What A Year It’s Been!

With 2014 coming to a close, I feel like I need to take the time to express my gratitude for such an amazing year.  It’s been a year of MANY firsts for me and my family.  Not all of them necessarily pleasant, but the majority of them were wonderful.

Our first first of the year was finding out we were going to finally be grandparents!  Such exciting and thrilling news.  We have waited for so long to be able to claim that title…. we were thrilled!  In fact, I was so excited, I had to blog about it.

The next exciting first came when we moved into our brand new home in February.  There were plenty of hoops we had to jump through to make it happen, but thanks to generous in-laws and their help, we were able to make that move before we closed on our condo.  Though moving is stressful…. it was a thrill to move into a brand new home.  As I said…. a first for us.  Though we had moved several times prior to that, it was always into an existing home.  It was so fun to be able to pick and design the interior of our home.  Though stressful in many ways…. it was worth the struggle.  I’m so grateful to be here and to be in such a great area with great neighbors.

I also celebrated a few 1 year anniversaries.  Some good and some sad.  In January, I was 1 year clean from cancer (I’m approaching that second anniversary very soon!), which was an exciting one to celebrate.   2014 was also the one year anniversary of losing my Mom.  That year of firsts after losing a loved one is hard.  Still miss her.

gram and gramp with benOn July 29, we were blessed with the best first we could ever ask for!  Our little grandson Benedict was born!  I can’t even describe the joy this little boy has brought into my life.  I cried tears of joy when I first met him.  It’s a feeling I can’t even explain.  I know I felt the same kind of joy when my own children were born…. but having posterity born is a joy that is unexplainable.  He is so adorable.  He’s five months old now and I could just eat him up!  What a darling sweet personality.  He certainly has his Grandma wrapped around his little finger.  I’m as SO grateful for this gift and grateful my son and his wife brought him into our lives.  Joy beyond measure.jon and ben

In August, I finally gave in and had knee replacement surgery.  Another first, and I’m hoping my last.  My recovery for that has been a little harder than I’d hoped for…. but my physical therapist insures me that it will get better!  Though I’m still struggling with rehab on the knee…. I’m still grateful I had the surgery.

At the end of September, we were thrilled when our youngest son Nate popped the question to his British sweetheart Savannah.  We are so excited to add her to our family.  She is a very talented young lady and her talent is what will have Nate moving to London when they get married in the Spring since she has a contract to continue as Glinda in “Wicked” on the West End.  I will miss him terribly, but I’m so excited for this part of his life to finally start.

Nathan and SavannahIn October, we went on an impromptu cruise to the Bahamas.  It was a lot of fun, and though I was only 2 months out from knee surgery, I survived fine!  We had a great time with friends and got to hear some great music from our past.  I wouldn’t mind cruising at least once a year.  🙂  Though it wasn’t our first cruise, it felt like it since we hadn’t cruised in years.

And finally….. we get to announce that we are going to be Grandparents once again!  This time with my daughter as Momma and now we know she is having a girl!  We are so excited to add a sweet little princess to our family!  Since we will become full time baby sitters for this one, our daughter will be moving in with us as soon as we can get our basement finished.  It will be fun to have a little one here all the time.  We’ve had the opportunity of tending our cute little Benny a couple of days a week…. so tending everyday will definitely be a new experience.

It’s interesting to look back and see where this year has led us.  The fact that we felt a need to sell our condo and get into a home again, as crazy as that seemed to many people….. to go from having no yard work, etc., to having 1/3 an acre to now care for is kind of nutty at our age…. but the condo just wasn’t a good fit for us in many ways.  Now that our daughter needs to move in with us, it’s a good thing we did move, because she wouldn’t have been able to live with us in our condo due to ‘rules’ about having grandchildren living with you.  It obvious to me now that we were being guided to where we needed to be for many reasons.

So, as this year ends, I look back with an immense amount of gratitude for where we are and what we have and what we get to look forward to.  Here’s to 2015 being an even better year!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Grateful for Cancer? Well…. Yes! Thank You, Cancer!

I’m WELL over due for a post.  It’s amazing how I can allow little things to take up my time when I could be blogging instead.  Sadly…. I forget how much I enjoy it till I do it.

Today I read a post from a friend on Facebook.  It’s an open letter to her cancer fight that she just went through.  It’s so beautifully written and said so many of the things that I felt while I was on my own battle with cancer that I asked her if I could share it here.

Before I do…. let me first give a long overdue update on my own condition.  I am 18 months out past my last treatment.  I go in for my semi-annual scan/check up next week.  I’ve been feeling great in that aspect.  Though I’ve been dealing with some digestive issues (which I’m completely blaming on diet) and some bad joint pain (which is because of age AND chemo…..)….. I’m doing great!  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first grand child which I’m SURE I will blog about shortly!  But really, life is great!

10.16-Be-GratefulBelow is the open letter my friend Lori Rees posted on her Facebook page.  It explains so wonderfully that even though going through cancer is not fun….. you learn so much and are truly blessed in SO many ways!  With permission, here is Lori’s letter:

An open letter to my Cancer:
Dear Cancer,
I am writing today because I feel like I haven’t told you how I feel about having had you in my life, and I hate to leave any relationship unresolved.
You came into my life when I least expected you. I had never felt more healthy-physically, mentally and spiritually. How ironic, right? Well, thank you for choosing such a time to arrive. My body had been building a fortress and I was prepared.
Actually, there are many things for which I would like to thank you.
Thank you for introducing yourself so clearly. I knew you were an alien visitor when I felt you for the first time. I knew I couldn’t wait to introduce you to my doctor, and take a closer look.
Thank you for allowing me to meet such amazing professionals at Huntsman, who gave me wonderful advice, re-assurance, and care.
Thank you for allowing me to meet other patients who inspired me and helped me along the way.
Thank you for showing me the kindness of complete strangers who offered hugs.
Thank you for re-connecting me with friends who reached out and encouraged me, and showed me such love.
Thank you for letting me accept help from my neighbors and friends, who cooked meals for us, mowed our lawn, and checked up on our family. That vulnerability is sometimes difficult to give in to. But I realized that accepting that love, support and help from others, is healing for all involved.
Thank you for showing me how strong a mother’s love is. My mother stepped in and didn’t allow me to lift a finger with laundry or housework. Thank’s Mom!
Thank you for showing me how important it is to do what I love to do.
Thank you for teaching me that being present in every moment is what I should always strive for. Every day counts. Every moment counts. Cliche? Maybe. But true.
Most of all, thank you for the realization that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was.
During our relationship, I never gave you any points or credit for anything. But I suppose I ought to have given you one. You get one point for my hair. I loved mine, and I miss it. I had worn short hair for 20 years, and one day, decided to grow it out. It took 7 years to get it long and luscious, and I was having fun with it. I am an actress, and I loved my “new look,” as I was just gaining my stride, getting back into the business. So you can chalk that one up, and know you knocked me down a peg, but you didn’t take anything else away from me. I can say that with confidence. You were never allowed to take away my optimism, my determination, or my spirit of adventure. And you certainly didn’t take away my talent.
So, who won? I guess it’s a matter of perspective. If your intent was to take my life, literally, or figuratively, then you lost. Big-time. But if you intended to show me a few things about myself and others; if you wanted to keep me on my toes, then you won. Either way, I get to be a better person for it.
So, as I say goodbye, know that I have no contempt for you. I don’t blame you for wanting to know me. I’m a pretty great gal! But I must ask you to respect my wishes and never return. I think we both gained all we could in this relationship. Let’s not make it messy, by dragging it out.
Sincerely,
Lori Rees, Survivor.

Isn’t that beautifully written? I absolutely love it!  And I can relate to every bit of it (other than my treatments were with Cancer Specialists at IMC and my own Mom was too old to help…. though believe me, she would have if she could have!).  This is brilliant.  I wish my thoughts had been so clear.  If you are, by chance, interested in reading about my own battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma…. click on the “When Your Life Hits a Wall” tab at the top of the blog. When you hover over the tab, you’ll see many additional pages with all the updates.  I’ve numbered them so you can read them in order if you’d like.

While cancer sucks, as we all know…..  having a good attitude about the journey helps immensely! I’m so grateful that I did and that people like Lori can inspire us all to look at it with a positive attitude! Thanks for letting me share, Lori!  There are lessons in almost everything around us in life if we look for them!  As the old song says…. “Look For The Silver Lining”.

I Am Grateful! How Are You?

Grateful to Be Here

One year ago this last month, a wake up call came into my life.  This last year has been quite a journey.  While much of it has not been fun…. I have come through it amazingly well and I am just so grateful to be here!

No one EVER wants to hear the big ‘C’ word!  Not a fun thing…. but it seems it’s so prevalent in our world today.  It comes in many different ways.  Mine, gratefully, was a very curable kind.  But even so…. the diagnosis doesn’t come without some trepidation.

Grateful to Be Here!
Grateful to Be Here!
(photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Last week, at the ball park after my boys game, I was reminded that it was one year ago in June that we asked all the kids to sit down after the game so we could ‘break it to them gently’.  I’ve never really asked them what was going through their minds at the time.  I know they were worried and concerned.  I do remember when I asked my daughter if she could come over to the boys game that night, knowing that I had been in the Emergency room a few days prior,  she said, “Why?  Are you dying?”  On the night of the game, I didn’t have a diagnosis of what kind of Lymphoma I had…. just that I had it.  The doctor had advised me to wait till the biopsy had been done and I met with the Oncologist to determine what type of Lymphoma it was.  I had said that I could do some research on the internet about it and he suggested that I didn’t.  He said there are so many different kinds of Lymphoma that it will just confuse and possibly even scare me.  He thought it best to wait for a definite diagnosis. So I did.  However…. I know my kids did not!  They did some research online and I think it may have led to a little anxiety in them.

Gratefully…. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Even though after some extensive testing it turned out to be Stage 4, I never felt doom and gloom.  I was confident we could kick this one.

My year has been one of many mixed emotions.  I’m so grateful that I was able to maintain a positive attitude and that I had a wonderful support system around me.  Perhaps the most amazing thing to me was that through social media. I was dumbfounded by the love and support that was expressed to me!  Because I made my journey very public through my blog…. I constantly felt the love and support that I needed.

I’m so grateful for friends and family that have seen me through this.   I won’t go into more detail here about my journey.   You can read more about it on this blog under the “When Your Life Hits A Wall” tab.  There are several entries there  that you’ll have to scroll down to read if you want to read about the whole saga.  🙂

I just wanted to express my gratitude for making it through.  For being here! For all the love and support that I felt from everyone, including my Father in Heaven.  Life is wonderful and I still have many years ahead of me.  I know keeping an ‘Attitude of Gratitude” will continue to bless my life and those around me.  Who knew that starting this blog would be such an important part of getting me through this?  Not me… that’s for sure!

You know how you hear to make sure you take to time to tell people you love them?  Well, this is one of those times!  I am so grateful for and love my family, friends, neighbors and even all of you!  You’ll never know just how much.  Thanks for sending me your energy and prayers.  All is well!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Blessings Unmeasured!

As I lay in bed this morning, my thoughts turned to the many things I’ve been blessed with in my life and I became overwhelmed with gratitude! I truly have a wonderful life!

I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities over my life that have brought me so much happiness!  I’m particularly happy today for where my life is at right now.  Even facing the health challenges I am currently facing….. I am so blessed!  I couldn’t ask for a better more loving or supportive husband.  He IS the best.  I love him so much and appreciate all he does for me which is way above the call of duty!  Thank you, John for entering my life!  You are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Your children could not ask for a better Father and they will all attest to that!

I have 3 wonderful children who I adore.  They are the joy of my life.  I love them so much and know that they can achieve anything they want to in this life.  I pray for them and hope that THEY know they can achieve their dreams!  They are truly wonderful people….. smart, witty, good looking, helpful and loving.  I could go on….. but I won’t lest I give them big heads.  <grin>

I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It has brought me so much joy and comfort over the years!  One of the many advantages of being a member is having a Ward family.  That’s the unit of the church that you are assigned to in the area you live in.  We meet weekly as a Ward for our Sunday meetings and worship together and lift one another up.  I have been blessed to live in three areas during our marriage and all with terrific Wards and people!  It’s been hard to leave each area when we moved just because of that!  The people I have met and associated with in each area have all been a blessing in my life!  And that includes other neighbors and friends around that weren’t/aren’t members of the church.  We’ve been blessed to live in some great neighborhoods.

Though John and I would like to get out of the condo situation we are currently in….. for reasons that apply to ‘rules’ and the fact that there are a couple of things a home would have that we don’t have here…..  I truly do love my condo!  It’s beautiful and comfortable and provides us with all the necessities of life.  Again, we have great neighbors and friends here and we know we are loved.

I love that John is retired and that we are not tied down to jobs that dictate when we can do things.  We are able to pursue other things both in fun and in making money.  (Which is still a work in progress….)   Time is such a blessing to us.  Though I don’t use it all as wisely as I would like to, I have that option.  Again… truly blessed.

I had a great family life growing up.  I had/have wonderful friends and wonderful precious memories.  I have a terrific family and though I didn’t feel I was really close to my siblings growing up, I have that sense now.  Even though I don’t see my brothers as much as my sisters…. I feel a closeness to them.  I’m grateful for all of them.  My parents were great.  It’s hard to see them get old!  I miss my Dad terribly…. especially in the summer when I long for his vegetable garden and fruit trees!  I miss his silly sense of humor and his loving ways.  I’m just grateful to know that I will see him again someday.  I’m grateful for my Mom.  It’s hard to see dementia setting in.  I don’t spend as much time with her right now as I would like to and feel I should because of my health issues.  Though I do have good days and just need to get out there!  If  I lived a little closer, I know that would be easier for me.  I’m so thankful to my sisters for being there for her!  I know they are wearing themselves out!  I hope to get back on the schedule soon for regular visits.

Wow.  I’m blessed with such awesome friends! Both near and far.  They love and care about me so much.  I just wish we could all see each other more…. but I’m so thankful that we stay in touch!

I’m so grateful for music in my life and how much joy it has brought me in so many ways!  I love to perform and have had some wonderful opportunists to do so.  I have met so many amazing people through my journey with music and theater.  All friends that I love and adore!

I know the Lord is blessing me with my health right now.  I am improving daily and know that I will get through this chemo stuff with flying colors!  I know He has plans for me to stick around for a long time!  It just needs my effort in finding out exactly what those plans are!  It is amazing how a health issue like this will make you think deeply about things that you may not have before.  I’m grateful for the time I’m taking to learn and study about things….. particularly about health and self improvement.

I have a great life!  There’s always things out there that we all wish we had or hope to have someday.  I have those dreams too…. but I truly feel gratitude for where I am right now and what I have….. and as my images says in today’s post….  “Gratitude turns what we have into enough!”

What a wonderful time of year to have these feelings.  They just need to be carried on everyday in my life.  Perhaps it’s time to drag out that gratitude journal again and start reminding myself everyday of what I have to be grateful for!  The list could go on and I haven’t even come close to saying it all here.  I just felt I should be thankful for the things that were meaning so much to me at the moment.  Just recognizing that where I am and what I have is enough!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  I hope you will take the time to be grateful for your life, just the way it is!  Know that we are all here to learn, and the experiences we are going through at the moment are only for our growth and betterment!  Find out what lesson you are to be learning through it!  Hang onto that gratitude and it will pull you through!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Discovering My Genius

Wow…. what an amazing weekend I’ve just been through!  I don’t know if you believe that things are put in our path for a purpose…  but I do.

I had the opportunity to attend the Genius Bootcamp this weekend.  This workshop is hosted by Thoughtsalive.com  ….  the website of Leslie Householder, author of The Jackrabbit Factor.  I was introduced to Leslie and her book back in September of last year.  Ever since reading it and discovering her website, I have wanted to attend one of these bootcamps.

Things don’t always work out like you would hope in order to do something like this…. but providence was on my side and made a way possible at the last minute to attend this bootcamp at an incredible price.  I am so grateful!

Not only did I learn a lot about myself these last few days…. I met some pretty amazing people that I know without a doubt that I was meant to meet.  Not only will many of these people help me in obtaining the goal that I focused on this weekend, but I feel I will have a continuing association with them for not only my benefit…. but the benefit of many other people.

It’s humbling to know that the Lord really knows and watches out for you…… especially when you are paying attention.  In fact, I guess that is why I was humbled…. I was paying attention!

I am so grateful for the things I’ve learned the last two days.  It gave me a chance to look inside myself for a while and realize a little of who I am and who I need to become.  I’ve known for a while that I’m a little scared of myself.  Perhaps that why I’m not good at praising myself and recognizing my strengths in other areas except the obvious ones to me.

Now, that may not make a lot of sense to you…. but I know my strengths where performing talents are concerned…. but when it comes to things outside of that…. I have a tendency to either not recognize it or shrug it off.  I’m in such desperate need of embracing my strengths and learning to use them to be a good influence on people!  I know I have more to give than I am currently giving.

I learned a lot about gratitude this weekend too.  It may seem odd for someone who has been blogging about gratitude for over a year now to ‘learn’ something about it….. but I did.

I am so grateful for the people who were put in my path today.  There wasn’t one person in that workshop today that I didn’t learn something from.  Though I connected on a much deeper level with a few of them…. I learned something from every person there.  What a fulfilling weekend!  It’s introduced me to other people that I feel I need to learn more from!  My book list to read and the workshops I want to attend have been added to tremendously.

I’m grateful that I have reached a point in my life that I have become the student who wants to learn so much and that the teachers are being put in my path!

I’m excited, though maybe a little scared, to pursue what is ahead of me.  To be able to learn what I need and desire to learn.  I just wonder why it took me so long to get here!  That is the one regret I have and even wonder at times if I’m too old to be pursuing some of these things!  But I guess the timing is right for me!

I hope for the sake of many of you, my readers,  that you may find that desire to find your full potential now…..at a much younger age than I!  You will bless so many more lives by doing so…. but more importantly your own!

I’m just grateful I’m now on the path to discovering my genius!  When will you discover yours?

I am Grateful!  How are You?

 

We Did It! Thank You!

AMAZING!  Thank you all for visiting my blog!  We surpassed my goal of 50,000 visitors at 2:46 pm MDT!  I’m truly amazed and honored….. and grateful!  Thank you for helping to make it happen!

I look forward to 2012 being another amazing year with my I am Grateful!  How are You?  Blog!  Stay tuned!

Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

My 1 Year Challenge Met!

Wow…. what an emotional day!  Today is the official last day of my daily posting challenge for my Gratitude blog.  Though I technically started my blog on Dec 27, 2010, I wanted to take it to the end of the year because it just felt right to do that.

This started as a quest for me to attract more good things into my life by being grateful for what I had.  Having become a student of the Law of Attraction, I’ve been trying to implement it’s philosophies into my life.  One of the big things that is taught is to be grateful for what you have.  Hence my pursuit to begin this blog.  It started as a fleeting thought that it might be a good idea and was confirmed to me that I should do it as I sat in church a few days after the thought had come.   The brother that was speaking in church that day used the term “I am grateful!  How are you?” as part of his talk.  He said that was how he decided to answer people when they asked him how he was doing.  The phrase jumped out at me so profoundly.  I turned to my husband and said… “I think I just found the name for my gratitude blog!”  Hence…. the blog was born with a fabulous title… if I say so myself!

There have been so many things I have learned over this year.  Many of them are things I have learned about myself.   It’s interesting to me to go back to the first few weeks and months of my blog and see how my writing style has changed.  My posts in the beginning we very what you might call ‘matter of fact’.  They were usually very short and didn’t contain much commentary.  It seems that as I grew as a blogger…. I had a tendency to add more commentary or opinions and thoughts to the things I was blogging about.  You might even consider it rambling!

One deadline met! Now to the next challenge!

Honestly…. I have gone back and read a few of my posts and been amazed at the things I said!  I read it and think, “Where did that come from?”  Oh…. not all of my posts are profound and wonderful….  some of them are still matter of fact…. but there are some that have been very good.  I have much to learn about how to use WordPress to be as effective as I know it can be…. but I hope to take some time to go back through all my posts and get them all categorized and tagged.  That’s one thing that I didn’t know how to do for the first several months.  In the process of doing that, I hope I can figure out a way to mark my personal favorites so that they are easier to find.  When you have over 370 posts, it’s harder for your visitors to sift through!

I have many people to thank for helping to make my blog more public and noticed.  Oh… I have a long way to go to be considered one of the top blogs on my topic…. but I’ve been amazed at the traffic that has picked up on it.  Once a couple of friends ‘promoted’ my blog to a group of their friends back in July, my daily visitor number increased a bunch.  Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to tell others about my blog.

I guess the most important thing that has come out of me doing this is how I have grown as a person.  Taking the time to be aware of the things around me…. thinking back on each day and what I had experienced that day has had a profound effect on me.  I truly am so very blessed.  Though my long term goals would take me out of the particular circumstances that I am currently in….. I am perfectly happy where I am!  I have everything I need and am well taken care of and loved.  I couldn’t ask for a better husband or family.  I have intentions for this next year to focus even more on how good my current circumstance are even more than I have!

So…. you may be wondering.  Am I done?  Is this the last post for I Am Grateful!  How are You?  The answer is a emphatic NO!!  I have many plans for expanding some new pages on my blog.  One of which will be titled W.I.L.T..  As I mentioned, I have a lot to learn about how I can best use this WordPress blog of mine to my best advantage and I haven’t discovered yet how a new ‘page’ on my blog can be a daily post like the main page is…..  I’ll figure out how to do it, but those of you that follow my blog may not get daily emails to let you know I’ve posted something in the W.I.L.T. area…. you’ll just have to come back and check it out!

Oh….so you are wondering what does W.I.L.T. stand for?  I guess I should tell you!  It stands for What I Learned Today!  It hit me the other day that if we are observant…. we can learn something everyday!  Now these posts will not be long drawn out philosophies from Wanda…. at least that’s not my intent…..  These post will be short little blurbs about something I learned that day.  They could be funny or profound!  It will be what it is!  That is the section of my blog that I want to commit to posting in everyday.  They can be quick and short.

As far as my regular posts go….. while I’m not abandoning posting…. I won’t be posting daily as I have been for the last year.  My commitment to you as my followers is that I will post at a minimum of once a week!  There may be weeks when I post more… but I promise to post at least once a week.  I’m planning on putting a reminder in my cell phone every Thursday to ask me if I have blogged yet this week….

One other area that I hope to expand on is a 30 day challenge area.  There are a few things I would like to accomplish this year that I’m hoping that by focusing on it for 30 days will make a difference for me.  These will change often…. we’ll obviously the challenge  will be for 30 days!  I’m not promising 12 – 30 day challenges this year…. but I hope to get several in.  Again…. this blog will grow with me and what is going on in my life.

I’m so grateful to all of you for visiting and supporting me on this blog.  It’s the fact that I have visitors actually reading my posts that keeps me motivated to keep going!  I’m amazed that I’ve had people from far across the globe pay me a visit and sometimes make comments….  how grateful I am to all of you!

I believe that so much in our lives will change for the better if we just take time to be grateful for what we have!  There is so much value in how are attitudes can look at things!  I made a comment on Facebook the other day that I think explains this pretty well and I’d like to share it with you.  It’s a quote from Louise Hay, who is the author of You Can Heal Your Life and many many other books…. here’s what she said:

Whenever there is a problem, repeat over and over: “All is Well. Everything is working our for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come.
I am safe!” 
~ Louise Hay

We really can find gratitude in all things!  Sometimes it may not be easy!  Somedays I had to search hard to find something to blog about….. but I did it.  I forged through.  I’m so grateful I did!  I have grown so much as a person this year I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  One of the best things I learned about myself is that I can make a commitment that is hard to do and keep it!  No one forced me to do it…. no one even suggested I do it.  It was my idea and one that I felt was important to keep.  Now I know there are many other things that I can do if I want it bad enough!  I can’t tell you how many times this year my husband mentioned he was proud of me!  I think I’ve even amazed him!

Thanks again to all of you who faithfully read my blog and thanks to those of you who are just discovering it!  I hope you’ll find some words for thought here!

I wish you the best in this upcoming year!  May you have a blessed and prosperous year!   Just keep in mind that prosperity is all in how you look at it!  Even the meekest of circumstances can be a life of wealth if you look for it!

I hope you’ll continue to join me here and even follow me on Facebook….  (See the “Like” button over on the right hand side?  Go ahead!  Join me on Facebook!)   One of my new goals is to get set up with Twitter.  I may use that to post my W.I.L.T. posts so stay tuned!

Thank you again and have a wonderful New Year!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Thanksgiving

It wouldn’t be very smart for me to make a post on Thanksgiving day and not say I’m thankful for Thanksgiving!

I love holidays…. particularly this time of year.  And no, it’s not because of the food!  It’s because of the people that we surround ourselves with!  I love family gatherings and ones that include friends too.

Today we were blessed to have  company beyond our immediate family.  Our oldest son and his girlfriend came over early this morning and had breakfast with us and stayed till about 1pm.  Then they headed up to Park City to spend the rest of the day with Ali’s family.  Our daughter is living in Arizona right now and was spending the day with her boyfriend and his family.  Really missed having her around this year!  Our youngest son was here to spend the entire day with us.

Because it was just the 3 of us, we decided to invite my sister and her new husband and her one son who would have been alone other wise to join us.  Then we ended up inviting John’s parents.  At the last minute yesterday we invited our neighbors who had  had their family dinner on Tuesday and all their children were going other places today.  So we had 10 in total, and not all from the same side of the family.  It was a nice mix.

Though we didn’t take the time I would have liked to express our gratitude to each other today…. I was still very grateful for the time we got to spend together.  I had a great idea for taking time to do that …. but the hustle of trying to get the meal ready and all on the table while it was still hot made that go by the wayside!

There is so much to be grateful for at this time of year as there is everyday.  It seems we take the time to notice or think about it a little more at Thanksgiving.  Of course, we would all be better off if we took the time to be grateful everyday.  It’s been such a blessing to me to start this blog because it has made me more aware of gratitude every day.

Though somedays I have felt like it was a little harder to come up with a topic, I wonder if it’s because I have allowed so many things that I’m grateful for to become passé to me.  I saw an enlightening video today that made me realize that perhaps that’s why someday’s I think I don’t have anything to blog about.  When you think about it….. I shouldn’t have any trouble at all coming up with a topic!

I wanted to share this video with you as food for thought.  What do you take for granted? …. what do you see so much that you forget it’s a real blessing in your life?  Stop and think about it…. I think you’ll be amazed  at what you can come up with.  Here’s the video:

I’m grateful for Thanksgiving and the opportunity it allows for family to get together.  I’m grateful for the things my friends have said they are grateful for.  Facebook has been a wonderful source of reminders of the many blessing I have as others have expressed their gratitude there.  They’ve mentioned things that I hadn’t thought of!  I’m grateful for reminders to not allow things around me to become ‘invisible’  ….  a reminder to stop and pay attention more.

This is my favorite Thanksgiving decoration I have! Gather together in Gratitude!

I hope you will all try to live in Thanksgiving daily and open your eyes to the blessing around you.  Thank you for being my readers. Many of you are regular and loyal and I thank you.

I leave you with a reminder of daily gratitude by quoting the lyrics of the Christian hymn, Count Your Blessings!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Count Your Blessings


When upon life’s billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will suprise you
What the Lord has done.

####Chorus:
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear?
Count your many blessings,
Ev’ry doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by.

####

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings,
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven,
Nor your home on high.

####

So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
Godis over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey’s end.
####

Grateful for Gratitude!

November is a month for Gratitude.  I’ve noticed the last few days on Facebook how people have been making a commitment to post something they are grateful for all month long.  Well…. of course….. this being a gratitude blog….. that made me very happy!  I look forward to reading those posts all month long and even be inspired by them.

I wanted to start the month off (well almost start it off….) by blogging about how I’m grateful for Gratitude!  I have loved taking the time to notice everyday things that I’m grateful for.  It’s been amazing to stop and notice things or reflect back on the day and see small and big things to be grateful for.

For those of you taking the time to post a daily gratitude post during November….. I hope you will find things that perhaps you haven’t thought about before to be grateful for.  We take so many things for granted.  I hope you’ll take the time to notice things that perhaps you haven’t thought about before.  The obvious things are easy to see…. it’s stopping to notice the un-obvious that can be eye opening.

Since I am well into my year of my Gratitude blog…. I’m not going to make this post a check list of things I’m grateful for.  I’ve been doing that all year.  What I would like to do is share with you a collection of quotes that I have found on Gratitude.  There are so many quotes out there…. it would be hard to list them all…..  but these are a few I’ve run across that I thought were quite profound.

I hope you enjoy them and will take some time to maybe make your own list of things to be grateful for this month!  30 things is NOT hard to come up with!  Focus on 1 a day for the next month and see if you don’t notice how things can look up for you.  When we notice and focus on the good in our lives and not the bad…. it comes back to us and we notice even more to be grateful for!

Enjoy these quotes:

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart 

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?  ~G.K. Chesterton 

 If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.  ~Frank A. Clark

 He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

 I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton 

 Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser

 If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily.  ~Gerald Good

 Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.  ~Estonian Proverb

 You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.  ~G.K. Chesterton

 In all things, give thanks…    ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give…and that it is only with GRATITUDE that life becomes rich.”   ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Here’s to your month of Gratitude!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Count Your Blessings

Once and a while on Sundays I take the opportunity to listen to Music and the Spoken Word while I’m getting ready for church.  Last Sunday was one of those times.  Though I didn’t hear the whole thing….. I did catch the message and the song that followed.

Sunday’s message was on Living in Thanksgiving daily.  It’s a beautiful message so I hope you don’t mind that I have posted it below.  I would do it injustice to try and summarize it.  Not only did I love and appreciate what he said…..but it verified to me that this daily gratitude blog is something I should be doing.  I have to admit…. I did feel a little inspired to start it.  It really is amazing what you begin to notice when you take the time to see what blessings you have in your life.

One of my favorite parts of the message was concluding it with the choir singing the most beautiful rendition of “Count Your Blessings”… not the one from the hymn book….but the one written by Irving Berlin that gained popularity from the movie “White Christmas”.  I’ve always loved that song….. but the choir sang it with such reverence and awe that I was almost taken aback!  It was a lovely lovely way to conclude that beautiful message.  If I could, I would post the song here for you to listen to while you read this beautiful message.  Please enjoy it and remember to “Count your Blessings instead of sheep” daily so that you can experience that kind of happiness that is felt by recognizing how blessed you truly are!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Here are the lyrics to the song as well:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessingsI think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings
Live in Thanksgiving Daily Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
A wise man who spent many years traveling the world serving others said in his ninth decade of life:
“Over the course of my years, I have met thousands of people. I have dined with the prosperous as well as the poverty-stricken. I have conversed with the mighty and with the meek. I have walked with the famous and the feeble. I have run with outstanding athletes and those who are not athletically inclined.
“One thing I can tell you with certainty is this: You cannot predict happiness by the amount of money, fame, or power a person has. External conditions do not necessarily make a person happy…. The fact is that the external things so valued by the world are often the cause of a great deal of misery in the world.
“Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, are usually among the world’s happiest people. And they make others happy as well.”1
It’s ironic to note that very often the simplest qualities of the heart are the most difficult to live by in consistent, meaningful ways. Gratitude is one of those qualities. We know we should be more thankful and express more gratitude, but we get caught up in the pressures of our lives, in the busyness of the day, in the heartache and difficulty we’re experiencing. Perhaps we let these things blind us to the many wonderful blessings that surround us.
Those with grateful hearts can affirm this remarkable truth: gratitude is one of the surest ways to happiness. If you’re feeling down, count your blessings; if you’re discouraged or overwhelmed, count your blessings. If life is good or bad, happy or sad, count your blessings. If we choose to live with gratitude in our hearts, if we choose to be thankful for life, for the gift of a new day, for loved ones, and for purposeful activity, we are bound to feel more happiness. And we’re sure to spread that happiness to others.