In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To be thankful


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


Jeni said...

Beautiful! No matter what might be happening in our lives -good, bad, indifferent -and we may often think there is nothing for which to give thanks, then it's time to take another look around. So many things -little things -that we don't give a second thought to, or that perhaps we feel are just bad or wrong -are often the things too that we need to recognize and give thanks for everything!
Life is good no matter how rocky, rough and unreasonable it may seem to be at times and it sure as Hell does beat the alternative by a really wide mile too, doesn't it?

Joyce A Gray said...

With each passing year I find myself needing less and less to be "happy". Loved ones, family, friends, the knowledge in my heart of hearts that I am a Child of God and he will always love me and forgive me no matter how I fail. We will not have the traditional Thanksgiving as all our family is far away now, but we will be thankful that the two of us can be together in a beautiful place where we will feel so much better. Your writings mean so much to me Lori. Happy Thanksgiving to you a your familiy

Anonymous said...

Another lovely post from a lovely woman.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Lori!


Hilary said...

A beautiful post, Lori. So very you. I'm thankful we've crossed paths out here. I can learn a lot from you.

The Incredible Woody said...

Beautiful post! One of the things I am thankful for is you, my friend. Your beautiful spirit, loving and generous heart. I am glad to call you friend!

Jeannie said...

That was amazing.

You shame me.

I love, but not so passionately. I don't know how. I know I am holding back but I don't know how not to. And I know that I am less for it.

Brian Miller said...

wow. this was a beautiful post on gratitude...and so thankful know we all go through junk and i hope to keep the zest and attittude you have....

TechnoBabe said...

Living through the hard times does indeed teach you to be grateful for the good things in life. This is beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Just like your heart.
May every day be a day of thankfulness.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Beautiful words from a beautiful woman.
I am blessed to know YOU....thanks for all your kind words. They mean more than you can know.
Happy Thanksgiving.

deb said...

another just wow from me Lori.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your loves.

what a perspective you have.

LPC said...

Beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving Lori. A very happy Thanksgiving.

Ash said...

another inspirational and emotional post - you are indeed "something"! :)

happy TG!


SciFi Dad said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lori.

Anonymous said...

I saw your comment on Shine the Divine found your blog. What a beautiful piece you have sent out into the world. I particularly like that you discuss having learned from bad choices, that there is life after dining with the devil. Thanks so much for sharing your spirit with us.

Christina said...

so wonderfully said.
happy thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A beautiful post. I can fee the grace and love that you once received and are now passing onto others.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

What a beautiful testament of gratitude, Lori. You're a special woman.

beth said...

i bet your thanksgiving was filled to the brim with love and laughter and warmth and beauty....what a blessing to have all that and then some.....