(pictures by my father-in-law)
Now that it's December, I should really put down a few of the things that I am grateful for. Here goes (in no particular order):
1. I am grateful for two beautiful children who are each other's best friend. I am grateful for the things they teach me and how they help me to grow as a mother and person. I love their sweetness, kindness, purity, and the way they help me "practice" patience daily.
2. I'm grateful for forgiveness. Two years ago our financial world was turned upside down. At that time we lost a huge amount of money. People that Mr. Blue was in business with turned out to be liars and cheats. They got greedy and because of that greed, hurt a lot of people. For well over a year I held a lot of bitterness towards many of Mr. Blue's former associates. One night, a few months ago, the two of us were talking and decided that blaming other people, and being bitter towards them was not helping our situation at all. If anything, it was holding us back from living life. We decided to forgive those people. We still think that they should be held responsible for what they did, but we no longer hold resentment towards them. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference this has made in my life. I no longer walk around hating these men and women and blaming them for every little thing that goes wrong in my life. Forgiveness is very liberating.
3. I am grateful for the peace that my Heavenly Father gives me each and every day. This past year has been full of turmoil. Mr. Blue and I have faced things I never in my wildest dreams (more appropriate word might be nightmares) could have imagined. The strain that we have been under is unimaginable, yet through it all I have felt a quiet peace. Days when I feel like I literally can't take one more thing and one more thing happens, I have felt that peace as well as an inner strength that I didn't know I had. I'll look back at the end of a really long day and I can see the hand of the Lord in my life. He knows me and He cares about me. You know that poem, "Footprints in the Sand"? I totally relate to it. He has carried me more often than not. I am so grateful for His peace and the hope He gives me that things will get better.
4. I am grateful for the roof over my head. Truly, truly grateful to say that we are still in our home.
5. I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love the gospel. I am grateful that I get to serve in the Primary Presidency in my ward and to work with the children. They are amazing. To quote one of our Primary songs,
"I know my Savior lives and that He loves me. I know a prophet leads our church and guides me. I know the Book of Mormon is a witness of Jesus Christ. I know the Gospel's true. The Gospel is true."
6. I am grateful for many other things: wonderful family (mine and Mr. Blue's), friends, snow, sunshine, a healthy body, etc. etc.
7. Most of all I am grateful for Mr. Blue. Several of our friends are in similar situations and their marriages have been torn apart. I am so glad that this experience we are going through is bringing us closer together. Mr. Blue works so hard for our family. He has worked all sorts of crazy odd jobs just to keep us afloat. He has driven cars that are duct-taped together. He has listened to all of my ranting and he never complains. He always stays optimistic. I love him so much and I wouldn't want to be going through this roller coaster life with anyone else.