1. MY AMAZING HUSBAND who works so hard for us with passion, focus and determination to do what he does well. He is more than I ever could have imagined God would provide in my life.
2. NATURE, the beautiful flowers in my garden. I mean it, some days this house is in such constant motion (you know: two toddler boys, busy Fire Captain husband, working mom, commitments to MOPS and CBS, Life Group and...) that the only thing that reminds me I have two feet on the ground is noticing the still and beautiful flowers God created. They help me to focus on the now, the reality that I always need to find quiet and peace, that my family needs some peace and calmness daily, even if it is only for two minutes and interruption comes as a full running tackle by my 4 year old. Yep, I am so thankful God, for the beautiful flowers you have provided for my sanity!
3. BOOKS. I hated reading growing up, it was only by force or bribery, that my parents ever got me to read. Over the years I finally realized how much knowledge and understanding comes from reading. I think so much of my mental and emotional growth has been as an adult through reading a book every month. I have learned to love reading and crave it.
4. MY PARENTS, MY IN LAWS AND MY FAMILY. I am blessed in the greatest way to have amazing parents who are wise, loving, kind, giving, silly and caring. I have in-laws who love in a beautiful gentle way and who give even when they have no more to give, they keep finding ways bless us and our boys. My sister, my very best friend, my brother and his sweet wife who bring new beautiful perspectives. I couldn't imagine doing my life without my family. Daily, we interact, daily we support each other, sometimes hourly, they make life more fun and much easier living only a mile apart from each other!
5. FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE AND SERVED OUR COUNTRY, keeping it "the land of the free". For all those who have and currently do fight for my safety and freedom. What sacrifice! I hope to find better ways to honor you.
6. THE INTERNET. I love having all the worlds information at my fingertips. Anything I want to research, don't understand or want to learn is available to me. I know there are negative aspects to having access to this "world", but more good has come of it in my life than bad. Currently, the internet is offering me great information on how to be a healthier person and helping my family members live healthy lives.
7. OUR COMMUNITY. We live is such a beautiful city full of so many wonderful people. It is easy to get stuck on the negative things that happen, but truthfully this community is so packed full on loving, caring, generous, selfless and smart individuals that truly make it something unique. We celebrate together and we help each other when in need. We are strong together, I LOVE HB!
8. FOR GOD. Thank God that he gave us Jesus, our savior. I am so appreciative that I can serve the Lord and that my leader is more powerful and so much bigger than any power on this earth. You know, God might be there even if you don't believe in him. He hasn't been called the "Great Interferer" for nothing.
9. BEING A MOM. I m not talking about birthing a baby, though that was a special blessing I experienced. But that God gave us his children, the most challenging and most rewarding gift ever!
10. CHANGING OF THE SEASONS. Yes, I know...we barely get a change here in Southern California, but the little change we get, I LOVE! I enjoy the bathing suits, shorts and sundresses in the perfect 80 degree weather running around between the pool and the beach all summer. Just as I welcome the change in fall/winter to wear comfy jeans, boots and sweaters while enjoying a warm coffee, crackling fire, and smells of the harvest and holiday. Ahhhh. Maybe it is a little reminder that we change too, we go through our ups and downs, our struggles and our successes. But just as the seasons change, so do we move through the season we are in. Into the future God planned for me.
11. THE OVER ABUNDANCE WE HAVE. God has blessed us, and truthfully most of us who live in the United States and even more so, us that live in Orange County. I often think of all the things I "need" but am lacking, that I need more money, help, space...etc. But truthfully I am so blessed with what I have. The many times I want to scream and become anxious while staring at the closet or desk that is over flowing...I am trying to turn that very moment into gratitude and joy. We are blessed so that we can turn and bless others. Here is to a successful trip to Goodwill this afternoon!