Twice a year, the day before my birthday and the day before the New Year, I take stock of the previous year—for at least an hour or so. I start by remembering my blessings, and see how far I get. Tomorrow, July 28, is my birthday, so it’s that time.
I hope this list helps you assess where you are at, as well.
Above all, I’m grateful that God loves me, continues to mold me and forgives me for my shortcomings. Second to my gratitude to God is the the abundance of thanks I have for my husband, who is an amazing spiritual leader, protector and provider.
But back to what I am grateful for that happened in the last year—July 2015 to July 2016. Here are 10 big things:
- A granddaughter! I never dreamed that I would go from single to “nanna” in the span of two years, but I feel so blessed that I did! I get to love on this little one when we can visit or they come here. But, I love on her mostly through praying for her, since they live out of town and are moving further away :(. I haven’t had the privilege of being a mom since my hubby and I found each other just two years ago (a bit later in life), so I don’t have the baby touch, but I love to pray! I had a praying grandma, and, no matter how far away, my hubby and I are dedicated to praying for her.
- An unfrozen shoulder! I suffered with a frozen shoulder for about a year, from May 2015 through May 2016. Most sources say that they don’t know what causes it, but it definitely caught this active girl by surprise. This condition is extremely painful and I couldn’t lift my arm above parallel to the ground. When I was first diagnosed with a frozen shoulder, I went to physical therapy for a while, and a conventional orthopedic doctor wanted me to have surgery. I didn’t want to do that because my husband still has residual issues from shoulder surgery. After much prayer and research, I was led to chiropractic care coupled with myofascial release technique done in massage. My massage therapist told me there is scar tissue on top of my muscles, and either they cut it out or you have it broken up. She breaks it up—so this was no relaxing massage, mind you! She would press into my shoulders, back and neck with her elbows with all her might to break up the tissue! Now I do exercises and avoid gluten to keep the tissue from building up again.
- A healed thyroid and other benign lumps. My doctor found a lump on my thyroid and I’ve had lumps in another area, but we prayed over them at church—and the thyroid lump that I could also see and feel was gone! The other lumps were inconsequential. Thank you, God!
- A place to live closer to our community! I’ll have to write the details about this on another post—because it is an amazing story, but we traded city apartment life for a country home that is only eight minutes from our church. My husband now commutes, but we love our views and green spaces, as well as our home’s proximity to quaint Franklin, Tennessee.
- Visits with family and longtime friends. Since the Nashville area seems to be a desirable place to visit, we’ve had many visitors! I’m so thankful, because I love keeping in touch, and playing tour guide Barbie!
- A growing business and this Website! I’m not super technical at first blush, so I traded editing for the initial design of this Website, and I’m so glad I did! It makes it so much easier to point people to something with my work on it!
- All of our outdoor adventures! My husband likes to say that we keep the road hot! And, we do! We’ve been to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio (twice), Michigan, Kansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi—and to 13 State Parks in our home state of Tennessee!
- My husband’s love of writing! This development just arose last October—and now we can work on our blogs at the same time, which is such a blessing because I don’t have to choose between my calling of writing and being with my man! We brainstorm and support each other! You can read about our adventures and lessons in our relationship at his blog, hikingwithyourhoney.com.
- Deeper relationships with our nearby community. Last year we were far away from our community and not really sure where our place in serving as we gave our first year of marriage solely to each other. We have served in a couple ministries during the last year and grown closer to people we do life with. It took so much time moving and we are juggling a side business so this community building has gone in spurts, but we are thankful for it.
- My cat and all the animals we get to babysit—15 this week! If you’ve ever read my cat’s blog clivethecat.com, that I help him write, then you know how much I adore my cat! But I also love animals in general. I can’t wait to babysit another kitty and two puppies later this week—oh and 12 chickens!
How is your year going? Do you have at least once or twice—or better yet monthly or weekly to cultivate gratitude?