Thankful, grateful and blessed …

I am heading into this Mother’s Day weekend feeling pretty good so I want to write all of this now. It’s always unknown how the actual day will hit me. I can feel fine going to sleep the night before Mother’s Day and then BAM a blanket of sadness is there in the morning. But right now I feel overwhelmingly blessed and I want to stay focused on what I have, not on what I have lost. I truly have SO much to be thankful for. I’m thankful because I am a mom with the best kids in the world. I am thankful that I have been allowed to share so much of their lives with them. I am thankful I have watched almost three of them now grow to be adults. I absolutely LOVE watching them chase their dreams! And I am thankful that God entrusted me with Reese. I think I needed her just as much as she needed me. Of all the things that I have become in my life, MOTHER, is my favorite. Yes, I lost my mom, and that still hurts after 25 years. But being a mom has healed me so much and has eased my grief in a way that nothing else can. So, I want to give a BIG shout out to Sid, George, Libby and Reese (and, of course, Trevor Sid’s boyfriend too). Thank you. Thank you for taking the broken parts of me and putting me back together again. Thank you for understanding my grief and helping me grow through it. Thank you for readily seeing and honoring grandma’s legacy that has been weaved into each of your lives. You are truly my greatest joy. You are the reason I smile so much and why I laugh so hard. You are my hopes and dreams come true. I couldn’t possibly be me, without all of you. And there is absolutely nothing in this world that I love more than all of you!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel thankful, grateful and blessed!!!

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Grateful to be a part of something special …

Yesterday Reese participated in the Special Olympics Regional Games Track and Field events. This is her second year as an Special Olympics athlete. I can’t imagine that there will ever come a time when I’ll get used to how incredible these events are. If you have ever questioned the value of Special Olympics, I encourage you to attend. The joy and pride I have seen on these athletes faces is absolutely life changing. These are the REALEST of moments and the most GENUINENESS of feelings I have ever witnessed. I can’t help but be moved to tears by this level of beautiful humanness. Thank you Special Olympics! To encourage, to help and to give another human being the opportunity to DO and ACCOMPLISH great things, is nothing less than heroic.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are grateful to be a part of something special!!!

Filled with joy …

I wake up pretty happy on most days. I am definitely that person who has a reset button that allows me to feel renewed each morning. It helps that I have always allowed myself to be inspired by each and every pleasant thing that comes my way. Not just the BIG stuff that stops me in my tracks. I mean anything that brings a touch of beauty, a moment of laughter or a sense of peace to my life. It doesn’t matter how little or how silly that they may seem to others. I appreciate ALL of it. This practice keeps my day filled with good. Even on tough days. Learning to smile at and be grateful for those tiny treasures is a gift. You have to work at it though. And have a heart for it. But it’s worth it. So. So. Worth it!

Well, I hope you all have a day filled with JOY!!!

Far away …

Today my son George officially found out that he will be studying abroad his next school year. He will be heading to Germany, and he will be leaving sometime this summer and he will be returning in late Spring 2020. When he sent me a copy of his acceptance letter I literally stopped and wept. My son’s dream came true. And it’s absolutely beautiful. As much as I struggle with the changes that have come with having adult children and the directions we have all been pulled, I can’t help but feel overjoyed. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities that have come George’s way. He has worked hard and he has persevered and God has blessed him abundantly. I know that at some point the distance and the time apart will hit me like a ton of bricks. But for now, I’m just going to be happy for my son and grateful that he is living the life that he’s dreamed of.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to go FAR AWAY!!!

An unexpected God gift …

Last night, after a very long and very exciting day (I’ll explain why in a later blog), I somehow got Reese into bed early. This is good because she has her hernia repair surgery tomorrow and I want her going into it as strong as possible. Sleep is so important leading up to something like this and it will be a huge part of how her little body will recover after. But, I guess her mama’s body was needing that sleep too.

Last night I laid down with Reese. We said her prayers and snuggled. And I don’t remember another thing after that. I woke up three hours later, thinking I had just dozed off. Talk about completely disorienting! I thought for sure I would never fall back to sleep. I was wrong. I slept for almost another 7 hours! WOW! With as conscientious as I am about my health, I am often amazed at how much I fail to see what my body really needs. Tomorrow will be long and stressful so I am glad that today I feel great and ready to tackle anything. And I am once again thankful for God’s hand in helping me be at at my best for Reese. As a mom, I just keep going, often times piling more on my plate than I have room for. I’m grateful that God sees this. And despite the piles of unfolded laundry and the dirty dishes in the sink, God knew it was more important to give me rest than it was to give me more time in my day to complete chores. He is awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift from God!!!

Rise …

My chores were done yesterday. I got a good night of sleep. I woke to beautiful blue skies. And EVERYONE here is healthy. If that doesn’t motivate me, nothing will. My mood has lifted. After last week, I feel renewed. Restored. Ready. I am grateful to be worry-free. Well, at least for the moment. This kind of energy feels INCREDIBLE after the despair I felt last week. It was dark. I felt our skies agreed. We had more rain falling than I had seen in years. I honestly felt like I was in a pit deep with fear. When your child is sick you feel so helpless. And that feels horrible. But Reese is fine now. GOD IS SO GOOD. And I have climbed out of that hole. I am back standing in the light. And I am THANKFUL. So, so THANKFUL.

During yoga this morning, I stretched my body taller and reached high into the sky so that I could physically take in as much of this day as I could. I have taken so many deep breathes today. In relief and to absorb this easiness of this day into my soul. I don’t want to waste one moment of how I feel. The weightlessness of this day is a gift and I will treat it as such. I choose to be present. To balance. To enjoy. To serve others. To love. To chase my dreams. And to bravely wear my purpose. To me, THIS is living my best life with all that God has given me. I don’t have to, I want to. I choose embrace this day and to be open to all that it brings me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you rise!!!

FEELING all the beautiful memories …

It was a quiet morning here. VERY quiet. And I needed it. No one was up early … but me, of course. I knew that would translate into a lot of rushing later but I didn’t care. My kids needed sleep. MY GOSH THEY NEEDED SLEEP. And I needed my moment of holiday calm. I am thankful that each year between parties and performances and late nights and early mornings, I find some time for myself that doesn’t include running shoes, sweat and swearing. This is time I usually find in front of our Christmas tree, under an overly decorated holiday blanket and sipping a seasonal coffee. ALONE. It’s wonderful. It’s needed. It’s what brings the anticipation of Christmas full circle for me. Somewhere between the first sip of my coffee and sunrise a sense of Christmas peace washes over me. I love it. Some years it comes early in the season. Other years, the opportunity comes later. But I don’t ever force it or schedule it. For some reason, I’ve been blessed to have it always come naturally. God is good. He gives me this time when He knows I need it and when I will appreciate it most. It’s honestly a gift.

But this morning was different than years past. Perhaps it’s my age beginning to squeak it’s way into my little tradition. Usually I lose myself in the “calm before the (holiday) storm”, admiring our tree, enjoying my coffee and thankful for the stillness. I guess I did do all of that, but when I looked at our tree I didn’t see a Christmas tree filled with memories. I FELT a Christmas tree filled with memories. What I saw was far greater than just a “decorated” tree … what I saw was a tree that held my family’s history. Ornaments that represented our journey together. I saw marriages, births, deaths, travel, change, laughter, traditions, joy and love! AND I FELT ALL OF IT. I didn’t just see, I FELT. No, this is not merely a Christmas tree we have sitting in our family room. It is some of my most precious life moments celebrated in one very special place … a tree, placed in our home, celebrating our Savior’s birth, who gracefully and graciously gave us the opportunities to share all of those moments together.

The sun rose and bodies started moving. Doors opened and “Good Morning” greetings were spoken. The silence of my little tradition was broken. It is over until next year. And that is OK. I will greet the opportunity, again, like a long lost friend. But this year I will wonder what changed. How did my heart FEEL more clearly the memories held on our tree? Perhaps I will never know. But I do know that I walked away from this experience differently than I usually do. I am more grateful and I am a whole lot more humble. Life is so precious. THIS I KNOW. And this morning I FEEL IT.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FEEL all your beautiful memories!!!