Hello all. This post is a little late for Thanksgiving, but that is not what really started me thinking. I am excited for the holidays but, as it is for many families, it is also a hard time because we will be celebrating without one of our family members again this year. I was feeling particularly bad and lost and alone and I stumbled on a beautiful blog written by a young woman who was injured in an airplane crash and was burnt 80% of her body. One post in particular struck me where she was expressing frustration at the new way her body looked. She said how she had a moment where she felt the Lord's love for her.(http://nieniedialogues.com/) I can relate. Suddenly, while I was filled with sadness and loneliness at all I have lost, I remembered times where the spirit spoke to me and I was filled with His love for me. I feel like I don't remember those times enough where God has whispered peace to my soul and left me with feelings of love and calm. I am grateful that my life experiences have given me a sure knowledge that I am loved by a Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who has endured all. I am grateful for their perfect love. I am grateful that families are eternal. I am grateful for a gospel that gave me the courage to get up in my darkest days. I am grateful for a supportive family who has been with me and laughed and cried with me. They have comforted me and loved me. In that same vein, I am grateful for true friends. Friends who even though they didn't have the "right words" loved me and grieved with me. I am grateful for a husband who is my all. He has been there with me when I wake up crying in the night, and held me. Justin Lines, you are an amazing man. I am grateful for Jackson who, was my light in dark times. He saved me from the darkest part of my life and I am grateful for his little spirit and how he makes me laugh. I am grateful for my Madi baby, who has helped heal my heart. She cannot replace Emma, but she makes me hope again for tea parties, ballet, Anne of Green Gables, boyfriends, shopping for prom and a wedding dress one day and seeing her become a mommy. I am grateful I get to be a mommy of a daughter again. I am grateful for my Emma. She was an example of how we should be and I will live my life trying to live up to her example and live with the hope I can prove myself worthy of being her Mommy again.
As Christmas approaches, I will try to let my heart be filled with thanks and gratitude for the blessings of my life, and not get caught up in what I don't have. I will look around and notice others' struggles and trials. I will try to be a better friend. I will enjoy the magic of Christmas and be grateful for my two beautiful healthy babies. I want to soak in His love and peace and remember that even though life is fragile, it is so, so precious. But, most of all, I want to have some times to be still. I want to remember the times when He has spoken peace to my soul and remember how much He loves us all.
I am grateful.