How easy it is for me to take the little things in life for granted. It is easy to forget how blessed we are to live in this era with all it’s modern conveniences. I think about the early settlers on the ships that set sail for a new country and what life was like during the first Thanksgivings. A toilet that flushes, hot running water to bathe in and to use at our beckoning, electricity that allows us to see in the dark and to turn things on & off with just a switch, machines that wash & dry our clothes, and heating & cooling systems that make our homes comfortable to live in and protect us from the elements. Not to mention TV’s, stereo’s, gaming systems, computers, telephones and many more material things for our added entertainment.
While we do work hard to have what we have, I am grateful for our jobs and ability to make money and that these afford us these things that make our lives easier. I know that these things could be taken away in a heart beat due to tragedy, illness, death, or economics. There are no guarantee's of life remaining as I know it now. I know what it is to live without some of these things. For example, there was a time in my life when buying meat or anything of the sort was not in my budget. To this day, whenever I purchase, prepare or eat meat, a gratefulness that I cannot describe with words, comes over me. Maybe this is how or why I learned to live happily in a simplistic way of life.
In all actuality I could live without many of these things because I have but what I could not live without are people, love, forgiveness and grace.
I have walked willingly and unwillingly through the depths of hell. In breaking bread with the devil and his companions I lived a life that is so far from what I know now that it almost feels like I am telling you about someone else.
Hands that reached out to me in my disparity, bearing these gifts of love, forgiveness and grace, gave me the keys to my freedom.
Had I not met love I would not be here writing right at this very moment. And I am not talking about the romantic kind love. Had I not known what it truly means to be forgiven I would not have been able to stand myself enough to continue on. Literally. Had I not known the release of forgiving those who have transgressed me, I am absolutely sure these things would have made me a bitter unhappy woman today. Grace in all it’s glory set my record clean.
Had I not accepted these gifts, I would never have found the value of these lessons I learned in my walks through hell. Those play dates with the devil were not all in vain because he taught me everything I do not want or want to be in this life of mine; bitterness, rage, abuse, violence, agony, deceit, dishonesty,and a whole slew of other things not worth repeating.
These beautiful things called love, forgiveness and grace, stole my heart and changed it. They took my heart of stone and shaped it into something that has this great capacity to love others. They turned me inside out and shook up every belief I had up until this point in my life. The thing is, getting to lay all these transgressions down didn’t mean that all the bad I had done was okay or that the things done to me were justified, it just meant they were done. Finished. Laid down. Grace helped me leave it there and not go back.
Walking without the weight of all these things on me, felt like flying. I was free. The kind of freedom that make the life I live now possible.
I will be forever eternally grateful that the beauty that is grace helped me to take all that was and turn it into something more.
This is why I love so passionately and fiercely. This is why I cannot hate or judge or turn anyone away. This is why I want everyone that I come into contact with to know what it feels like to be loved & forgiven without strings and to be seen through the eye’s of grace. This is why I am who I am…all because love and forgiveness found me and grace said it was okay for me to accept it.
The thing is, my soul still needs this love, forgiveness and grace today. In a sense my life depends on them.
I am grateful for every single person that has ever given me these gifts of love, forgiveness and grace. I am thankful for each person that has come in and gone out of my life. I know all too well that these people we hold so close to our hearts can be taken from us in a mere moment. I know it enough to be thankful for each person I get to spend today with because I may not get to share in tomorrow with them.
I humbly tell you I don’t deserve half of what I got in this life but I humbly accept every bit of it. This husband of mine that cherishes me and loves me big, thinks I am really something. These 7 children of mine that call me Mom or Mommy, that have stretched my heart so big and have their names chiseled into my heart,will forever and always have me thankful that I get to be their Mom. These grandchildren who toss and turn my heart with their adoration of me, simply and utterly amaze me.
If today is my last day on this earth, I leave it as a very blessed woman. I was given a second chance at living and I will be forever grateful for every single day I got. I have loved and been loved to the fullest extent. What more could I ask for? Every day that I get is just an added bonus, so I live every day as if it were my last. Of course I don’t want to leave here but if my time were up I would want it to be known that I lived a good life.
I sit here thinking of my husband, children, family and friends and many of you that share these gifts with me in this present day and it makes my heart burst with thankfulness. Do you have any clue to how grateful I am for each of you? Thank you for sharing who you are with me. For letting me learn from you and for taking time for me. Thank you for helping me to see what I sometimes have a hard time seeing. Thank you…from the bottom of my heart and all that is in me, thank you.
To all of you celebrating Thanksgiving or not, Happy Thanksgiving. Happy thankful day. Even if you are not celebrating Thanksgiving be thankful for all that you are and the multitude of blessings that are yours. Tell someone you are thankful for them today. I am pretty sure it will make their day.
Until next time, hugs & love & much gratitude for you, Lori