Congrats to GG Mathis, November 2011 Contest Winner!

GG Mathis is the winner of the November 2011 Contest on Keen Tea Thyme for answering: What are you thankful for this year?

Here is her winning entry (selected randomly!) in its entirety. Don't forget to stop by the December Contest page and submit your entries for a chance to win free tea!

GG Mathis:
On May 22, 2011, an F5 tornado demolished our home, our cars, and our community. We were home at the time. The hallway where we took refuge was the only piece of the house left standing.

A friend whose faith is strong asked me recently, “So, do you see just yet how your experience has made you better and stronger?” I (whose faith has taken a beating this summer) answered, “Not yet. It’s too soon.” But as we reach the six-month anniversary of the storm, I am able to see and recall with profound thanks the people whose care and concern have carried us through the hardest stretch of our lives.

I am grateful for the staff who met us, sopping and panting, at the door of the hotel where we took refuge immediately after the storm; who put blankets around our shoulders and asked, “Would you like a cup of tea?”

I am grateful for the total strangers who drove two pickup trucks of salvaged goods fifty miles to my parents’ farm so we could clean and store them.

I am grateful for the dear friends at my church who met me with open arms, Kleenex, and in some cases, sleeves for me to wipe my runny nose on when I collapsed on them in tears.

I am grateful for the crew from the William Jewell football team, who showed up in my yard unannounced, threw back a collapsed wall and put in my hands the hand-pieced wedding quilt my mom made me and a box of dry and undamaged baby pictures of my son.

I am grateful for the online friends I have made via Steepster, who sent cards and care packages, and generously restocked my tea pantry.

I am grateful for the friends—near and far-away—who have prayed for us this season, because there have been many, many days I was too tired and didn’t have the words to do it for myself.

From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for my husband, who worked tirelessly at the site of our old house picking out bits and pieces that will help us have a home again soon. Quietly and without complaining, he has worked to make the rental where we’ve been camping a bearable place, seen to it that some of our creature comforts have been replaced, and has been my rock and anchor when I am falling apart at the strained seams.

From the very core of my soul, I am grateful that I know a God who protects my family, who meets our needs in unexpected and amazing ways, and who is faithful despite my attempts to jump ship during tough times.

May you and your family recognize more blessings than you have fingers and toes to count on. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for sharing your story with us, GG Mathis. Best wishes for a wonderful, SAFE 2012!

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