Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gratitudes--New Year's Eve 2009

This year has been a great year. I've had my ups and downs, emotionally and mentally, but this has honestly been the best year of my life BY FAR!

I've learned about Gratitude. It's changed my life this year and has made me a better mother and a better's also made me learn to love myself and to treat myself better. That was a major lesson to learn. I started this gratitude journey in April and I never want it to end. I'm a happier person because I connected with my gratitude.

I've realized how truly great life is. As a part of that, I've realized how undeserving I am, but how much love and life I have despite the fact that I don't deserve it. My life is a blessed life. God has been so good to me.

I've connected with a dream that I didn't realize was in my heart until this past year. I will probably post more on that at some later time, but if you're curious about it now, I'll tell you (send me a message). Posting it for all to read is a big thing for me, but that will come someday. The dream I'm speaking of is one that I'm not even sure will ever come to pass, but it's in my heart and it's up to God to do it.

I've learned that money doesn't matter. As long as you're alive and you have people who love you, you can survive anything and keep the life that's inside of you.

I've reconnected with some old friends (thank you, Internet) and have made some new meaningful connections, as well. Friends are really important in life and BEING a friend is just as important.

I've learned that making resolutions isn't necessary for me. It's human nature to make goals, but I don't feel that I really need to. The only resolution I need for this year is to be grateful for every day...that about covers everything else.

I've learned that I can teach my children. Parents doubt themselves when it comes to educating their children. In fact, I still sometimes feel that doubt trying to creep in, but God has shown me that every child has a different path in life. When I saw the list of famous historical figures, presidents, scientists, and current government officials who were schooled at home, I was amazed. At the beginning of last year, I can definitely say that this was not a twist I would have seen coming, but it was a decision I made with my heart and it has turned out even better than I could have expected. The path may take a different turn at some point down the road, but for now this is the best thing we could be doing.

I've begun to learn that hard times come and they pass. I'm learning not to wallow or to do emotional digging in an attempt to heal myself. I'm learning that I have to make the choice to let go of the crap that people have dumped on me (or that I've dumped on myself), to forgive, to release myself from expectations that God never intended for me to take on. If I learned nothing else this year, the one thing I'm carrying with me is that God is bigger than my problems and issues. He will resolve them when the time is right. When it's God doing the emotional "dirty work", it's easy and enlightening and I don't have to dig.

I've learned to steer clear of drama. I don't want it in my life. I don't want people who cause drama in my life. I don't want it for anyone else, either. Drama is toxic and it's a distraction FROM life, not a part of it. When I'm letting drama worm its way into the precious few moments I have on this earth, I am taking away from the joy I could be experiencing in the simple things. Drama is complication at its worst and I no longer want to complicate my life.

I've connected with the fact that life is short. Something could happen to me at any moment and you'd never hear from me again, but right now I'm still here and I'm not letting go.

Life isn't meant to be just an's called "LIFE" for a reason. Life means growth. Life means pruning off the things that keep you from that growth. Life means taking off the grave clothes we get wrapped up in--the things that kill us and drag us down (negativity, ungodly expectations on ourselves and others, unresolved issues, fear, etc.). Life means opening yourself up to love and to be loved. Life is about learning contentment, not complacency. Life is about grabbing hold of every moment you've been given and making the most you can of all of it. You will have bad days, that's a given, but the bad days will pass.

My hope for you in the coming year (and the coming decade, for that matter) is that you learn to LIVE, whatever that means for you. If it means getting rid of toxic relationships or toxic emotions you carry, DO IT! If it means stepping out of fear and making moves toward your dreams, DO IT! If it means reconnecting with your faith, DO IT! If it means removing the barriers you have toward loving who you are, DO IT! If it means learning to give and learning to help other human beings who need it, DO IT! Life is far too short.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gratitudes--December 10, 2009 (Liam's 7th birthday edition)

Liam had an AWESOME
birthday. He was happy all day. He felt special. He felt remembered and loved. That's all a parent wants when celebrating their child's birthday. He's a great kid. He doesn't ask for much. He doesn't expect attention every five seconds, but I love to give it to him because he is such a wonderful kid. He's incredibly bright, he's animated, he's curious, he's sweet and genuinely cares about others. I'm so proud of him, and I pray every day that I can be as good a Mama as he always tells me I am.

I sometimes get flashes or little glimpses of the man he's going to be someday, and I get chills because I see the potential in him. I didn't know what to expect when he was born. I had no idea that that little baby would make ME a better person. I didn't realize that he was a tool that God would use to teach me patience, gentleness and how to receive love. No one on earth has ever loved me as unconditionally as Liam has. Kids don't know at this point that they "shouldn't" still like you when you're impatient or when you say discouraging things. He has loved me from Day One and has never stopped. I want to deserve that love, but I always feel like I fall short. God is showing me through Liam that I am deserving of love and that I am worthy.

God is teaching me that HE loves me unconditionally, just like Liam does. God is teaching me through Liam to see the world the way it should be sometimes, instead of through my pessimistic filter of what I think the world is. Liam has taught me to keep my eyes open and keep my hope alive. Liam has reminded me to pray on so many occasions where it wouldn't have been my first instinct. Liam has taught me that it's okay to show that I'm not perfect, but not to apologize for it. Kids don't apologize for what the world might see as their shortcomings...they learn from them and move on to the next thing. I want that.

I'm grateful that God has put Liam in our hands, but hasn't left us alone to raise him. He belongs to God, but I'm so thankful that I get to keep him for a time. The years are flying by. I feel like he was just 3 years old yesterday. I am so blessed to have him because God knew exactly what I needed to learn.

My hope for you is that you remember where you came from and look at how far God has brought you. You are you for a reason. God didn't make a mistake when he made you. He feels even more pride when he looks at you than I do when I look at doesn't seem possible to me, but I know that what I experience in the way of parental love is only a tiny glimpse at what God feels for us. I hope you know you're loved.