serving the people at my site, some directly and others indirectly, they are probably teaching me more about life than I am helping them! I have really found the importance of just being with the people and building relationships with them. For the first month, I would get in at 9 a.m. and leave exactly at 5 p.m. I was concerned with getting home and going back to my life, but more recently, I have slowed down my pace and taken the time to chat with some of the residents and see how people are doing, and it is at those moments that I find myself having the most meaningful conversations.

Relationships are the most important thing we can build on earth, and I am who I am today because of the relationships in my life. I know I will be a better person because of the relationships I am forming and conversations I am having at my site and I am eager to see what these next few months have in store for me!