Thursday, December 30, 2010

Giving Thanks for All That 2010 Brought

1.  Being an aunt (for the first time) to a beautiful, loving little niece.  I love every moment with you, Allie!
2.  Making progress in the adoption process....each step has brought us great joy.  I'm blocking out all of the frustrations and focusing on all we have learned and grown.
3.  Learning that I can survive something I doubted I could.  When my husband lost his job last April, all of the times I had said, "I don't know what we would do if that happened to us," flashed before my eyes and I could hardly breathe.  We got through it just fine.  We are stronger and smarter for it.  And, God showed us....yes, you can do it!
4. Spending an awesome week's vacation with our extended family.  Time together is so valuable and the laughter we share is a priceless blessing.
5. Taking Reed to Nick Saban's Football Camp.  Watching my son have that much fun, and spend his first few nights away from us was both a blessing and a struggle.  That camp experience was one where we all grew!
6.  Growing closer to God with my children.  I am so grateful for my faith and for the faithful, loving hearts of my husband and my children.  To know that my children love the Lord and trust Him, is the greatest of all gifts.  And, to share life with a mate that loves and trusts the Lord as I can't imagine life any other way.
7.  Sharing saturday afternoon football games with our big, football loving family and our friends.  We have so much fun and we laugh and have or lose!
8.  Watching my husband LOVE his new job.  God works in mysterious ways and we didn't know the blessings he had in mind when we suffered the loss of his job months earlier.   We tried to be thankful for the struggle while we were in it....but thankful feels differently on this side.  We thank God for bringing this new, better job to him.
9.  Realizing, unfortunately through tragedies in friends lives, what an amazing community we live in and how lucky we are to be surrounded with incredible friends.
10.  Watching young children trust and learn and explore and grow and question and create in my classroom.   I'll admit that in a room with nineteen 5-6 year olds, there are times I want to pull my hair out.....but there are countless moments every day when I look around the room and think-this is awesome and the fire inside me to teach and mentor young learners is reignited!   What a gift!
11.  Lastly, the joy and gratitude I feel for so many things..... friends and family that show me love and kindness and loyalty,  a job that I love, my church family that I love and grow in Christ with, and recognizing God's hand in all things.   Feeling gratitude is the BIGGEST part of all blessings.   Thank you God for another wonderful year....all of the ups and all of the downs.   I know that 2011 will be another great year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Year

My friends and family know how much I love my children, my family, my friends, my job....but one year ago today I was blessed with a beautiful niece and became an aunt.  My sweet Alex was born one year ago today and has filled our family and hearts full this year.  Growing up I always pictured myself with at least 4 kids.  But God always has a better plan than we can even dream.   He blessed me beyond measure with the most incredible son in the world, has blessed us through the adoption of our sweet, doll of a daughter, and he gave me a niece that is only 1 mile away.  In the past year I have rocked her, sang to her, read to her, played with her and now am chasing her.  She is an angel!   Even when she is tired and a little grouchy, I can start singing Patty Cake or Wheels on the Bus and she stops to listen and then a huge smile forms from ear to ear.    She is a smart, beautiful little girl and it is such a gift to be her aunt and watch her learn and grow.  I love you, Allie-poo!!  I hope you have the happiest of birthdays!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The World Would Be a Better Place if......

There are many things that could complete this statement that would make it true.  But one thing has been bothering me for weeks now.  In our area, SEC country, there has been major controversy over Cam Newton and a NCAA investigation into possible violations.....blah, blah, blah.  This has been a national story as well, but here, it is crazy!  People who know nothing of this boy either want to tear him up him or bow to him.  The news has been very negative....stories of stolen laptops, cheating on papers, possibly taking money to play, etc. so it is natural for people to presume that something is up.  It's human nature to hear all of these things and assume some of it is true.  I don't mean to the point of making signs or even arguing with others about it....but believing some of it.

What has been most surprising to me are the fans who have professed undying love and support for a boy that they don't know, with this type of press over several years.  I am all for giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and I do so in this situation.   What is sad to me are the folks that I know personally who 'dog' other adults, for FAR less....they berate people they work with, children, family members, etc.  yet they shout undying support for a college quarterback they don't know at all.   What a better place this world would be if those same supporters rallied around young children, their neighbors, their coworkers, their family members.  How great would it be if people professed the same love for Jesus?

I'm all for 2nd chances (and even 3rd, 4th and 5th chances-thank God I've been given many) and I'm all for seeing the best in someone and giving them the benefit of the doubt.  I'm far from perfect but it is my nature to believe someone is good until they show me otherwise, and they don't have to score touchdowns to do so.  It is the greatest commandment, and something I work towards daily.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31