Today I usher in my 36th year. This weekend has been fantastic, filled with pampering by my husband, a multitude of pictures and letters from my children, and sloppy birthday kisses this morning (from the kids, not Jeremy). I am so blessed.
In keeping with my gratitude theme for the year, for the rest of this month, I will give you 36 things I am grateful for. This will be on Monday of every week to give me things to focus on that I am grateful for that week.
On Saturday I was able to go to a Women’s Conference at my church. I attended one class all about gratitude. I was reminded that we are told to give gratitude in all things. The Lord has given us so much and we have no reason not to be grateful in all things, and in all situations.
So, here I go. The first 12 things I am grateful for in my 36th year.
1. My family. I know, this is a no-brainer, but really – my husband and children are my reason for everything I do. They give me love, support, hope, laughter and healing to my soul when I need it most.
2. My Savior – I am so grateful I can repent of my sins, I can be better everyday, I can learn and grow, and eventually return to live with Him again someday.
3. My Parents – My folks set such a great example for me and my children. They are serving a mission for our church right now, and have had some amazing adventures. They gave up 2 years of their lives to serve the Lord. I am so grateful for the example they have set for my children.
4. My home – while it is not my dream home and there are many things I don’t like about it – I am grateful it is close to the school, it has enough room for all of us, it keeps us warm and sheltered from the elements.
5. My voice – I am grateful that I am able to express my feelings through this medium. I have never had a hard time expressing myself through word, song or poetry. I am grateful for that gift.
6. My body – It is not the body I want. It is softer than I would like, a bit flabbier than I desire, but it is healthy and strong. It has carried 6 children, nourished 5 of them, run a half marathon, several 5k’s and competed in a triathlon. My body is a place of refuge for my children, and of love for my husband. My body has carried me through the last 36 years and will continue to do so for the next 36. It is amazing and I am so grateful for it.
7. Texas winters – this one might seem a bit trivial, but for those living in Utah, they get it. The inversion and air quality in the winter in Utah is so bad and there were many days we couldn’t go outside because the air quality was so bad. I love not having to shovel, scrape ice, or bundle up in anything more than a fleece. I love wearing sandals 11 months out of the year and that my children can play outside in the winter.
8. This baby – I have had a hard time getting “into” this pregnancy. The way this baby came to our family is a story for another day (no, not the birds and the bees part), but I will say that it has required a lot of faith on my part. However, I am so grateful for this child and the spirit that s/he is already bringing to our home.
9. The Priesthood - in The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, we believe that the Priesthood is the power of God on earth. It is what allows us to be married for eternity, baptized in Jesus’ name, and many other ordinances in our church. I am grateful for the power of the Priesthood and the way it blesses the life of me and my family.
10. Allergy Shots – I know this one seems a little silly, but I live in an area of the country that is known for it’s allergies. As everything pollinates in the winter, November – March can be very miserable for a lot of people. I am grateful that I have been doing allergy shots for the last year and for the relief they have given me.
11. Hugs from my kiddos – I love when they rand0mly come up to me and wrap their arms around my neck and tell me they love me. Best moments ever.
12. Friends – I have had the opportunity in my life to make many different friends. I have lived in a lot of different places, and my life has been touched by so many different people. I am grateful for all of them and what they have taught me.
Next week I will continue this exercise in finding gratitude in all things. I hope you’ll join me.