This past November, there was a movement on Facebook to post something each day that you were thankful for. I participated and through that month I began to really take stock in everything, both little and big, that I had in my life to be thankful for. As I created our Christmas card (a year in review) and took a look back on 2011, I must admit that my family had an amazing year. We traveled a lot, my kids participated in many wonderful sports & activities, we had visits from many loving family and friends, we experienced many "firsts" and the list could just go on and on... but as I reflected on our very blessed year I couldn't help also reflecting on a year that was also painful and hard for so many of our dear family and friends... the loss of Kip's grandmother Mimi in June, a friend that lost her father very unexpectedly, two friends that buried their husbands much too young, a precious young schoolmate of my children that fought so hard but lost her battle with cancer, the state of our economy and job loss for so many, several friends that are experiencing the pain of separation and/or divorce, friends diagnosed with and battling life-threatening illnesses, major weather disasters that devastated entire cities and unfortunately this list could go on and on as well.
As I reflected on these two lists I was torn between multiple emotions... joy for the amazing things we were blessed with in 2011, sadness for those things that stole joy from so many and then somewhere in the middle was a strange sort of guilt that our year was such a joyful year while others had more pain than I can honestly even wrap my mind around. Comfort came in this verse... 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 be joyful ALWAYS, pray CONTINUALLY and give thanks IN ALL circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
So this was my challenge to myself in 2012... to really strive to live out this verse every moment of every day. So for the next 365 days I'm going to focus on the things that I am thankful for (even the hard stuff)... and I'm going to try really hard to use this blog as both my journal and accountability on this gratitude adventure! Hope you will come along for the ride and share your thoughts as well! So here we go...
DAY 1 (01.01.11) Today I am thankful for my family. My husband that truly loves me unconditionally and my sweet kids that bring so much joy into our lives it's crazy! This was Kip's year to work Christmas and he worked a 24 hour shift Christmas Eve... no matter how many holidays he works, I still have the tendency to get a little cranky and sad that he's not home with us... but I am thankful for these two pictures of my kids and me on Christmas Eve and my sweet, exhausted hubby opening gifts Christmas morning in his scrubs because they are snapshots of our "real life" and remind me how truly blessed I am to have these three!