My husband, my hero.
My children, my treasures.
My close family, good friends, and material security from the roof over my head to the shoes on my feet.
Like all of you I am thankful for these often, daily and overwhelmingly. But...
I'm thankful for Multiple Sclerosis because it has taught me to love life, to love every step, to celebrate it and live it out loud.
I'm thankful for all the choices I made from age 17-24. The sins were forgiven and lessons learned. They grew me up, super-quick.
I'm thankful for being overweight. It's not healthy for me to stay this way of course but experiencing this has helped me begin to sort out vanity and pride.
I'm thankful for having been divorced very young. The devotion I feel for my husband and family of 15 years is fierce and in no small part a result of having not understood this sacrament.
I'm thankful for having grown up below the poverty line. Depending on family, on charity, and public assistance for survival shaped how I see "things" and how I see people. No amount of money can buy you character or faith.
I'm thankful for having lost nearly every possession we owned in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi. Monday August 29th taught me to have no treasure on this earth. I have things I like, things I enjoy, even love, but not one thing I can't live without. Not.a.one.
I'm thankful for all my shortcomings - my temper, my need for control, my resistance to authority, my appreciation for sarcasm, irony, and questionable humor. My refusal to eat the ends of french fries, crusts or the squishy, white, umbilical cord-thingy in eggs. They are just a few parts of me God is still working on... I keep Him busy.
I'm thankful for the people who have hurt me the most. They served a purpose in my life I wouldn't undo if I could. They made me strong, resourceful, compassionate. They made me want better for myself, my children and for others in those same situations. The causes I care about stem from the reactions started in my heart. Every thing meant to bring darkness was turned into light. Every evil returned as good by a grace which I can only glimpse through this redemptive process.
Praying my way through these is not a one-shot, or a one month deal. I find myself revisiting them throughout my life and each time because time, age, children and experience have been calling me to more and I need to draw on these trials to manage and to grow. Embrace even that which you think you cannot embrace and it loses it's power over you. I saw something this week, one of those little Pinterest signs/cards- It said something like every moment you carry a grudge you are allowing someone to live rent free in your head. Apropos :)
God Bless and Keep You.