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Friday, December 23, 2011

Top Ten Things I am grateful for this holiday season....

10.  The good health of my family.   My Mother was only 21 years older than me. I loved having a young Mom. She was only 60 when she died. Until her death I was confident about the fact that the women in our family live to be a million years old!  I have known and remember fondly all of my Great Grandmothers and Grandmothers. I have been amazingly blessed with hilarious, virtuous, crazy, fun women.  Now, I take nothing for granted. I plan for my children's future with the knowledge that we aren't guaranteed a single breath and find that now, I truly know how to live in the moment and I am so thankful that for right now, my family is healthy.

9.  The ability to pay for necessary things.  I hope the ability to get an oil change when I need one will always make me smile. I plan on celebrating the ability to pay for dentists appointments, oil changes and new socks every single time I can!

8.  The friendship and good will of more amazing women than I can count.  For every single mean girl in the world, there are 100 nice girls. I am blessed with more genuinely kind women in my life than I deserve. My very best friends in times of great need have been my friends since we were little girls. I love that although time and distance separate us, our hearts and intentions have kept us close. I prayed for wise women to be in my life and I am so blessed in this area of my life.  My advice to young women, be kind to each other..your girlfriends will carry you through life.

7.  Self Control.  I am blessed to have this and all the thanks go to my parents who taught me I don't have to be comfortable all the time in order to do what's right.  Thank you, Sister Lauren for recognizing this as a gift that I can be proud of.

6.  It took a long time but I realize that grace and mercy are a part of it!  I never knew this growing up.  Raised church of Christ and now Catholic, I am comfortable in being quiet in my religion. It's not about you...this is between me and Jesus...and I'm confident that even when I didn't realize it, he was holding me close and lighting the way.  I've found that I am very blessed. God doesn't just show us signs along the way, sometimes he sends billboards. 

5.  Cake, wine, a great dog and a warm fireplace.   These things add so much joy to my life!

4.  Sometimes people think joyful people have no problems. I find the opposite. Joy is a CHOICE. I wouldn't go back and change anything about my life. It's so awesome to get older, you see all the things so clearly that you missed when you were younger.  I am thankful that even in times of great stress, I hear my Mammaw's voice in my head to pray with a grateful heart.

3.  I am thankful that I get to be a witness to the success of others.  I can't take credit for someones success. I can't take the blame for their failure, but I can really LOVE the fact that I have a front row seat as a witness to their journey.

2. I am so grateful this Christmas to have met an adult child with ASD. He has no idea that meeting him was something I will never forget. It was like staring hope right in the face. He looked happy, well-adjusted, "normal" and loved.  He is coping fine and he's thriving.  I am grateful to the people who re-assure me, who tell me their stories, who tell me about how "it gets better"....Hope is a wonderful thing. I am seeing that they were right. I am so thankful for those who share their stories.

1. The love of my boys and my husband.  Without them, I would not get up every morning with a burning reason to push myself further and further.  These guys make me want to move heaven and earth every day.  When I look at their faces, I cannot believe they are mine.  What an awesome responsibility. What an amazing blessing. What a beautiful gift!  I am so thankful to be theirs.