Continuing with Thankfulness
I missed Friday and Saturday posing about what I am thankful for because of yesterday’s blog. It took a great deal out of me to write that and just as much to post it for the world to see. Sometimes you dig into the recess of your memory and wake up things God has enabled you to leave behind. That piece pulled up feelings and fears that have not been in my mind in a long time. So I spent lots of time in God’s word and with family and friends.
Day 4 of the Challenge was being thankful for your children and/or pets. It is well established in our circle that I love my dogs. I have two Great Danes and although they are my babies, they are not my sons. I have four amazing sons. I joke with my step-sons that they are my favorites because they did not give me stretch marks. This usually gets a typical eye roll and “really Mom?”. Cody is 23. He is an avid outdoorsman and we hear very little from him because between work and whatever he is hunting he stays very busy. He has grown into diligent young man, but his shark wrestling habits frighten me. (Yes, SHARK wrestling…at least that is what it looks like on his Facebook posts.) Colton is 21. Colton has been by far and away the most challenging. He has to learn things the hard way…like his Mother. He loves people fiercely. He is a protector, a true Sheepdog in development. He still has some maturing to do, honestly all the boys do, but there is an amazing man brimming under the surface. Vincent is 19. He would be the second most challenging for different reasons. Vincent has mild Asperger’s Syndrome. He is very smart, but he processes the world very differently from most of us. This was challenging for my husband and I. He is creative and trying to stand on his own. Once he is able to channel his energy and creativity he has more potential than he knows. Devon is 16. He is our apparent musical prodigy. He plays guitar, bass and now piano/keyboard. He is really smart. He also wears his heart on his sleeve. He cares very deeply for others…almost to a fault. He is the last son remaining at home.
All four of these boys are unique and have many, many qualities I could list. I am thankful for each of them. The challenges they presented helped me grow as a parent and a person. The blessing they have been in our lives far exceed the headaches and challenges. I love my boys. (Yes you will always be boys, even when you are old and have grandchildren of your own.)
Day 5 was about being thankful for a person in your family. It is hard to narrow this down. I am unbelievably thankful for my parents. They have loved and supported me my entire life. Going to their house is still “going home” to me. I am always safe when I am with my parents. They taught me to be strong, loving and tolerated my constant asking “why”.
I’m thankful for my Aunt Carolyn. Where my Mom taught me work ethic and fairness, my Aunt fanned the flame of creativity, free spirit and accepting others…all others. Her efforts motivated me to pursue my education and career choices. When I dance in my living room to the radio or Grease…I always think of her. She also first got me started on cooking. She let me play in her kitchen, cause that is what Aunt’s do. To this day I love to cook, especially for others.
As important as all these others are in my life and heart…Granny Wheeler I am most thankful for. She was dedicated to her family and her faith. She served her church and loved others. She also cried at every kindness shown to her. She wept when speaking of her love for God. I seem to have inherited her weeping trait. I shared this with a women the other day and she said crying was a sign of a humble heart. I know my Granny had a humble heart, oh that I could be as humble as she. My largest goal in life is to have words of life and hope spoken over me to my family when I die. When Granny passed everything said about her was kind, loving, and reflected her two great loves…God and family. It is a legacy few leave behind. We cried at her departure, but rejoiced in her life and memory. I am so thankful to have that example in my family.
The challenge for today is be thankful for your town/city you call home. Home will always be Fayetteville, NC. That is where I was raised. Where most of my family still lives. It is where I developed my foundation, faced difficult challenges and overcame some immense obstacles. I am thankful for the diversity of the community I grew up in. It gave me a different perspective than some of my peers. I am thankful for growing up in an area so heavily influenced by the military. It instilled a deepness of respect for the military and all in public service. You see things differently when your friends parents are deployed and you see sacrifice from the front row.
I have anew home too. Clarksburg, West Virginia. When we moved her 3 years ago I never thought it would feel like home. It does. I have expanded my root base, if you will. I love the simplicity and beauty of living the mountains. I LOVE my church and all the gifts it has given me. I like that things move a little slower here and there are fewer distractions. Make no mistake, I am busy as ever.
What are you Thankful For?
No you do not have to post it on social media or respond to my pleas for comments. Take time to jot down what you are thankful for the rest of this month. Something different each day. Use this month to count your blessings, instead of focusing on your obstacles. A grateful heart in so much lighter.