Monday, November 14, 2011

What Fills You With Gratitude?

Gratitude begins where entitlement ends.

WOW!!!....Could there be a more true statement?

A lot of my friends are writing out something that they are thankful for every day of this month.  The thing is, I look around at my life and have so much to be thankful for that I couldn't possibly write it all down in 30 days if I only mentioned one thing a day.

My life is blessed beyond measure, and I know I'm not entitled to any of it.

I'm definitely not entitled to the grace that God covers me in.

I'm not entitled to have my children.  So many people want and try for so long without success.  Heck had God not blessed me with Kinsey when he did, I would have waited to have kids.  Unbeknowst to me at the time, I would have to have a hysterectomy at the age of 27.  Every day I look at them, I'm thankful for His timing.

I'm not entitled to my house, or car, or any of my other world possessions, but God has blessed us with the means to comfortably provide for our family of six.

Good health insurance.  I think about this often and the fact that if the majority of people faced just one of the medical issues we've faced in the past 5 years, they'd have had to file bankruptcy, or relied on the graciousness of others to get them through.  We didn't.  And we don't take that lightly.

Amazing friends and family.  Even during our darkest hours of this past year, we were never alone.  My kids lives maintained normalcy because of everyone who stepped up to help with all the tasks that I could not physically do, so that what energy I did have, was spent focused on my involvement with my children.  My life may have felt like it was falling down around me, but my kids never knew it because so many people who love us, were here to help hold it up.  Not only was I not entitled to that, I look back and think to myself, 'What did I do to deserve to be loved THAT MUCH?'

I know I'm not entitled to my health...and one of the things that has resonated so much with me these past few months is that had it not been for the deterioration of it, my life would not be on the path it is on today.  I would have never met this online community of people that I have now had the opportunity to meet, and fall in love with.  I wouldn't continue to meet people that touch my life daily.  Cancer didn't just change the outward appearance of my changed me.  It changed the compassion I have for other's, it changed my want to 'do something about it', it changed my fight and determination in life.  It has made me vulnerable past the point of comfortableness at times, it has broken my heart, and yet it has stripped away all the baggage.  There are no words to explain the amount of gratitude I feel for this season of my life.

What about all of you?....What makes your heart fill with gratitude???

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


For most people, I think, it takes a lifetime, if at all, to learn what's important. For us to learn empathy, or kindness, or pain, or to know what is merely annoying compared to what is truly difficult. For us to learn how to truly love. If we're lucky, and smart, we take those lessons and the experiences we extract them from and transform them into actions of our own.

This is EXACTLY what the world of a 3-Day is like.... people digging down deep and really, truly loving each other.  Standing up for those who are no longer with us, those who are being drug through the darkest hours of their lives right now, those who survived, and for a hope that tomorrow we will rid this world of such a terrible disease. 

I witnessed more compassion in a weekend than I had seen in my entire lifetime before those 3 days.

I witnessed the way the world should be....