Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Thankful November

It's been far too many days since my last blog post.  I can blame it on many things but the simple truth of the matter is that I moved it off of my priority list for too long.  During the month of November I challenged myself to find one different thing to be thankful for every day, and quite a challenge it was.  Some days were easy and some were much more difficult.  November of 2014 proved to be one of the more challenging months of my entire year; a fact I wasn't expecting when I began this journey of thankfulness.  But you know what?  I learned more through this simple exercise than I expected.  I learned that so much of how life treats you is a reflection of how you treat life.  Even if I didn't start out each day in a thankful mood, I did my best to end it that way.  And I found that I could turn around almost all of my frustrations just by saying "I'm thankful...."

 A Thankful November

Day 1: I am thankful for today and the opportunity to be thankful every day.  This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

Day 2: I'm thankful for my budding village and all the love and acceptance I've experienced since moving back to this sleepy small town.

Day 3: Technology. I'm grateful for the current technology that allowed so many distant friends to get in touch with me yesterday on my birthday -I'm blessed! And also for the ability for my children to get some face time with Grams and Papap!

Day 4: As I rush around in the morning trying to get myself and two little ones ready to explore our day I'm thankful for the wonderful women who love and care for my children while I go out on my mission to educate our youth.

Day 5: I'm thankful for the opportunity to educate myself and hopefully plant seeds of change in my community.

Day 6: It's not the majestic mountains of Alaska or the beautiful sunsets of the Hawaiin shore, but these rustic and cozy hills are home. I'm blessed to be nestled in this safe little valley especially now as the trees put on their finest colors.

Day 7: Sometimes you have someone in your life for whom you can never be thankful enough. Someone that, without, you would be unsure of your own identity. Someone who not only knows your entire history and completely gets you and accepts you, but still insists they like you. Someone who tells you that you are beautiful when you feel the least like it and tells you they love you when you feel the most alone. Today I'm thankful that I have a certain someone in my life who will fight for anything and everything they believe in, who puts EVERYTHING he has into EVERYTHING he does. And I'm thankful that the budding little family we share is at the top of that list.

Day 8: Saturdays....enough said.

Day 9: Without going into too much detail.... a self-sufficient 4 year old.

Day 10: I can't help but feel blessed to have the warm sun shining on my back and fresh air to breath as I walk through the last few "warm" days of Autumn.

Day11: I'm thankful for all the men and women who have served our country. I'm proud to call so many of them family.

Day 12: I'm thankful for people who give me the reassurance that there are others out there who see the world the same way I do and that I'm not alone in my beliefs and principle.

Day 13: I've enjoyed the warm days recently but this morning I welcomed the crisp cool wintery smelling air and I'm looking forward to the beauty of the first snowfall.

Day 14: Although a three hour delay threw the schedule-happy side of me for a loop today, I was thankful for the opportunity for a little extra cuddle time this morning with all of my most favorite people.

Day 15: Tonight I taught my four year old son about death. It hasn't been a great day and this will likely be (obviously) the most difficult post of the month. But the thing about death is that it brings life into sharper focus. It makes us sit back and think about, not one thing, but EVERYTHING that we have. I'm thankful for a man that taught me that life is to be lived and that a smile and friendly "Hello" can get you just about anything. I'm thankful for the times, however limited, that we had together and I'm thankful that every time I look into my daughters smiling blue eyes I will know that a little bit of Pap is living on in her.

Day 16: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:17 (ESV) I'm thankful for the peace that comes with knowing Him.

Day 17: Without the sun there would be no shadows; without the darkness we could not appreciate the light.  I am thankful for the light.

Day 18: Thankful for the strength of prayer.

Day 19: The last few days have passed in such a blur. As I prepare for another difficult 24 hours I'm thankful for all the warm arms that have made their way around me today.

Day 20: "Mom" is the best title I've ever had. I'm so thankful, especially today, for the two little ones who have taught me so much and can always make me smile.

Day 21: After an exhausting 72 hours, I was welcomed back to school this morning by many caring co-workers and loving students. Feeling blessed to be at work today (did I just say that?!)

Day 22: No matter the day, the situation or sentiment, I love every member of my big and crazy family. Whether you are related by blood, marriage or adoption (both formal and informal) I'm thankful for every single one of you.

Day 23 & 24: (I finally missed one!) I was so thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate new life last night. And I was especially grateful for my amazing Mother-in-law who does everything she can to make my life easier!
Psalm 139:13New International Version (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Day 25: I'm thankful for love, joy and peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.

Day 26: I'm thankful that certain holiday foods allow you to remember those that you cannot be with.

Day 27: I no longer eat turkey, so for me thanksgiving is far more about giving thanks than devouring the bird. Today I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to see a few family members that we don't often see. We've had a simple, quiet day surrounded by love; I couldn't ask for anything more.

Day 28: Sisters

Day 29: I'm thankful for the freedom and opportunity to celebrate our special times.  Our yearly holiday activities are actually becoming "traditions" as Kirk and I enter into the fifth year of celebrating with our own small family and the fifteenth year of celebrating together.

Day 30: I'm thankful for the imperfections of my life.