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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Embracing today with gratitude

For some reason, I have a hard time embracing today. I am always looking toward tomorrow (or next month), and I find myself missing out on the joy of right now. My daily gratitude journal helps me immensely in this area because it helps me count my blessings before doing anything else rather than letting the anxiety of all I don't have (or all I still need to do) take over my attitude for the day.

(Yes, I write about that much every single day, first thing in the morning.)

Without getting into details at the moment, let's just say our family is dealing with more change and loss again. I have my moments of panic, but for the most part, I feel a very surprising peace about it all. Maybe because people are praying? Maybe because I'm focusing on Scripture and saturating my mind with it? Maybe because I've watched God carry us through so much that I know He'll carry us through this, as well? Maybe because God starts me out each day by reminding me of everything I have to be thankful for?

Maybe for all the reasons above, and probably more.

Today I am choosing gratitude, despite the temptation to focus on what's gone.

Today I am thankful for sunshine, for my front and back porch, and for a restful day. I am thankful for my boys' soccer teams and soccer games, keeping them healthy, motivated, determined, and disciplined. I am thankful for the beautiful weather yesterday that we had while we watched their games yesterday, and I am thankful that they both won.

I am thankful for my family, for the relationship my sons have built as brothers over the last two years. I am thankful they enjoy spending time with each other.

I am thankful for my husband and his commitment to me. I am thankful for the marriage program at church that is helping us be better communicators with each other and better spouses to each other.

I am thankful for my church, my pastors, my Lifegroup, my ReEngage group, my Bible study groups, the student ministry, and the growth that I see in my sons as they faithfully attend and participate in all of the activities and events offered.

I am thankful for my sweet Pre-kinder students and all that they teach me every day. I am thankful to be in a classroom where I can have fun and move around all day. I am thankful for a job that lets me walk away fulfilled at the end of the day, ready to come back the next. I am thankful for my principal's faith in me to teach the babies of the school, to start them out on the right foot.

I am thankful for friends who are always there, to love you through the hard times and celebrate with you in the good times.

I am thankful for my writer's group--for their friendships, their honest critique and feedback, their encouragement, and the opportunities they open up for me.

I am thankful for all our stuff because nearly every item we own came with a story of blessing.

I am thankful for a personal God who knows me fully and loves me deeply. I am thankful to see how God loves me in my own love languages, through quality time and with words of affirmation. He made me a morning person specifically to spend the early morning hours with Him, and He speaks words of affirmation to me through His Word every morning before I start my day. No wonder I am never in a good mood if I get up too late and miss that time. (Watch today's sermon online to understand where I got all that from. Excellent message. www.lakepointe.org )

Gratitude. It does a body good.

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