As I scrolled through pictures for our 2016 album, it amazed me how much has been packed into the past 11 months. Gratitude sparked in my heart and, as it’s thanksgiving week, I decided I’d share.
I’m grateful for new discoveries
The discoveries I’ve made this year have shaped, redirected, and sharpened my vision. Even something as simple as bullet journaling launched a season of intense personal growth. Reading The Miracle Morning offered a structure that positively impacts my life every single day.
I’m grateful for supportive friends
As a work-at-home mom of preschoolers, getting bogged down in loneliness and boredom feel like part of my job description. Please don’t misinterpret that last statement. I am right where I want to be. But my life doesn’t offer a lot of freedom to pursue face-to-face interaction with close friends.
That’s one reason I love modern technology. My best friend and I enjoyed 18 months of friendship living on the same coast. The past 11.5 years we’ve lived on opposite coasts. That doesn’t hinder our friendship; it forces us to be purposeful in the use of text, email, phone calls and—perhaps you’ve heard of it?—the United States Postal Service.
I’ve talked about The Sisterhood in the past, as well as my friend Elizabeth. These women, along with a handful of others, are my go-to people in times of need and celebration and confusion and success.
I’m grateful for my family
Before I chat about my family of origin, my husband, or my kids, I want to chat about you. This is a sensitive time of year for those who don’t enjoy close, happy family ties. To you I say, Find your people. Create your own family. Refuse to feel sorry or bitter and do something to make your life better. I say this with tears in my eyes for your predicament, and out of love and concern for you.
That said, I’ve been blessed beyond measure when it comes to family. My crazy parents gave birth to eight kids and you know how things like that multiply. This loving crowd is made up of loud and obnoxious truth-tellers who are generous with their time and opinion. (I’m one of them, so I can say all that.) It’s impossible to hide for long in our family, and I’m glad. My sisters were the ones who noticed my postpartum depression and encouraged me to get help, as I mentioned here.
Then there’s the family I’ve created with my husband James. This man makes sure I don’t take myself too seriously (it’s a problem), feeds me like a chef, enables me to live out my dreams, and models kindness and generosity. Just this afternoon I was reminded of his thoughtful nature when he went to great lengths to see that I delivered the right supplies and tools for a project my dad is working on.
As for my kids, they make me smile and make me pray. They make me tear up over displays of childlike love, and wail in frustration over childish behavior. They reveal both how strong and how weak I am.
I’m grateful for God’s kindness
All these gifts—new discoveries, supportive friends, and an amazing family—are gifts of kindness from my heavenly Father. In the book of James we are told that every good gift is from God. God doesn’t take the trouble out of life. No, he uses it to draw us to him, and then to mold us.
He used my interest in the bullet journal to lead me to the Miracle Morning, which has been a tool in my battle with depression.
He supplies supportive friends to encourage and strengthen me and laugh with me when life is difficult, and to celebrate with me when it’s good.
He put me in a family who speaks truth (loudly) and shows love, even when I’m not at my most lovable.
He gave me a husband who shows me kindness and love even on days when I’m not the most kind or lovely person.
He gave me children who teach me more about His heart and His unconditional love.
He gave me Jesus as my Savior so that I would never have to be separated from Him.
All in all, I’d say I have a lot to be thankful for. What are you most thankful for this year?