I have been wearing my I love my life* t-shirt quite often these days. It brings me great joy to display my contentment with life. People will often smile at me comment on my shirt as if they understand. I often wonder about their stories but usually the opportunity doesn't present itself to take the time to converse.
I've often pondered how I would describe the breadth and depth of that which makes up this time and place in my life so wondrous and beautiful. If it were a tapestry, it would be woven with rich colors giving it a dimension that I think few know. Some will not have the life experiences I know or perhaps they feel burdened by what life has placed before them.
I understand that place too. I've been there.
I knew a childhood filled with periods of poverty, dysfunction, abuse and pain. I was never to know what childhood is.
I've plumbed the depths of grief after the devastating loss of my firstborn. A subsequent miscarriage took me back to that all too familiar place.
I understand the uncertainty of serious personal illness.
I know parenting of two children with profound disabilities. I know their struggles. I know their pain.
I could be a vastly different person from what I am today. I could feel bitter and burdened by what life has put before me. I know so many who choose that path when faced with their own personal tragedies.
I could have passively wallowed in pain and bitterness but I chose not to remain there at any stage of my life. Sure there were times when I was too weary to move forward. At times, I held on tightly to my pain because by letting go of it felt like the love I'd known would vanish forever.
Instead, I choose to be grateful for what I've known and know today.
I'm grateful for the little things like my cat gently waking me in the morning with her sandpaper tongue for no other reason than she desires my company. I'm grateful for the wagging tail of my pup that greets me in my half slumberous state when I exit my bedroom in the morning.
I'm grateful for the big things that I know in a loving husband and the sweetness of motherhood in my living children.
I'm grateful for the brief time I had with my children who now dance with angels in heaven.
I am grateful for the presence of the young lady with Down syndrome in my life and all the lessons in life that I've learned from her and through her.
I'm grateful for the daughter that has reached young adulthood, is successful in college who is wise beyond her years.
I'm grateful for the opportunity and blessings that come with our homeschooling lifestyle. That lifestyle has grown us and taught us all so many valuable lessons on loving each other and learning together.
I thank God all day long for His work in me and around me.
I'm even grateful for days when the temperature reaches 104 degrees outside.
Through all my trials, I've known the love of my heavenly Father. I've felt the embrace of my loving Savior. The gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit in my heart calling me to new wondrous places where love resides and hope never dies. I feel a little closer to heaven every day.
A tapestry will never do as a representation of the breadth and depth of the beauty in my life. Words will never fully describe what a grateful heart will know in the beauty that comes with embracing what comes, living in my Father's will and letting the Holy Spirit be my guide. I can only hope my soul will be pleasing to God when I am called home.
I do so love my life.