Tag Archives: Thankful

Ten People That Changed My Life

14 Oct

This is part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. The prompt…. ten people who have influenced me.

The Heart

1. My husband – The things that I have learned (and am continuing to learn) because of this love are things that I never imagined I needed. I have learned that I don’t always have to be strong. I have learned that I don’t always have all of the answers. I have learned that depending on someone else is not always a mistake. I am learning that vulnerability is not weakness. I have learned that grace and forgiveness are gifts of freedom. I have learned about the power of prayer. I am learning more about who I am. I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love. I am learning that God’s plan for our lives doesn’t always look like we think it will…. but if we trust Him and follow Him; He will bless us beyond our imaginings.

2. My son – Before I found out I was pregnant, I was a totally different person. I was just going through the motions of life. Nothing was really important to me. I merely existed each day. Just taking up space in this world. Because of Isaiah, I turned my life around. I reconnected with God and my faith. I started making decisions based on what would create the best life for us. I had new drive to be the best person I could be. Raising him to be a good man. Teaching him to be a good friend. Showing him how to be a gentleman. Talking to him, answering his questions, giving him love and the best life I can. I frequently say that he saved my life. Maybe the better way to say that is that he gave me a reason to truly live.

3. My (step) daughter – Knowing that someone is watching you and learning from you makes you better. In those moments when I reflect on my life and who I am, I think of her. She makes me want to be a better wife, because she’ll become one someday and I want to be a good example. She makes me want to be a better mom, because she’ll become one someday. She makes me want to be a better Christian, because, I pray, she’ll become one someday and I want to be a good example. She makes me want to be a better woman, because she’ll become one someday. She makes me want to example strength, grace, love, beauty, faith. All of the things that I pray make up her personality when she chooses who she wants to be. And, like my prayers for Isaiah, I pray she’s better than me.

4. My parents – Obviously my parents are a big influence on many aspects of my life. I would like to focus on just one of those. My parents taught me how to get along. They showed me how to maintain a positive relationship with someone because of children you share. They taught me how to create an environment for my children where it is safe for them to love all of their parents. They taught me about sacrificing any grudges or bitterness for the happiness of my child. They also taught me about love and laughter. Faith and family. Marriage and motherhood.

5. My siblings – My siblings have influenced me in very different ways. My younger brother influenced my career choice and instilled in me the drive to be an advocate for struggling students. My youngest brother gave me a deeper appreciation for music and musicians and the passion they possess for sound and rhythm. My baby sister made me view dancers as artists and the movements of the human body as something that can be used to make beautiful pictures.

6. My best friend – She gave me the push I needed to discover who I am. She convinced me that the person that I am was someone worth knowing and loving. When other people were feeding my insecurities, she was pointing out those same things as things that were awesome about me. She calls me out when I need it. She supports me when I need it. She’s always on my side. She has helped me become more confident, more self-assured, stronger. Her impact on my life helped me to realize that I had wings that were made to fly.

7. My close friend – A woman who came into my life when I was praying for a mentor, of sorts. A woman who challenges me to be the best wife, mother, and woman I can be….. and then be better. A woman who speaks truth into my life, even when she knows it’s hard for me to hear. A woman who holds me accountable to the life I’ve chosen to live. A woman who shares my love of Starbucks and sarcasm. She is invaluable to me and I am so grateful for her.

8. The only other long-term relationship I’ve had, aside from my husband. The relationship that started when I was extremely young and lasted far too long. The relationship that gave me an opportunity to learn so much about who I was. To learn about who I wanted to be. To learn about strength and how much of it I possess. To learn about the ways in which I should let people treat me. To learn about self-esteem. To learn about standing up for myself. It was a situation I should have gotten out of much earlier. But, it was a relationship that produced my son, the best part of me. And for that, I will always be grateful.

9. My 5th and 6th grade teachers – The two women who inspired me to become a teacher. The two women I thought of, especially in my first years of teaching, when I was deciding what kind of teacher I wanted to be. The two women I used to gauge myself and how I was connecting with my students. I want to be the kind of teacher that touches her students so profoundly that they look back 20 years later and remember that impact on their life.

10. My students – These kids have given me more compassion. More patience. More tolerance. More empathy. More gratitude. More understanding of the true meaning of life.

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My next 30 years

10 Jun
Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is my birthday. I am officially in my 30’s. 31. When I stop to reflect on my life, to take a moment to analyze where I’ve come from, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of myself. I am disappointed in myself. And I am hopeful for the future. I have grown from a quiet and shy child, a mildly outgoing teenager, a confused and wandering college student, a young and naive teacher, a self-assured and outgoing woman, a blessed friend, a grateful mother, a wife. I have come so far in realizing my dreams of what I want my life to look like. And I have so far to go.

In my next 30 years, I want to take more time to enjoy the life around me. I want to stay connected to the people I love, not the technology that takes away from real relationships.
In my next 30 years, I want to appreciate the little things. A beautiful sunny day, a beautiful thunderstorm, a beautiful rainbow. I want to make sure that I make the most of each day I’m given.
In my next 30 years, I want to focus on making memories. I want to laugh and play with my children. I want to hold my husband’s hand. I want to have fun with old friends.
In my next 30 years, I want to see as much as I can. I want to teach my children to appreciate the history and beauty of our great country. I want to take vacations and road trips. I want to experience so many things with my family, old and new.
In my next 30 years, I want to prepare for getting older. I want to take better care of myself; physically, mentally, emotionally. I want to save money for our future. I want to leave a legacy my children can be proud of.
In my next 30 years, I want to shape the future. I want to continue to learn about my profession and better myself. I want to continue to help my students be ready for the real world and all that it entails. I want them to know how much I care about them and do everything I can to help them realize their potential and be successful.
In my next 30 years, I want to give to my family. I want to example love and grace, strength and determination, selflessness and courage. I want my children and my husband to feel all of the love that I have for them. I want them to somehow be better because I have done something right.
In my next 30 years, I want to live. I want to laugh loudly. I want to cry honestly. I want to feel passionately. I want to love recklessly. I want to give unselfishly. I want to dance and sing unreservedly. I want to pray unceasingly. I want to believe faithfully. I want to dream uncontainably. I want to age gracefully. I want to do it all.
Welcome to my next 30 years.

Reflecting on the good

6 Feb

English: A cup of masala chai Polski: Filiżank...

There have been some national news stories and some happenings around my house recently that have led me to take a step back this evening and be thankful. I have so much to be thankful for and I don’t always take the time out to really appreciate my blessings. Tonight, I am doing that. And I urge you to do the same.

I am thankful for the love of a good man. I waited a long time for him. And while, it’s not always perfect, it’s ours. And at the end of the day; after the stress, after the arguments, I go to sleep holding the hand of a man who loves me in a way I could never put into words.

I am thankful for the health of my children. I have been the mom in the NICU watching her baby fight. I vowed I would never take his health for granted. I have a son and a step-daughter who have no major medical problems and, in a world filled with cancer and disease, that is not something I take lightly.

I am thankful for a close family. My siblings are some of my best friends. My parents are only ever a phone call away. My grandparents have left legacies for me to learn from. My husband’s family has taken Isaiah and I in and never looked back. I am the woman I am today because of so many of the people I call family.

I am thankful for incredible friends. If you read my A Toast to my Friend post, you know how blessed I am. If you haven’t, you should; it’s about an incredible woman. I also have a few other, close friends, that I can always count on. I am surrounded by people who allow me to be myself, and love me for it.

I am thankful for a good job. I am thankful my husband has a good job. I am thankful we have money to house and feed our family, buy the things we need and some of the things we don’t, and not worry each day about where the money is going to come from. I am thankful that I enjoy going to work and that I get to have a small hand in shaping the future.

I am thankful for the privilege of living in a country where I can worship my God openly. A country where you don’t have to believe the same thing I do, but I still have the opportunity to believe it. I am thankful that I can pray and sing whenever and wherever I want. And I am thankful that you can too, if you choose to.

I am thankful for beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I am thankful for music and laughter. I am thankful for quiet days and crazy nights. I am thankful for coffee and books. I am thankful for bubble baths and candles. I am thankful for manicures and new shoes. I am thankful for people who love to do the jobs I don’t love to do, like car mechanics. I am thankful for clean sheets and clean laundry. I am thankful for barbecue sauce. I am thankful for Kleenex paper towels and Starbucks chai tea. I am thankful for flowers, lazy days by the pool, autumn colors, and enough snow for a snowman.

And I am thankful for each one of you. Thank you for taking the time to enjoy life… as I know it.
What is one thing you are thankful for?

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