Yes, I know…..Thanksgiving week roles around and everyone decides to write down their list of things they are thankful for. It’s true that this time of year we are reminded to show gratitude for all the good things in our lives. But I’m also reminded that gratitude should not just simply be a response to blessings or gifts received, but rather a lifestyle. Realizing that every day is to be celebrated….because all that I have and all that I’ve been given is a gift. And I really don’t deserve any of it. It’s so easy for me to forget this. I was challenged this weekend to try to go a full day without a single complaint leaving my lips. Easy, right?! Ha. Not easy at all. Complaining comes so naturally! And most of the time, I don’t even realize it until I’ve said it. But to be thankful takes some discipline and awareness. I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t often voice…so in spirit of the upcoming holiday and to remember every day after….these are a few of the things that I am most thankful for right now in my life:
1. My Husband – Our life is not perfect. Sometimes I feel like blogs and other social media have a way of falsely portraying these perfect idealistic lives. Most of what I share are the good parts, but there is another side too. We have a real relationship, complete with ups and downs just like anyone else. But through it all, we love each other like crazy, and always will. Those valleys have made us stronger and have taught us how to love each other better. I really can’t imagine living life without Sam by my side. I am thankful for his heart to serve, the way he makes me laugh like no one else can, the incredible father he is to our daughter, and the way he leads our family.
2. My Daughter – This last year has been the most life changing for me so far. I didn’t quite know what to expect entering motherhood….but my heart overflows with gratitude when I think about what a blessing Rylee has been to my life. I had no idea such a tiny person could steal so much of my heart! It’s hard to even remember the life that existed prior to her. It’s so amazing to watch her grow so quickly and learn new things. She’s my world. Sam and I laugh about what the temperament of our next baby might be like. Rylee has been such an easy, happy baby so far….we feel like we might have another thing coming with our second! haha! Time will tell. For now, we will just be thankful for all that is Rylee!
3. Gluten & Dairy – Or the fact that I can eat gluten and dairy. About 3 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with severe allergies to gluten and dairy after battling stomach issues for over a year (I don’t talk about this much but some of you may remember from Rylee’s story) It was a really hard time in my life where I felt really defeated and hopeless. Before finding out I was pregnant, I was on a very slow road to recovery after what felt like an eternity. When I realized I was pregnant, my first emotion was fear, because I was not sure how my body would react to carrying a baby (or if it could at all) while still not feeling 100% myself. Little did I know, getting pregnant would be the best thing to happen to my body. It’s like a reset button was pushed…..and all the problems I once had with food, all seemed to go away. And still today, 15 months after her birth, they are still gone! So I’m just going to take a minute to show gratitude to french rolls & ice cream, pizza & burritos, ravioli and oreos!! Thanks for not turning your back on me.
4. A Home to Call My Own – Sometimes I complain about not having a bigger house, with nicer fixtures, more rooms and a bigger yard. But when I think of all the things I am thankful for, a home is one of them. I think there will always be things I want to add or want to change about where I am living, because I love the process….but the fact that I have a roof over my head at all is something to be thankful for. And the fact that I live in a town that I think I could call home forever. I’m thankful for the freedom of choice.
5. A Creative Career – I feel really blessed to have a job that allows me to work from home. Being a mom will always come first, but being able to be at home with my daughter and still pursue my creative dreams, is really what I always wanted. It’s definitely been a challenge finding my stride….and everything has taken a lot longer than I expected…..but I’m doing it! I’m really excited for what lies ahead for 2013 and am super thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way thus far!
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. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. –Melody Beattie