Practicing Gratitude

By Samantha Parrish-


Having gratitude takes practice. In an age where everyone constantly wants more, it takes intention to be thankful for what you have. It is especially difficult to be thankful for something or a situation that you didn’t even want.


Many of you may not know, but when I was 16 my mother was killed.  It was one day that changed my entire life.  I went from living with my sister and my mother to living with my Dad, Stepmother and brother.  I was now dealing with a new school, new home, new rules and new faces.  For a couple of dark months I tried the pity party route – why me, this sucks, how could this happen, why did God allow this to happen.  I think you can agree those are all legitimate thoughts and questions for a young girl going through such a life-changing situation.  Although the pity party might have been part of the grieving process, I can tell you now, it did not serve me well or the new life I had to lead.


I will never forget- on my first week at my new school a boy came up to me and introduced himself.  He told me his name, said he had heard my story and he wanted me to know that he had recently lost his father.  As our friendship grew I learned quite a bit about him and his situation.  The oldest in the family, and the only boy, he took on a leadership role from the moment his father was killed by a drunk driver.  It was that friendship that changed my entire outlook.  I realized “everybody has something and no one wants to trade”.  That change of perspective helped me to realize I had so much to be thankful for.  I had a family who worked with me to focus on my recovery.  I got time to think about myself and my feelings, while this guy had to be strong for everyone.


Looking back on those years of my life, even now I see I have so much to be grateful for- and I realize that may sound strange.  I wish the catalyst could have been different but this is my situation and as a direct result of that situation I got to experience the following things:


  • I have an awesome Father, who gave me the perfect combination of tough love and Jesus.
  • I have a wonderful, Godly stepmother (although I hate that term) that showed me what strong women do when the going gets tough.
  • I have supportive siblings who aren’t afraid to tell me how it is and are always there when I need them.
  • 6 months after the passing of my Mother I started working for a company that completely changed my professional life.
  • On my first day of work I met my now husband- almost 14 years later he is still an absolute light in my life.
  • We now have three strong willed, loving, wonderful daughters that force me to grow everyday.


This is not at all where I imagined life would be- but I am so thankful for the Lord’s love and guidance in my life.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”  Being thankful for the good things in our life is easy but we have to appreciate the journey that got us there.  I would challenge you to take the tough situations in your life and see what you learned (or could learn) from them, where that situation has taken you, and find something you can be thankful for in that situation.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family and all of us at the Ranch.



If you are a Ranch alumni we have a special holiday training session available – Dec. 11-14 & 18-21.  Call the office for more information (936) 588-6762.

There are 2 opportunities remaining for players to join us this winter at an Elite Pitchers Boot Camp,  find the dates and more information at 
We also have our annual Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp scheduled for Dec 8-10.  The event is full but you can still purchase DVD’s at



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