Thanksgiving will be here quickly, and with that in mind I'm sharing some of the small and large things in life that I'm truly grateful to have.

I'm grateful for friendships. It wasn't too long ago that I had a very small number of friends that I could count on. The two women that I consider my longest and closest friends, both live hours away from me. A visit to see each of them would require a four car ride, or nearly a four hour flight.

A few years ago, a special person entered my life. At first she was frustratingly friendly and got on my last nerve, and then I got to know her heart. She soon became one of my dearest friends, and encouraged me to seek more female friendships and to get more involved in my community.

Her friendship has enlarged my circle in ways I could not have imagined before I met her. Today I share my gratitude for her loving friendship, and the others she helped draw into my life.