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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Life Lesson #101 ~ Give Thanks

"It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy."  ~ Anonymous

As we approach the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season, i want to reflect first on Thanksgiving. This year as most we gathered with family and friends. And like so many other years we have so much to be thankful for. This last year our family has seen so much growth spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially. There's not much we can honestly complain about. Johnny and I are on solid ground, happy and our foundation stronger than ever before. The boys are in school.Micah is a senior, looking forward to starting college and yes planning his graduation trip. Joshua, he's 20, in college, becoming his own man and finding his own way. I'm working my dream job and Johnny's working for a good complany. My parents are in the prime of their lives, preparing for my dad to retire, to travel and enjoy even more time with each other. And there's the puppies, who have brought so much joy and happiness into our lives. Life isn't perfect but it's pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I look back and I am truly thankful for all God has given us, provided us both through experience and by material means. The memories we share are worth far more than money could buy. Our family may be little in size, but our heart is bigger than the ocean is wide.

Life Lesson #101 ~ Give thanks in everything. I have learned this lesson to be the best tid bit of advice I've ever been given. Remember, "someone else is happy with less than you have." Start every day with a grateful heart and a sense of purpose and you'll never be unhappy. Seriously, we all make mistakes, we fail and plans fall apart but God never asks us to carry more than we are capable of. Believe me I speak from personal experience. I've learned many times to be happy even when I'm sad. It's kinda an important thing you know? (Paraphrased quote by Marylin Monroe) The truth is life doesn't always go our way. Things get complicated, chaotic and a bit upside down from time to time. We don't always get a story book happy ending but that doesn't mean we aren't happy. My family is far from perfect, but I like it that way. Kinda makes life interesting doesn't it? There's never a dull moment right? The reality is we may not have it all together but together we have it all. And that's why I love Thanksgiving so much. Why, because it's time for reflection, a time for gratitude and thankfulness for ALL we have, not necessarily all we want. Today I am thankful for every failure, every misstep, every down and out moment I faced this last year.I have enjoyed more laughter even if I've felt the sting of a few tears. I am stronger for the fall, wiser for the journey and content with who I am because of where I have been. My faith has not been broken, my spirit has not been shattered nor has my heart been nailed to a wall. What this last year has given me is perspective, a deeper, stronger, sounder and more secure marriage. The relationships with my boys have grown, expanding and resonating a deeper, even more meaningful resilient bond than ever before. I've also developed an even stronger more authentic relationship with  my parents and with good friends who are just as much family as those whose blood I share.

This Thanksgiving weekend was spent in the company of those I love. I couldn't have asked for a better way to enjoy the last four days. As Paddington says,"There are no other humans I would rather call family." From our traditional family dinner, to friends-giving, playing cards or hanging out with extended family at the Houston Zoo Lights to simply having lunch with my parents, I have every reason to be thankful. So what are you thankful for this year is my question? What has life complicated for you yet God untangled this past year? Gratitude is not found in the things we've obtained, or those items which we've accumulated or even accomplishments we've managed on our own. No real gratefulness come from s deeper place, an understanding we have nothing on our own merit. Honestly all I have, all I am is a gift from God. By His grace I am the woman I am today and by His mercies I am part of a family bigger than myself. As long as I have air to breathe my heart will praise God for all He has given me, both in hard times and in good ones. Psalms 28:7 says, " The Lord protects and defends me, I trust in Him. He gives me help and makes me glad; I praise Him with joyful songs." To me this is what Thanksgiving is all about, praising God for all my many blessings, in disguise or not.  Knowing no matter what tomorrow brings I am happy because I'm thankful.

So happy belated Thanksgiving ya'll. Some of us may talk often, some from time to time but no matter what the circumstance I'm ever so grateful for all of my family and friends. I'm thankful every day for all ya'll bring to my life. I'm beyond grateful because of the ties we share, the bonds we've made near or far. Now go on ya'll, "Live, love and laugh ~ in no particular order."

~ Christina

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