Finding Gratitude

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There are thousands of things going on in my life right now. Some are negative, some positive. Through all the things that are currently happening, I can say that I am honestly grateful to have to go through them with my husband. To be able to come home every day and actually look forward to the thought that I know I won’t be facing everything alone is refreshing.
I have to wear a hat of many colors. At work, my focus has to be on my job. I work with people who have experienced some terrible things in their lives, knowing that personally, I am not any different. I’ve had the same types of pain, trauma, problems, fears, loneliness, insecurities, anxieties, and everything else they go through too. I am no better, nor am I worse. I think the only difference is that I have already learned the things that I teach them.
At home, my focus is on my family. My family is typically very strong, but this year, it feels as if our unit is almost powerless. We have been thrown into the darkness of the unknown- we wait, hope, pray, watch, feel, and fear. We wonder with hope and anticipation of when our strength will be given back to us. I have never felt so much anxiety when my phone isn’t near me in my life. To constantly wonder what battle the next day will bring makes us weary. To be on alert 24 hours a day can be emotionally draining. To look at a complete stranger and give them so much personal information and then sit there with anticipation hoping they will be our answer can be uplifting or disappointing. To watch, as we make small successes turns a bleak situation into excitement.
With my friends, I have to be real, but remind myself not to complain too much. I have to remember to allow them to speak. I have to be sure I listen and am understanding when they cannot relate to my situations. I have to practice patience and kindness when sometimes I don’t feel so patient or kind. I have to remember to show gratitude when they try to comfort me. Sometimes, I even have to remember that hugs are okay- even though I may want to keep to myself.
With my writing, I have to remind myself that I’m human and I will make mistakes. I have to realize that not everybody will like my work, even when I think some pieces are really good. I have to remember to stay humble, even when sometimes I feel proud. I have to take a deep breath and fight the anxiety for each book signing I have coming up. I also have to remember that I will fail and continue to fail and that doesn’t mean I need to stop, and the successes I do have, I know that they don’t last forever. That success is what we make of it. I mostly need to remember not to be so hard on myself and to practice patience.
Going through all these experiences has been draining, but to know that I have someone going through them with me is empowering. I have so much love and appreciation for my husband as he picks up the pieces that I don’t have the time, strength, or energy for. The love I have for my children as I watch the younger ones unite to get tasks done while the older one needs to rest. The hope I have with my husband’s belief that 2018 is going to be our best year yet. The pride I have for my daughter as she gets cut open, scraped, prodded, poked, and tested for everything under the sun and she does so with such a good attitude. The praise I have for God for helping me to learn to be humble, to breathe, to be patient as His timing is perfect, even when I feel it’s not nearly fast enough. The gratitude I have for my friends and family as they listen and pray each day that goes by. I am grateful that I can find things to be grateful for each and every day.

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