I have a new friend named Kristy. I love her dearly but I must warn you... if you ever need advise from her about how to get in a better mood, be prepared to write 25 things you are thankful for or have been blessed with. Sure if helps but MAN it's hard!!!! Now Kristy- I want to see yours!!!
I am terrible when it comes to realize what I have been blessed with. Most of the time I dwell on what I don't have rather than what I do. So while this is difficult for me, I think it will do me a lot of good.
*these aren't in any particular order.. just the order that they came to me*
1- Jon. He's truely my best friend and my soul mate. I've put him through so much and he still loves me and wants to spend his life and eternity with me. He is sad when I'm sad. Happy when I'm happy. He does anything for me whether he wants to or not. Opens my door for me. Prays with me. Cries with me. He is my other half and without him, I am lost.
2- My children. They are the hardest blessings I will ever love! And I do love them so much. They teach me so much and they are attached to my heart in more ways than I will ever know. I want to be a better person so they can be proud to call me mom.
3- holy cow this is hard!!! Bank Of New York-Mellon. Because of them, we have the opportunity to better our lives in Nashville and Jon is able to advance in his career and actually be able to see his worth as a computer dude.
4- Stamps. Silly I know but they help me bring out a creative side I tend to hide so much and I like to see the finish product and think "I made that??". And theres a comfort in knowing I have every single Stampin Up ink pad sitting on my table right now. Its nuts I know!
5- Photographs. They tell the story that without pictures, we may forget. I never want to forget the good times and how my children looked at various ages. And to be able to see smiles of those who have passed on.
6- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church is my social outlet. Most of my friends are friends from church. It's what I look forward to each week.
7- the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To be honest, I struggle with my testimony and get down on myself a lot with how little I know and I question a lot of things but really.. without it, I would have no hope. What would life be without the knowledge that we will never be able to see our families again after we die? That this life is it.. that when we die, we become nothing. That when I die, people would just say goodbye and move on? No! I want forever! I want to be able to know that when I die, there will be people waiting for me on one side of the veil and people looking forward to seeing me again on the other. I can't imagine not being able to see my dad again.
8- my piano talent. I am grateful to be able to pluck on the keys a little bit because I'm sharing my talents with others. I love teaching young children the love I have for music. And I love the feelings that it brings (provided I don't jack up the songs too bad).
9- Dang! only #9!?!?!?!? Publix. I love their buy 1 get 1 free. Silly right? But pair that sale with coupons and you got yourself some cheap food my friends!!!!! Sure some of the checkers can be jerky about it and I will fight to the death to get my $1 off but Publix is the happiest place I've found for good cheap or free goodies that I don't need!
10- while I'm on the subject, Coupons!!! I've just started to get into it but it has changed my whole way of thinking w/money. Which can be good and bad. I've always been cheap but man I feel terrible leaving a store having paid more than $20! Don't care that I can feed my family off it for a week. But we will never need another aleve or body wash or biscuit as long as we live!!!
11- my parents. My dad was a great man. He truely was. He lead a hard and righteous and honorable life. I didn't see this much when I was young because raising 11 kids can be hard on a person therefore hard on the kids when they don't always get their way. But as I got older and had children of my own, I really saw what an amazing man he was (is). And how much he sacraficed for us. I miss him so much! And my mom is a wonderful woman. I'm sure she would be surprised to read this because I haven't shown it much lately but she really is. We haven't seen eye to eye lately and on some subjects, we never will but she raised us as best as she knew how and I think she did AOK. I barely can handle my 2 kids... I cant imagine 11! And she lost my dad. How do you bounce back from something like that?
12- Jons parents. They laid the foundation for him to become who he is today and who he will be in the future. I hope to get to know them more as time goes by. But how can I not be in debt to them for producing the love of my life and the father of my children?
13- my sense of humor. I use humor as a way to hide my insecurities a lot of the time. Or as a way to get myself through an uncomfortable situation. Or just as a way to scare people away. But either way, it's part of me and I love to make people laugh. It's the type of thing that you either like me or you don't but it is what it is:).
14- my past. Many yrs ago, I made poor choices. They affected me in many ways. Some bad but a lot for good. I know what I want and I know what life can be without peace and happiness. I've been in both places. But I wouldn't know the true sweetness of my life without having tasted the bitter first. And taste it I did.
15- that leads to repentance which also ties back to the gospel. I remember one night, really struggling with some issues I had and I felt very strongly to open my scriptures. Yeah right I thought!!! But I did.. and I found the passage in Alma that has forever stayed with me.
Alma 36:17-21 and 24. I'll copy them here for those that don't have the book of mormon next to them to look up.
"As I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
"Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
"And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
"And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
"Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. . . .
"Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost"
What an amazing gift.. to know you have sinned but to be forgiven. To remember the pain of your sins no more. And I know that to be true.. because many times have I begged the Lord for forgiveness and I could feel that exact moment when I knew I was forgiven. That is truely a blessing.
16- Let's see... blogging. I have been able to share my life with others without having to write letters or call people anymore! You want to know about me.. and probably know more about me than you should, come on over to my blog! And its been so much fun getting into the lives of others... stalking them without them knowing. Who knew it would be so easy!
17- Facebook! Never has staying in touch been this easy!!! I am in contact with people I swear I would never see again. It's like a family/friend reunion by invitation only! I choose who I want to talk to. And man do I get pissed when someone doesn't want to be my friend or de-friends me! I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!
18- Getting closer!!!!! My siblings. Sure there are a few who I would prefer at this time not to speak to (and this time you know who you are) but hey- we are family. I'm grateful for my sister Amber who has always stuck by me and who has never judged me and never has critisized my crazy thoughts. I do love them all... may not like 1 of them right now but I do love them all in the eternal same mom and dad kind of sense.
19- Sonic. Happy Hr is the best 2 hrs of the day! There is nothing like that route 44 being delivered to your car.. never having to get out. With a few words and a swipe of a card, pure bliss is just moments away. And the elation I feel when I see that receipt that says FREE ROUTE 44 at the bottom after filling out a quick survey?!?!?! Has 2pm-4pm ever been sweeter?
20- toilet paper. Need I say more? I hate it... hate it when its wet or on the floor but man what would life be without it. So very much worse! Yuck!!!!! And you can blow your nose with toilet paper. So much better than your hands or shirt. And pick up dead spiders that crawl in the middle of your apartment floor with toilet paper. And you can use 10 rolls to decorate someones yard in the middle of the night. Not that I ever have done that before of course.
21- jewelry. Big rings make my big ol fingers look small. And earrings make me look less like my brother.. thank the good Lord above!
22- my wacky hair colors. Another thing that makes me me. Hair is just hair.. is grows back! I'm glad I can express myself with something that I can change in 6 weeks when it fades to an awful shade of orange.
23- Diet and exercize. Okay this one isn't a blessing persay... it sucks to be honest. But it makes a difference. I feel so much better when I do. And when I loose weight, I feel all confident and sexy (until I look in the mirror.. oiy!). But as hot as Jon always has been, he's looking better and better each day!!! Lay off girls.. HE IS MINE!!!
24- My friends. I love them. Each and every one. I crave friends. I don't mind spending time alone... but just the thought of being able to call someone up (or txt in my case) is so comforting. Sometimes it back fires and they want you to write up this crazy list but just knowing that they care enough to txt back is very touching. I would do anything for my friends. Absolutely anything. Its how I am... and I can't stand if I upset someone or loose my friends. I've lost many in the past and it just sucks!
25- ME. I am thankful for me. For who I am and who I can be if I put my mind to it. For my determination to want to be happy. For being able to push myself through the hardest times and make it out on the otherside in one piece. To be able to hold myself together for my children even though I am dying in side. I'm thankful that I can love and I can cry and I can be that friend and companion for others. I sure don't like myself sometimes but I am a unique and special person that I can only hope people will be glad to have known me.
Okay... I'm throwing in another one here.
26- Freedom!!!!! Everything I do everyday is because I am free. I live in a free country. I have free agency. And in the words of Saturdays Warriors, "freedom is knowing who you are". I may not know exactly who I am, but I am getting there.
Thanks Kristy for this challenge. You were so right. My heart is full.
EDIT: 27- my adorable niece Emma. She is fabulous!!!! Now if only she would come visit..hmmmmmm (there you go baby! I love you!)