this year…

Grateful for:

My life. My actual physical life. There is a lot going on under our skin that makes the body function. Little intricate cells and fluids that work together normally… or they don’t work like their supposed to and they cause pain. They cause the body not to work properly. This year my amazing team of doctors found cancer and adhesions. Enough was removed. During one of the scariest times I had enough radiation pumping through my body for 3 days that I couldn’t touch or get close to my children. So much for organic eating, right? It has been a scary year and there were days/nights I thought I was dying. I was so scared and thought I would not survive the next 24 hours. Blood was pouring out of me and pain was untouched by medicine. This year I fought hard to maintain composure, mostly for my kids. And I made it. Although I am not at my best or healthiest, I am alive. I can feel. I am, above all else, grateful.

My children. They make me laugh every day. They are joyful. When I want to curl up in a ball and go away, their very existence reminds me to keep breathing in and out.

My marriage. Chris and I have been going through very trying times. We have chosen to fight for “us.” I read recently that a marriage is a covenant. Not a contract. The difference between the two? A contract is between 2 people based on distrust. A covenant is between two people and God and is only broken through death. I learned how to forgive by practicing forgiveness. Had I not, no one would be in my life and I would be a very lonely woman.

My friends and family. People care about me and I care about them. I have made some very understanding friends this year who understand that I can’t get together as often as I would like… and they continue to invite me out with them. I love them. My family has been with me through every heartache, every healing, and lifts me up when I want to crumble. They continue to answer the phone when they see it’s me calling. I am truly grateful for that. There was a time this year when I thought my mom might stop answering because I called everyday freaking out. She never did. She is the first one I call when the doc gives me bad news. First one I call when I want to bow out of marriage and family life. Because I am screwed up and sometimes I want to run away.

Two of my brothers are fathers again (and one for the first time.) I am so grateful that we are growing as a family and my niece and nephew are cue babies. I get to stalk them online and will meet them in February. Grateful and über excited!

My younger brother Ryan… he’s family, I know. But he has been like a big brother who is unbiased and I trust with my life. I tear up just thinking about him. He has been “there” for me through nightmares. He is my best friend right after Chris. Love my other brothers just as much, but Ryan is the only one who can relate to what I’ve gone through. And this year especially he has walked me through hardships I didn’t know I would survive.

This year brought about many new health challenges. I am so grateful to have found a primary care physician who has worked with me and my specialists continually and never made me feel silly about coming to him with concerns. I must have been a real pain in the tush at times and he has been so patient with me. Thanks to him and all of my other doctors I am at a point in my life where I could easily be on double the medicines I was when the year started. In fact, I am taking 75% less medicine than I was. My doses are the lowest they have been in years and my conditions are all under control, on LESS meds. I am thankful for them.

Two years ago I lost one of the best. I lost a piece of my heart when my Grandmom died before her time. Silly thing to be grateful for at year’s end, but I am grateful to have known her. Every day I miss her and I still cry at the thought of saying good-bye to her. It was the worst day of my life. I am grateful she was here and she lives on in my memory, in my heart. I know she is with me everyday and especially now.

My Grandpop passed away this year. Big Guy, I like to call him. Because that’s how I remember him. I miss him like I miss my childhood as he was always there when I look back at that little girl’s life. I am grateful he is with Christ in paradise today. I am grateful that he is not sick or weak or in pain. He is at peace. I am glad he never has to see another hospital bed, ever.

I am grateful for finding myself through writing, journaling, and art. I am finding my former passion in a new way. As the new year approaches I hope to share some of that with you. I took an arts and crafts class last summer and it sparked the love I have for creativity that had been lost as a young girl.

This year I was published again, although this time it was online and not in writing. I also won a blogging award. I am thankful and appreciative that someone I don’t know reads my writing and not only connects with me through it, but shares it with others. It makes me feel humbly proud of writing. I love doing it and I am glad it has purpose other than my own enjoyment.

Grateful for homeschooling. My whole blog is about homeschooling and will continue to be so I don’t need to elaborate on all the reasons why it’s a blessing. It is a huge one for sure.

Most of all I am grateful for forgiveness. Christ made it clear that I cannot live the Christian life. Instead, He must live it through me. He couldn’t live without the Father… “By myself I can do nothing…” John 5:30. Thanks be to Him who lived a perfect life and died a gruesome death that I may be right with God without being perfect. He is the vine and I am the branch that living water flows through. I have been crucified with Him and my old life is gone. My new life is in Him as I am within and He is within. I am joined with the Spirit eternally. Nothing can take Him away. And when I get lost, He finds me. I didn’t choose Him, He chose me when He plucked me out of darkness and brought me into light.

Thanks for reading my post. As I end each one I am thankful that someone reads this because I enjoy writing it. So thank you, I am grateful for you are well.

Love,

Jackie

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