Feeling Blessed


img_1444Thanksgiving is more than the annual national holiday which celebrates a harvest festival. It is family time with an expression of gratitude. I love this holiday because it reminds me of the importance of giving thanks. It renews my goal to make every day a day of thanksgiving. Some days that’s harder than others, but even in the face of life’s challenges there is something to be thankful for.img_1446

This year I’m especially grateful for movement of my shoulder. I know it sounds silly, but when you go months without something and have to work hard to regain it you appreciate the simple movements that previously went unnoticed. I appreciate the education of doctors, nurses and therapists who have developed the skills to help heal and improve our health issues. I’m grateful for the hard work and progress Mark has made through his left hip surgery and therapy. I am thankful for life and realize every day is a bonus day and should not be taken for granted.

img_1448I’m grateful for our comfortable, wheelchair accessible home, which always gives me something to fix up or improve and the space I need to be able to work at home. I appreciate my employment in property management which enables me to pay for all the necessary things in life. I am fortunate to have wonderful bosses and friends in Steve and Rick. I appreciate all they do for me in our business as well as the support in my personal life. They were patient and caring as my shoulder healed and took on some of my responsibilities.

We are blessed to live with Mom and Dad. I am grateful for their continued love and support and thankful we can help each other in all things by living together.

I appreciate my children, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, who I know I can count on for help at any time or in any situation. They are the foundation for everything we accomplish along with the love and support of neighbors and friends. Many people volunteer their precious time to help us. We are blessed by many people—family, friends and neighbors who love and give service to us.

If you are reading this, I’m thankful for you and your interest in my life.

Gratitude-unlovks-the-fullness-of-life-happy-Thanksgiving

What are you grateful for today?

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A Happy Life

Happy LifeA few years ago I stopped by my Grandma and Grandpa Rose’s grave at Christmas time to leave a flower. Before I approached their grave, I noticed the sweetest little Christmas tree I have ever seen, decorated with homemade ornaments. I stopped to admire it and realized it sat at the head of my cousin’s grave. Karen Rose was born December 20, 1952 and died three days later. She was buried on Christmas Eve.

I knew that my Aunt and Uncle had a tradition of taking their other children on or around her birthdate to the grave to decorate a tree, but this was the first time I had actually seen it. I was so touched that after all these years my aunt and uncle now in their late eighties, still carried on this tradition with their family.

I realized the death of any child would be heartbreaking, and loosing a baby at Christmas time must add to the distress. With tears in my eyes, I understood for the first time our Rose family Christmas party was held on the day she past away. How hard that must of been for them—but they never seemed sad.

For sixty-one years, they’ve celebrated her birth with a Christmas tree and focused on their knowledge that they would someday reunite with Karen. What a wonderful gift our Heavenly Father has given us through Jesus Christ—who made it possible for us to be reunited with family, not just at Christmas time, but throughout all eternity.

Thank you Uncle Wayne and Aunt Joy for your example of making a happy life despite heartache and disappointment.

A Joyful Season

Christmas @ 19 yrs old

1978 -Barbara and Santa Claus

It seems I can’t get through the month of December without getting sick.  I blame it on weather changing, lack of sleep, and the added stress. In past years I usually catch some sickly bug at the end of the month. Not this year, bronchitis hit me on the first day of December.

In my business life, I am an account manager for Earthwork Property Management, and I manage 560 property accounts. December is the busiest month of the year—wrapping up those loose ends while planning and preparing and for a new year.

In my personal life, I wear many more hats. I won’t bore you with the long list, but I’m sure it’s similar to yours. This December, we have the added blessing of health insurance issues to deal with. In our house that means two health insurance plans to research and decide on. Because of Mark’s disability he has Medicare and I have an individual plan, so double the work.

Add Christmas to this mix, with all the decorating in and outside, extra baking and cooking, cards to write and send, extra shopping for food and gifts and then wrapping them all up to look nice for someone special.

There are all sorts of ideas on how to survive the holidays. I don’t want to survive them, I want to enjoy them! There is so much to do and see. I don’t want to miss out on any of it. Christmas is the holiday most of us look forward to all year. As a child on Christmas night, I remember thinking how hard it was going to be to wait— a whole 365 days— until the next Christmas. I also recall on June 25th thinking, yeah, we’re half way there! Time moved much slower then.

First Christmas together-before marriage

First Christmas together-before marriage

Now time passes much too quickly, and every year it seems to fly by even faster. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. December often feels like a society race to get everything done before the 25th. I love Christmas, for the reason that it is the day set to celebrate Christ’s birth. It brings a magical feeling to my soul. I enjoy all the activities that are associated with it, so much that I try to do them all. That’s when it gets overwhelming and becomes difficult to focus on the reason for this most celebrated day.

My wish for this Christmas was for life to slow down. I wanted to relish Christmas like I did when I was younger. Enjoy every minute of the season with all the celebration and no stress.  I know, a far-fetched wish.

So I’ve got bronchitis and I’ve slowed down.  I’ve already missed a couple of scheduled Christmas activities, which lessened stress but added disappointment. Yes, I’ve slowed down, but the rest of the world around me hasn’t, and I’m not looking forward to the catch up.