Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I was thinking today as I ran about being an "optimist". I wake up every morning excited to be alive and to have been given another day to walk with God, be a mom and walk on this earth. I don't really struggle with depression or bad moods. As I thought about this and why it is, it hit me. I am so grateful for all that I have. The first thoughts that are in my mind as I begin to run are thoughts of thanksgiving. I just begin to thank God for everything I have, big and small. It's something that I have done since I started walking with God. At first, I made myself go through thanking God, b/c I needed to be reminded and it helped me get into a joyful mood in the morning. I did used to struggle with depression and having a bad attitude when I first met Him. Over years it has just become a habit to wake up and start thanking Him. Sometimes I end up thanking him for 30 or 45 minutes of my prayer time. Then I reel myself back in and start praying about the things I need to pray about. I think that is what helps me keep a really optimistic outlook on life. It is hard to have a bad attitude or be too down when you are thinking about all that you are grateful for.

I really felt like I wanted to write about the things I am really thankful for. There are so many things that we take for granted. I don't know, maybe this will help someone else, or maybe I just want to be reminded.

I am thankful for... my hands and feet, and arms and legs, and fingers and toes (imagine life without them, many are missing some). My toe nails and fingernails (how bad would it hurt to just have nail beds). My eyelashes. That I can see, taste, touch, smell, and hear. That I have a house, a bed, food (I used to dig my food out of dumpsters), running water, electricity, and gas. warm baths, and soft towels. my ipod, sewing machines, computers, tv and dvd player. That I can chew and swallow my food. My children live in a country where they can go to school and worship God and cannot starve. I am thankful that I was able to conceive children against all odds (when many people pay and pay and pay to try and conceive.) and give birth to them without a c-section (that was really important to me). That I was able to breast feed all of my children (I have had friends that really struggled with that or could not). I am grateful that God let me get Rheumatoid Arthritis b/c it changed the way my family and I eat. I am grateful to be off drugs. I am grateful that God let me struggle with alcoholism and then helped me get free from it (I learned to be gracious to those who struggle). I have more clothes than I can wear (I used to have 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of undies, 1 bra, 2 shirts, a skirt, leather jacket, 1 pair of socks, and a pair of boots). I am thankful I don't have AIDS, hepatitis, or TB, nor do my children. I am thankful that I met God at 20, before I had a chance to really damage Alexandra. I am thankful that my brother went to jail and got off of drugs. Grateful for friends and that I can realize now how many friends I have and can be a friend. I am grateful that my life had such a hard beginning so that I would grow to have the strength and passion that I have. I am grateful that I am an artist and that God allowed Satan to steal that from me for so many years and because I have had to fight so hard for it I am passionate about developing creativity in other people. I am grateful that I have picked up so many tools along my journey to help people. I am grateful that God gave me Alexandra and used her to save my life, keep my off drugs when there was no other reason I could see. Thankful that He protected her from my stupid, selfish and self destructive behavior. I am thankful that I walked into The Early Church on July 17, 1992 and met Jesus there. I am grateful that I learned so much and grew so much there. I am grateful that I met Larry there and that they separated us so that we went through all that we went through and in the end had a much stronger, passionate and committed love between us. and i am grateful that the church closed it doors. I am grateful that God gave us Stephen and used him to keep us connected and then spoke through him to bring us back together. I am grateful that Stephen was God lesson on grace to me. I am thankful that God has allowed me to home school Stephen, that he made me willing, gave me the resources and commitment and caused Larry to agree and allow it. I am thankful that I have had a hands on part in teaching him and seeing him begin to succeed and realize that he is not stupid. I am thankful that God made it easy to give up my career for his benefit. I am thankful that my husband loves me no matter what (fat, skinny, drunk, sober, red, pink, purple or black hair, tattoos, piercings, baggage, issues, OCD, all of me). Thankful for Chloe and her sweet disposition as well as the stubbornness of the other two. cars, dogs, refrigerator, bread maker, camera, computer, treadmill, makeup. I am thankful that I get to stay at Sigler and that I have gotten to start an art program and for the vision to do even more. I am thankful for my Bible and that God has allowed me to read and absorb so much of it and that I can even read. I am thankful that no one can come take my son and make him a child soldier nor can anyone decide we need to be their slaves. I am thankful that I have found a church that is helping me grow to be more like Jesus. I am thankful that God has allowed my mother and I to develop a closer relationship and that He is healing the damage more and more each day. I am so so so grateful that my children were born into a Christian home and have not had to suffer abuse and neglect. I am thankful for the stability and wholeness God brought to me very quickly so that my children could grow up in a health environment. I am thankful that my husbands family is so wonderful and that I was able to get to know my father in law. I am grateful for peanut butter, vegetables, water, tea. I am grateful that "if God be for me, who can be against me and nothing shall separate me from the love God in Christ Jesus, and that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it." I am thankful that God has helped me lose my love for things and has given me the heart to want to be a servant (even though I still struggle with doing that).

I am thankful that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I could probably go on, but that is enough. My point has been made. How can I be down when God has been so good to me and when I have more than I can even enumerate.

1 comment:

  1. It is truly by the grace of God that you are still with us! I am so glad you are. Your story is amazingly scary!