With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude as I’m sure lots of you are too. The past few months have been pretty rough for our family. My husband’s dad passed away somewhat unexpectedly this summer and it was hard to say the least. My husband’s parents are divorced and that left a lot of the decisions to him and his older brother. While we struggled with all the decisions and the fact that his dad was no longer here, we found great peace that he didn’t have to suffer anymore. We were so grateful that he wasn’t in pain any longer and that he was such a great example to us during his life. He was so giving and always went out of his way to make sure we were taken care of even though he could hardly take care of himself with all the medical issues he had. After the funeral, my husband and I were talking about how grateful we were that everything happened when it did. There were so many small miracles that made everything easier, even though it was still hard. Geoff wasn’t in school and I wasn’t anywhere close to my due date. My mom wasn’t working for the summer so she and my sister were able to help with Adalynn while we figured everything out. We were also talking about how grateful we are to have the knowledge we do that family relationships go beyond the grave. We know we’ll see his dad again and that is a huge comfort and blessing to us.
Going through this, and having a few other experiences with family has helped me realize how blessed I am and how much I take for granted. Having gratitude isn’t easy and I think that we often just get caught up in daily life that we forget what we have. We forget what we’re blessed with and we forget to give thanks for everything we do have. I’m definitely a realist. And sometimes it’s not a great thing. I worry about everything and I get frustrated when things don’t go my way. A couple months ago, I found myself getting discouraged because of everything we didn’t have. We didn’t have a big house or space for a new baby. We didn’t have enough money, we didn’t have a second car, we didn’t have enough time… and the list goes on. And it took me a while to realize that I just needed to stop and look around to see what I did have. I had a home with a roof that kept me sheltered from the weather. I had a car, I had money to be able to pay bills, and most importantly I had family and friends who loved me and surrounded me and supported me. And those things had always been there but because I was too focused on everything I didn’t have, I couldn’t see them. It was a wake-up call for sure. And since then, I’ve been able to really look at what I am blessed with and be truly grateful for it instead of wishing and hoping for things that I don’t have. This time of year always helps me to set my priorities straight and to remember that I’m blessed with so much and so are you. I promise that if you take the time to count your blessings your life will be better. Your attitude will improve and you’ll be able to focus on what’s most important.