Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Although my blessings are abundant, here are just a few things I am so grateful for.
I am so thankful...
1. To wake up fresh each morning. Oftentimes, in my own mind, my day is judged on how successful I was at getting things done.
Did I ever get around to matching those socks? Was dinner good? Did I spend enough time with everyone...big and small? How about reading...did everyone get in their reading time?
Ugh! I forgot to reschedule that dentist appointment!
By the time my head hits the pillow at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much I accomplished in one day, there are always those moments that I know I could have handled better. I could have been more patient. I could have been more loving. I could have just listened. So yes, I am thankful for each new morning that I have the opportunity to wake up and start over.
2. I am thankful to be loved, cherished and always forgiven by my God. There are so many times I feel alone, unappreciated and unlovable. Perhaps it's when Mike is working late for weeks at a time or maybe I'm behind on my list of what "shoulda" gotten done. Or my personal favorite, when I am juggling too many tasks at once, but am afraid or unwilling to let go of one of them. In spite of it all...in spite of my piles of unfolded laundry, make-upless (is that even a word) face, and days of pony tails, God completely cherishes me.
3. I am thankful for my days of loneliness. I struggled with exactly how to explain this one, as I didn't want it to sound depressing or as though I was wallowing in self pity. As my friends have gone back to work and some back to school, I have found myself with more time. Time to reflect on my life and where I am right now. I have been able to see in what areas I am lacking and in what areas I may just want to stay true to the course. Either way, God has used this time to teach me so, so many things. Above all...to obey everything He has commanded of me...
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
4. For my morning cups of coffee and quiet times in the morning. It is a rare and beautiful thing to be sitting alone surfing the internet, reading a book or perhaps watch a show I had to DVR because there was no time to watch it when it actually aired. Those moments...are pure bliss.
5. For the 5 most beautiful children any woman could be blessed to have. Victoria with her thoughts that run deeper than most adults; Ethan with his charisma; Christian with his sense of humor; Addeline with her passion and Kaitlyn with her undeniable devotion. They are all so unique and will one day make their mark on this world in the same way they have made their marks in my heart.
"Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him."
offspring a reward from him."
They are truly much greater a reward than I deserve.
6. I am thankful for date nights with my husband, even if some of them are spent on the couch watching certain sports teams play that I couldn't care less about.
7. For the freedom to live what I believe.
8. I am thankful that Mike and I are like-minded on so many things. So many couples struggle with tough issues; how to raise their children, finances, jobs, separations, religion...just to name a few. We've faced many difficult things through our marriage, but thankfully we made the decision years ago to stick together and work through the ugly parts of marriage...until death do us part, right?
9. For family, both near and far. While it would be nice to live a little farther up north so we could be closer to all our relatives, it makes us appreciate the time we have together all the more.
10. Our home. Although I love the house we currently live in, I'm really thankful for what goes on inside these four walls...the good, bad and ugly.
"In this house...
We do second chances
We do grace
We do I'm sorrys
We do mistakes
We do loud really well
We do hugs
We do family
We do LOVE."
12. I am thankful for the number of years I have been fortunate to spend with my main squeeze. Mike loves me. He inspires me, encourages me, pursues me and makes me want to be a better person. I don't know that you could ask for much more than that.
13. For friendship. God has been very selective with the number of close friends he has put in my life and for those unbreakable friendships I am so thankful.
14. I am thankful for runs...both long and short. I am so happy when my mind and body are on the same page and can carry me for miles, but I am also grateful for the shorter runs that I am able to squeeze into my sometimes already packed schedule.
15. For goals and dreams. Goodness knows mine have changed through the years. What I thought I wanted before having a family is most definitely not what I want now. What's great about this, is the ability to dream and dream BIG! No one even has to know : )
16. Vacations...ahh vacations. It doesn't matter what is going on "in the world" our family always makes time for a vacation. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not talking Disney World every year vacations or anything crazy expensive. I'm talking about time away from everyday life vacations. We usually try and plan them around some other event...most recently Mike's marathon. It's so easy to get caught up in the have-to's of life that we can forget to look around and see what's most important...family.
17. Inner Strength. This is something I've been working on for a long while now...years actually. It has become my own mental exercise regimen. Testing it's endurance isn't quite like running a 5K. I never schedule a time when I'm going to test it's limits; God has a way of timing it juuuuust right. He waits until I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of insanity and them BAM! I'm forced to switch into survival mode. While I hate, hate, hate being in the middle of those tests of life, I'm thankful for the strength He gives me to get through them.
18. I am so very thankful for the amount of time my parents spent loving me and grooming me into the woman I am today. I will never proclaim to be perfect, or anywhere near so. However, I have learned many lesson that will carry on for generations and could not be more thankful for their loving guidance and kind words.
19. Books!! There are times I will spend days dreaming about when I'll have a free moment to sit down and get lost in a good novel. Then my time will come and I will spend days in the same chair, oblivious to the world around me, enjoying every word that book has to offer. Ahhhh. There is nothing like a good mental escape.
20. Motivation. Some days I have it some days I don't. Quite simply, I am thankful for the days I have it and don't have to chase it down.