What do we take for granted…

This is a big question & one that only YOU can answer. I know for me, I definitely take for granted that I was blessed to be given a daughter to hold, raise and love. I take for granted the little things that I daily am able to do like walk, see, hear, taste yummy foods, hold my husband’s hand. I take for granted that my parents are still alive and that they are still together after 40+ years of marriage. I take for granted the freedoms of where I live. I take for granted that I can read. I take for granted that I can freely learn anything I want. I take for granted that I can speak clearly & share my thoughts and ideas. I take for granted creativity, time, talents…There are many things that I take for granted at different times. I think we all do, but I have had a couple of experiences recently that have made me see a little more clearly.

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This past school year I have been volunteering & helping with the schools “service club.” We offer this little club to kids who need a place to go, who want to do little projects for needy children in other countries. It’s been a wonderful experience. The woman who heads up the club was a great example to me of selflessness. At the beginning of the year she was going through her own personal crisis–her husband was in need of a kidney transplant. It was an emotional roller coaster each week watching her deal with her husband put on dialysis, trouble with doctors, having moments of hope that a sister was a good match & then learning she wasn’t emotionally the right match…on and on. She continued to come to our little service club despite everything going on at home. What I have not mentioned is that she also has physical challenges. She walks with a cane and hobbles in pain everywhere she goes. Her hip is displaced leaving one foot higher than the other, so she has to buy $50 shoes that help her walk.

I have watched this woman all year handle all these personal struggles with a positive attitude, a can do personality, a sheer determination to make it all work. Luckily, her husband  in the last couple months did have a family member who was a good match & the transplant was successful. yay!

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For me, a big life lesson. We had been planning an end of the year service club party that we planned to do at a nearby pavilion at the school. The pavilion was probably 50 feet from the parking lot. The week before the party she hobbled in to service club & looked at me. “I think we are going to have to do a different location for the party. It is just too far for me to walk.”

Later that same day I walked the path from my home, passed the pavilion [the one we had talked about] and kept walking. I thought long and hard & looked to the heavens and said, “thank you for the gift of being able to walk.”  I can’t even imagine being bed-ridden, being imprisoned in a body that can’t function how it is meant to. It was a huge lesson in taking something for granted.

This made me think of the following video. This past weekend my daughter had a friend over & this song was one of her favorites. She shared it with us & then we almost all cried when we read one of the comments below the video…When i hear this song.. i remember my whole family who died in a road accident 4 months ago ! RIP Mom,Dad & my bro ! I’m left alone here and i can’t find the way to live ::::””((((

We all sat silent thinking about how hard that would be. Needless to say, it gave us a greater appreciation that we have our families still with us. I think there are moments where we all take that for granted.

Watch this beautiful video. This guy’s fiancé was in a terrible accident that left her with brain damage & he has stayed with her trying to get her to a better place. What a journey of selfless love. Beautiful.

I hope and pray that you will think about the little and big things you may take for granted in your life & hold a space of appreciation and love.  Peace to you.  -H

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Think about it!!

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WOW!! I just found the above quote and it made me truly think and say WOW!! Think about it. What were you truly grateful for yesterday…today…tomorrow. We definitely take a lot for granted and this thought stopped me in my tracks. My mind began to race thinking about my prayers from yesterday, how I didn’t include my dog & how different my day would be right this minute.

Think about it!! Did you Thank God for your family, the love you share, your warm home, your healthy bodies, the car you drive, the plethora of food we can pick out at our grocery stores, the clothes that warm our bodies on a cold night, the heat that runs through our homes, the water that effortlessly comes when we ask, to be able to see our children smile, to hear the love of our life laugh, to smell the fresh air of fall…there are endless things that we take for granted. This quote was a good aha moment for me. I definitely will be going deeper with my thanks and gratitude today. How about you??

I wanted to add some additional images and thoughts to make you think about this beautiful season of gratitude.

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ImageThis was another aha quote for me. This is so true. Think about all the things we take for granted—when your husband holds your hand or opens the car door for you, the love he has when he looks into your eyes, the hug from your child, the warm shower you enjoy every morning, the amazing technology that is boundless and available, the people who lift and love you, having your family close, enjoying a bottle of clean water, turning on light, etc.

My husband went to visit a friend who lives with his family on a 200,000 acre cattle ranch, in the middle of Wyoming. They invited them into their home that was warmed only by firewood. The home they lived in was over 200 years old, they lived off the land—every bit of it. My husband mentioned to me how hard it would be to be dusty and dirty all the time, to work so hard from morning to night. We both sat grateful for our heated home, our running water, to be clean from a warm shower…

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 I hope we are always mindful of this thought. It is so easy to take for granted or abuse those we love. The other day my daughter was having a bit of attitude & not being very nice to me. When her Dad asked her why she was being so mean to me, she said, “because Mom is always there & I was just feeling stressed.”  Remember to be kind to those who are your family. LOVE, it is a blessing.

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This made me think of the thousands of people in the Philippines and the desperation of how tragedy affects so many. It makes me mindful of praying for those in need all around the world. We have no idea how blessed we are. We take it for granted.

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 This really reminds me of the beautiful saying in the movie Shall we Dance…We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”  Those who journey with you.

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 There are definitely moments where you feel so alone & I have always been truly grateful to look to the heavens and pray for guidance, direction, peace. Being able to pray, you are never alone.

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Happy month of gratitude and giving thanks.

We are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.

ImageWe are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I just had a tear filled conversation with my mother-in-law about one of her grandchildren who are in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). She was filling me in on the details that have happened the last couple of days—spinal tap, surgery to put in a pic line that feeds the little one through a small tube, pneumonia, lung collapse…

It was heart wrenching to imagine this little child that was born not quite a week ago, going through such pain. Then I envisioned her mother (my sister-in-law), the new mother of triplets and the pain I know she is going through, feeling like she isn’t bonding to this child, while the others are doing well, wondering what she is doing wrong as a mother, looking at the nurses with envy as they speak to her baby and having thoughts of her baby possibly dying…

Then my thoughts went to my mother-in-law who had lost two sets of twins after they had been born. I asked my mother-in-law how she was doing. She broke down and said, “We are trying to be positive. It is hard, but Lacey (her daughter) doesn’t want to be alone and neither do I, so we are sticking together through this. Everything will be alright.”

She was holding on to hope and faith, like any good mother, knowing in the back of her mind it is essentially not up to her. That anything can and will happen. She had been there many times.

Yesterday my sister-in-law was having an especially tough day, so I sent her a letter and some inspiring quotes to post around her house to help her remember she is not alone and that this experience is a time for growth, hope and faith. One of the images was the one above–I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

When I saw this image it reminded me of the humility we need to have through life. Every day, every moment is a gift that we are given. Life experiences may be scary or cause us to be fearful, but through those moments we learn so much. Through these experiences we learn the important things like faith, hope, true love, empathy, gratitude, sacrifice, etc. We learn the lessons our soul seeks to devour. It is through these faith building moments that we know we are not alone and that God is there to hold our hands. That fear can turn to an ah-filled wonder and that is where we find grace and humility.

I want to send her my best wishes and blessings. Please send her a blessing if you have a moment. Thank you.

Blessings to you today.  -Heather

Seize the day…every blessed moment

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We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

The fragility of life seems to be ringing all around me. The many things we seemingly take for granted…so many sobering stories hit me with such a need to be grateful for every little detailed gift we receive each day. We don’t think about hugging our kids, or kissing them in their bed & not a hospital bed. We don’t think about the gift of strong knees that can run or a happy outlook that keeps our day filled with joy.

These are the stories that have been ringing in my ear the last couple of days. Maybe they will help you stop for a moment and ponder the many blessings we take for granted…

Friends and neighbors were all praying, cheering, texting and conveying their need and support for Justin Bieber to visit a local seven-year-old girl who is struggling with her third round of Leukemia. Everyone waited in anticipation to receive a picture of Justin with this little girl in the hospital the night of his concert. Thank you Justin!                       It was a very sobering thought looking at this little girl with sunken eyes, dark circles, life slowly drifting away and thinking about what her mother must be going through in trying to give comfort, hope and faith for her daughter’s young life. I wondered how I would handle my nine-year-old grappling with such an illness. I thank God for my healthy daughter and send prayers of hope to this young family.

The very next day I heard another story about a woman with two young children who had got a babysitter to go on a bike ride one afternoon with her husband. She had a small bike wreck, her helmet had a dent the size of an orange, that left her paralyzed from the neck down. I instantly thought of the heartache you would feel not being able to hug your children, to wrap your arms around your husband, to skip down a path with your little ones, to make them breakfast, to hold a book and read them stories. My heart broke for this women, for the very thought of what she could and could not do, the depression she would deal with, the moments where you would miss your life while striving to embrace your new existence. How hard it must be to embrace an existence that leaves you immobile, fragile, feeling worthless and unable to do so many things. I can’t imagine. I pray for her family.

Then, if that was not enough heartache, my little neighbor came over and shared a story about a funeral she had just been to. It was for a mother of six children who had gone in for knee surgery. She returned home. One day she began to feel ill, yelled to her son to get his father. She looked at her husband and told him she felt like she was dying and passed out. She had a blood clot get into her lungs and she was gone. The family was left to miss her.

You just never know when or how or what will be your time. These stories shook me to my core and in sharing them I hope they give you a moment of sobering existence into the charmed life you have at this moment. Embrace your children, kiss your loved ones, dance in the kitchen, go outside, sing, smell the fresh air, breathe, yell, play, live your life to its best. Take each moment and cherish it, find every happiness possible in the little things that make life big!

Live your best day!! your best moment!

God bless these families in all they do. -Heather

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It’s a way to live.                         ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear