1. Emerald Isle. Just as the title of this post says...WE ARE SPENDING THE WEEKEND AT THE BEACH! I truly have the kindest, most loving in-laws that anyone could ever ask for. My girls absolutely adore them, and when we asked Bre if she'd like to go to the beach to celebrate her birthday, she said, 'YES!', with more enthusiasm than I think I've ever heard from her. She's been counting down the days all week.
2. A Clean House. I've been speed cleaning between packing suitcases this morning. There really are few things better than coming home from a relaxing weekend to a clean house.
3. Celebrating 3 Years Breast Cancer Free. Monday I celebrated being NED in my breast for 3 years! That's a HUGE feat because I've never made it that long between a recurrence.
4. My marriage. It's truly the biggest blessing in my life. The laughter and happiness that fills our home on a daily basis is almost too much to put into words. I've learned that it's not so much the big things, it's all those little things we do day end and day out that set the tone of our marriages. It's saying 'Please' and 'Thank You' because your spouse deserves the same amount of kindness and respect every day that you would give to a stranger. It choosing to compliment the things he does so well instead of criticizing his faults. (I fell in the toilet recently because someone left the seat up, and instead of being annoyed I genuinely laughed about it. And then I saw the blessing...if that is my biggest annoyance in our marriage, I am so incredibly blessed.) It's understanding that as a mother and wife, my attitude sets much of the tone of my household. When love and joy are flowing out of someones words and actions, it is hard not to reciprocate it. God is working on me in ways I didn't want to open my eyes to or admit that I needed work, but because He is, my marriage is prospering.
5. Kindness. I've struggled tremendously with the thought process of 'My attitude towards people will reflect how they treat me'. I hear you, Lord. That is NOT how you command that I live, encourage my husband to live, or teach my daughter's to live. I read an article the other day written by a lady after an experience in the Starbuck's drive-thru. She talked about a lady cussing her out because she thought she was trying to cut her off. When she got to the intercom, she told the barista that she wanted to pay for the 'rude' lady's order, too. The moral of her story was that we can't change the way other's behave, but we can choose to shift our focus on how we react. And we can always choose kindness.
Today I read a quote that said, 'Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.' - Marvin Ashton