Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Years Word 2018

Well, beloved reader we are already 4 days into this New Year 2018, and I gotta say I have never looked forward to a New Year as much as I have looked and longed for 2018.
I've always thought it was strange in some ways to think of a New Year as a kind of a light at the end of the tunnel, but that is what it truly feels like to me in this new year. 
I'm still kind of reeling from 2017 and my head feels foggy when I try to recount all of the reasons I hold 2017 with such disdain, but it's over... Thank God it's over!
I don't want it to sound like there weren't really good things that happened in 2017 as well, but
 overall it was a rough one for me personally is all I can say about that.
There were so many disappointments, and changes.
Change, I have come to know as the one constant in life, and I'm no longer terrified of change.
Still, there were some changes last year, that I could have done without. 
There were deaths of beloved friends and even family members who had to say goodbye too soon. 
Death and Loss are the changes that no one sees coming around the bend, but all the same the train keeps moving on, and you either get on board or you check out and try to get off.
I chose to stay on board with moments of check out,  and if that doesn't make sense to you then I'm not sure we are speaking the same language.
I chose the word Purposeful for my New Years word last year, and boy howdy did I ever put that word to use. 
Last years word is wrung out and hung up to dry !!
Not only did I realize more than ever before, that my purpose here doesn't change with the job or title that I'm given, but
I had to be careful, and aware of every move I made, because I felt as though if I wasn't it all would fall apart. 
I know that the weight of the whole world doesn't fall on my shoulders(thank you Jesus) but the weight of my little small world here sometimes does feel this way. 
Every choice, every word spoken, every action or reaction, every social engagement, every trip, every blog, every post on social media, felt like it had a purpose.
I realized more than ever I have a voice here, and whether I use it for good or for not so good, people are listening. 
That word "Purposeful" came so quick to me last year, and was beyond a doubt a divine word for my life as a whole in 2017, so it isn't any wonder that this year... 4 days in I was hanging onto 2017's word and still left wondering what my word for this year should be.
I suppose to some of you it might seem silly to become attached to a single word for a whole year, but for those of you that this makes sense to, it's like the word becomes an old friend.
I prayerfully ask for a word that will become a life reminder for what lies ahead.
This word becomes the rhythm for my life ahead, kind of like those piano timers... what are those called anyways?
I asked the Googles ... it's called a Metronome.
I woke up this morning and looked over at my wall that holds all my favorite notes, paintings, and pictures and there it was,
My Metronome...
My word for 2018 ...

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe to think, to enjoy, to love. "
~Marcus Aurelius

It was literally there on the wall on a plaque that my daughter Chloe gave to me many years ago.
It's a simple word, and one that we don't need to be reminded to do every couple of seconds, but to Breathe deep ... well that's a different story.
"When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. Try to learn to BREATHE deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. 
Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."  ~Ernest Hemingway
Before this morning I was thinking about how grateful I am to be alive and breathing and how I need to be kinder to myself, and take better care of my body... which is not an uncommon thought for this time of year. I thought about how long it has been since I've had a daily practice of yoga and quiet times of centering my soul.... and then I looked over and saw that word.
In the practice of Yoga your breathe is a huge component of the practice.
To be so aware of your body, and how it should be stretched, and where it needs help, you have to start with your breathing. It's as though you are thanking the life force that is breathe with every inhale and exhale. 
I think about how Spirit is Breathe. 
The Holy Spirit that lives and breathes and has his/her being in me... helping me thru every day.
I'm currently reading an old book that was a HUGE spiritual tool in my tool box of walking out life with spiritual eyes. It's been just about 30 years ago that I first read this book so it's kind of a trip to read it now after all these years and I don't really want to say much about it here on this blog, but I bring it up here because The Holy Spirit is breathe. 
The title of the book;  Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. 

"I could feel reverence humming in me"
~Jane Fonda (on becoming a Christian)
Often times I will wake in the morning and see that word Breathe hanging on my wall, and before my feet even hit the ground I will give thanks for this breathe inside my lungs. 
Another brand new day to start all over again. 
So here it is a new fresh year,  with promise and I'm giving thanks for 2018, and I will remind myself with this word to breathe deep, and give thanks for all that has gone before me and all the lies ahead, and center my soul for the moment that I am in. 
It's all just rivers and roads til I reach you. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

43 Life Lessons in 43 years

1. Find your anchor.
2. Live your life, no one else can be YOU, and we need YOU.
3. Love truly does conquer all.
4. Don't wait to say what you know to be true.
5. Make your own fashion statement.
6. Smile and meet strangers who soon become friends.
7. Tell your parents you love and appreciate them.
8. Eat dessert for breakfast.
9. Dishes and laundry be damed. 
10. Be a life long learner. 
11. You get more with honey than you do with vinegar. 
12. Find balance in all things. 
13. Love doesn't exist until you love something into existence.
14. Children truly make life worth living. 
15. Be an animal lover, it's worth the investment. 
16. Find beauty in the quiet, simple moments. 
17. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. 
18. Don't tell people what you believe in, show them. 
19. Get off your PHONE !!
20. You are not your feelings. 
21. You are not your paycheck.
22. Stop to smell, listen, and see. 
23. Ask Questions.
24. Own your shit and stay in your own shit lane.
25. Turn up the music.
26. Support those that support the little people, the underdogs in life.
27. Be someones biggest fan, and don't ever stop cheering them on.
28. You were made for community.
29. Don't be afraid of some Vitamin D.
30. What you worry about today won't matter when you're on your death bed.
31. Every breathe is a gift, so breathe deep.
32. Don't look to anyone else to find your happy.
33. Sing out loud and proud even off key because your voice is unlike any other.
34. Go outside and just look up and then listen.
35. In your weakest moments you will find your inner strength.
36. Don't wait for someone else's approval.
37. Bless those that hurt you and then move on, fuller, richer, stronger and with boundaries.
38. When waiting in line or traffic look around and know someone else is waiting behind you.
39. Invest in people not things. 
40. Grow older with the knowledge that every grey hair, wrinkle, ache and pain is a gift because you are alive. 
41. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. We all have needs. 
42. Forward motion is key. 
43. It's just a number-AGE and wisdom are not the same thing. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Repeat the Sounding Joy

This weekend after a very long, busy, and emotional week, I decided that the Christmas movie of choice would be;
 The Family Stone.
I am of the cloth that has a collection of classic Christmas movies that have to all be watched in a matter of 31 days. 
The Family Stone is one of those movies. 
For many of you, this is a very sad movie that has quite a bit of controversy tied into it , but for me it's a movie about family, and life and all that, that entails. 
Well, maybe there is a bit more in this family that goes on that doesn't happen in every family... but all the same it's one of my favorite Christmas movies. 

This Christmas movie is a tear jerker for sure so I pick this movie on a night when I know I have a lot of emotions that just need to find their way out, and I make sure I'm surrounded by those who love me even when they see my ugly cry face. 
This time when I watched it, I knew going in that I would need more kleenex than I normally do.
I knew this because this past year has been filled with a lot of loss of loved ones that have passed on, and this movie definitely has that life and death element as a key note. 
But, a funny thing happened when I watched it this year.

Not only did I bawl my eyes out like I knew I would but...
A line in the movie stuck out to me and in the most random of places.
There is a part in the movie that an unlikely couple end up snuggling after a VERY eventful holiday, and the actor Sarah Jessica starts to sing the Christmas song, "Joy to the World" and her new found friend actor Luke Wilson keeps saying the phrase, "Repeat the Sounding Joy."


At this point in the movie, it is a strange song choice because this family has just had possibly one of the worst Christmas holidays in their families history, but also one of the most profound holidays because for one of the family members it  was their first introduction into this big family and it didn't go very well at all and for another family member it will be their last Christmas. 
But, when actor Luke starts to chime in with the phrase ;

its as if he knows thats what life is all about. 

Maybe it was just me, or the glass of wine I was drinking, but I really was feeling Luke Wilson's soul in that part of the movie, like he knew that LIFE is for the LIVING.... and you have to continue to repeat the sounding joy!
I have sung this Christmas carol so many times in my life, but the next morning was Sunday morning and it was on the list of songs to sing at my faith community Hillside Foursquare Church,... oh and I just happened to be on the worship team this past weekend. 
That particular phrase kept lingering in my head as almost like a life anthem for me to sing out; 
In the midst of heartache and pain, 
love and loss, 
I truly can repeat the sounding Joy of my life because of Jesus and the hope He gives me on the daily.
My eyes and heart were opened up at a very young age to truly know beyond a shadow of any doubt that I do indeed have a Savior from all the pain, loss and sorrow. 
That is not to say that I don't still have questions, and I don't type these words with a triumphant kind of attitude that I have arrived and have all life's answers figured out.
I have sucky days just like anyone else, and 
I am working out my faith on a daily basis. 
Thankfully I'm not alone on this faith walk.
It's just that,
His love for me and all those around me is what gives me Joy even in the midst of sorrow and grief. 
If I do nothing else in this life I will continue to repeat the sounding Joy of his love. 
I'm beyond grateful that I have this hope as an anchor in my life.
I'm not perfect, (no one is) but it is my life's goal to follow the ways that Jesus set before me some 2000+ years ago. 
His ways are perfect, and when I hang out with him HE perfects this messy road before me. 
It is my hearts prayer that everyone could know this unending love, hope, and faith in Jesus. 
I also hope that no matter where this holiday season finds you, you know that you are not alone.

There is a King in this Game of Thrones who doesn't see your life as a game at all. 
He left his throne, to come as an infant child and express love and mercy and give you hope. He is not so far removed that he doesn't know the pain and sorrow of loss. He walked this earth and was contained by the gravity that keeps our feet on the ground. He is not far from you, in fact just say the words, "I believe" and he's right there with you. 
Maybe you are reading this blog and thinking, Noël you don't understand ... you don't know what I've been through and you would be absolutely correct. 
I don't know, but there is one who does.  
To know that we are not alone in this life full of trials and tribulations is what I believe we all are looking for. 
If you are feeling depleted in the Joy department, just a take a deep breathe... now take another deep breathe.... fill your lungs with that life, and give Jesus a second glance. 

And then keep looking into this deeper thought that you are not alone. 
There was an infant named Jesus who more than likely was not born in December when we choose to celebrate his birth, BUT he walked this planet for 33 years.
He changed our calendar and how we measure time; BC and AD ... yea that's a thing!
He changed my life some 30 years ago.
He's changing lives to THIS day and it could very easily be yours.

Take one more deep breathe....

 Then, keep asking questions, and wondering and pondering and seeking.... and knocking... the door will open to a world of Joy!

Oh and don't forget to listen to Miss Whitney who at this very moment is in the presence of JOY!

Monday, November 27, 2017

WEEK 4 and 5 #graditudetrain I Love Right Now

It's the final week of the hashtag #graditudetrain (see blogs below) that I started on November 1st. 
I'm already feeling sad that it's almost over because even though I will continue to give thanks after the month of November is over, I know it won't be with the same attention and energy that these past few weeks have provided. 
I have been challenged in ways that I didn't think I would be when I started this little refresher course in giving thanks. 
It's been so fun to see others hop on board this train with me, and it truly has hit a refresh button in my heart and mind. I feel like I have grown in my "attitude of gratitude" and that makes me real happy. 
Now the challenge of taking what I've learned and using that growth about having a thankful heart is what I'm thinking about. 
If I were to teach a class on gratitude and how to stay 
in this place of contentment, gratitude, and thankfulness I think this scripture from the Message version of the bible is what I would start with; 

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are- no more, no less."

I'm thinking that this quote has become a motto of sorts in my mind. 
The older I get the more I'm realizing that in order to be content I have to accept the present moment. 
That's not to say there isn't always room for improvement, but finding a sense of contentment in the present moment is crucial to contentment in life as a whole.
"That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

There are A LOT,  and I do mean a whole lotta things that can be bought these days.
But I want to be the proud owner of the eternal things that can't be purchased with a swipe or insert of a stupid plastic card.
I want to remain grateful for what I already have, as well as know that my love for those around me, and their love for me, isn't defined by, and doesn't hinge on what I give them from a retail store.
Finding worth in what can't be bought has got to be where true life is found. 
I know it's wrapped up in there somewhere.
I also think that you have to work at contentment and dwelling there.
It's a habit that is formed over many years of saying "Thank You" even in the midst of heart ache and pain. 
In the face of challenges and hardship is where we find our true selves. 

Our character is built in these times.
It's easy to say thank you when everything is going well and the sun is shining and unicorns are a plenty. But to remain in a grateful state of mind when everything and everyone around you has gone to the dark side this is the true challenge in life.
"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God."
Matthew 5:5-6
I have a thankful for heart because of the Lover of my Soul. 
(Insert old Petra song here)
I'm hungry, no starving, for knowing more of the heart of my Creator.
There are SO many things in this life that our energy,  and our appetites can be appeased with, but only one gives any return, and that is when I spend time with my Creator, the true lover of my soul.
That is why I can say, no matter what ...I LOVE RIGHT NOW!!
"Yet though you slay me I will still hope and trust in HIM!" 
Job 13:15

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WEEK 3- #graditudetrain -Keeping It In Perspective and Shout OUT to Barbara Owens

I'm full steam ahead on my #graditudetrain. 
(see post week 1 and 2 below if you're wondering what this is all about)
It's been so much fun to see some friends hop on board this with me. When others get on board this train of giving thanks in ALL things it gives me more momentum. Starting this train has truly been like hitting the reset button.

On Thursday of this past week I walked outside to the fresh smell of rain and I was tired, so very tired, but right away I took a deep breath and thought, today is going to be a good day. 
I know it is strange that rainy days invigorate me, but they truly do.
The above pic is our drive way up to the cabin in Washington. 
When it rains here, I can't help but think of this special place that now houses my oldest daughter Emma. 

I needed that rainy morning last week to stop, and pause because the few days prior had been all kinds of rough.

I feel compelled to share the things that have happened this past week that I wasn't so thankful for because, basically they SUCKED!!

First, My dishwasher broke.
(insert full blown crying emoticon here)
Which ok, it's not the END of the world because we have hot water and dish soap and sponges, and hands that work. I was reminded of the 4 years in the cabin where we lived without a dishwasher, or central heat, or more than one bathroom,  and I gotta say  I stopped in my tracks and's those little things like dishes piling up that can really derail a train of gratitude in a New York Minute!

But beloved reader,  I was determined not to let it.
I'm keeping the bigger perspective in mind, and the minute I almost started to be ungrateful I was reminded not only of the cabin life, but of another momma friend of 4 who is battling for her life right now.
It was a moment that I paused and thought, God thank you that I'm healthy enough to stand here, and do dishes by hand for hours and hours if need be. 
It was a true reset button when I thought about how my friend probably wishes more than anything in all the world that she was healthy again and able to care for her clan of 4 kids. 
I give thanks for Barbara because she is a warrior momma who I admire for her strength and courage and humor. 
I paused and lifted up prayers for her and her family and thanked God for her. 

IF you're interested in helping my fellow momma friend click the link below. 
Help Barbara fight Cancer for the 2nd Time

I started thanking God for all the things that are STILL working even though my BLASTED bleepity BLEEP dishwasher is broken!!

Then the place where I work got broken into right before our big Veterans day event last weekend. 
Which for me personally wasn't so bad, but I felt terrible for my boss/friend Mark who had to deal with this in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday. 
I started to think about how in life when you are going about your business something like that can happen and really shake things up. 
They are moments that cause us to pause in all our busy, and hopefully we remember what to give thanks for in those moments.
I felt a certain sense of violation and frustration toward this selfish, stupid person who thankfully didn't get away with a single thing, but still it caused all kinds of other work for us last week that we really didn't need to be dealing with.

Even in this though, I was thankful that nothing was taken, and no one was hurt. 
And I KNOW we did do some really good work for our community this past weekend when we gave away free tattoos to all the veterans as our way of saying thank you for your service to our country.

There are countless other little things that happened this past week that tried to derail this train, but I saw those things coming down the tracks and thought to myself ... NOPE...NOT TODAY! 

We all have those things that come to rob, kill and destroy the attitude of gratitude, but they are nothing more than the Punk Ass Devil messing with what really matters. 
When talking about giving thanks it's important to mention that not all things, obviously are worthy of thanks or gratitude. A lot of things in this life truly are horrible and there are no answers for the injustice. 
But, "in all things" we give thanks. 

Still, I believe there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

I'm not really sure how this works when faced with true tragedy. I don't pretend to have all the answers or even some of the answers, but I know that personally in my life if I look for gratitude in every circumstance I can always find it. 
It might not come right away, but it does come to me.

Again I will say, in this life we find what we are looking for. 

If you look for something in every life circumstance to be thankful for you will find it. 

This "graditudetrain" isn't about ignoring the horrible bad things that happen in life, it's about being determined to not stay there. 
We have to allow for times of grief and sorrow to fully heal. It can't be all sunshine and roses everyday because with out the dark times we don't know how to appreciate the light.

I do believe though, there is something to wrestling our way out of those dark times and the muscle we use to dig out of that pit of gloom is gratitude.  

So there you have it... week 3 here I go !
Keeping my attitude of gratitude and the determination to be a graduate in giving thanks in ALL things... "grad"itude  train for LIFE!!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Week 2 of the #graditude train

Last week on November 1st I decided I would start my own hashtag #graditudetrain on Instagram. 
I misspelt the gratitude(graditude) on purpose for two reasons;
one- so that the hashtag will only have people who come aboard this train with me, and 
two- because grad-itude has the word grad in it which is what I'm doing. 
I'm determined to become a graduate in this life of gratefulness. 

 This is a train that is full of people who want to come against all the negative in this world with an attitude of giving thanks. 
Even, in the midst of hardship and struggle I will give thanks.
"Like the homies on the night watch!" 

I have to admit that for me, this is not a hard exercise of the heart. 
Even though like everyone who has lived on this planet for 2.5 seconds I have experienced hardship and struggle in many different ways , my M.O. or resting stance of attitude falls very easily back into positivity and gratitude. 

For years, I have said I might not be rich in material things, but when it comes to what is really valuable in this life I am beyond wealthy.

The people that I'm surrounded by, and who I have crossed paths with are some of the most incredible people on the planet. 
I feel beyond honored and blessed to know each and everyone of them. 
Much like the above photo of my giant, (aka my husband) hugging my daughter on her home visit from Seattle last month... coming back to an attitude of thanks is like coming home for me. 

I feel the embrace of my creator everyday when I look around and see all that He has given me to enjoy. 
My  heart swells with gratitude for the people in my life. 
This first week of thanks has not only reminded me once again how rich in love my life is, but also how abundantly blessed  I am in the department of relationships.

There are 30 days in this month, and honestly every single one of these days could be filled with a shout out of thanks to certain people in my life that have shaped me. 

Just for fun, let's look at the numbers of my rather large family of origin and marriage.

I have 4 siblings, 4 children, 2 parents,  4 parent-in-loves, 1 husband, 4 nieces, 1 grand-niece, 1 grand- nephew, 6 Uncles, 3 Aunties, 2 brother-in-loves, 1 sister-in- love, countless cousins.... so you do the math! 
In my family ALONE there are more than 30 people to give thanks for, and I truly DO give thanks for them ALL!!
That is just my family that I didn't get to choose, but would choose each and everyone of them if I could. 
Then there are the ones that I call family that I did get to choose. 
My friends who are like family to me and who I choose to walk out life with, my inner circle if you will, I give thanks for ALL of them as well. 

I realize this is not the case for everyone. 

This gives some insight as to why coming home to a stance of gratitude is so very easy for me. 
Even with all of these beyond amazing people in my life, I still struggle (like any human "being" ) does. I put the word "being" in quotes because just being human means we will from time to time fall out of the character traits that we would hope WON'T define us in the end. 

Ya know, like... I mean we all have bad days! 

Days we wish we could push the rewind button and do that part of life over again. 
The great thing about this life though, is that we get to choose to push the reset button.
We might not get to rewind, but we definitely can reset our course. 
So, that is what this month is about for me.
I'm hitting the reset button, and coming home to a place of giving thanks for what truly matters in this life. 
I'm looking up instead of down.
I'm determined to graduate from this life with a masters degree in gratitude!

Who is with me?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

On Being Thankful - Week 1 of the #graditudetrain

I've been really quiet on here. 
Some of that quiet came about because I've been really busy just living, but a good portion is because I've been letting the steam of my inner soul build up again. 
I read this quote on another blog a long time ago, and it never left me;
When the door of the steambath is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates the remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good...Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.

So that's kind of what I've been doing these past several months. 
I've been allowing the steam of my soul to build up again in hopes that I would come back  to share something that would be really good for you all beloved readers. 
That above quote also reminds me of something that my grandmother used to always say to her kids, and then my mother said to me several times as a child, and now of course I say it to my own children; 
"The smart one shuts up!" 
Well, I don't know if shutting up really does make one smart, but I've been working hard to appear real, real smart these days. 

I decided today, November 1st was a good time to get back on here, break the silence(even if I may appear stupid for doing so) and share some thoughts with you all.

You'll have to let me know if all that quiet helped me to become infinitely wiser these past few months? (wink wink)
In my quiet I've been contemplating the state of our world at large as well as my own personal little corner in it. 
I've been quietly mourning the tragedies occurring around the world, and at the same time still mourning the loss of my beloved friend Christeeny. In my mourning and grieving I've also been trying to attain a happy balance of gratitude and still have hope for the future.
I'm not faking the happy, and I always have hope in Christ,  but it is very much mixed with sadness at the same time. I feel as though I can't just throw my hands up though, and stop hoping for a better tomorrow because I have 4 children who need to be reminded that there is still so much good in this world. 

(Enter John Mayers song The Heart of Life)

I wonder if anyone else feels the same in regards to seeing how crazy our world is right now and trying to make sense of it all for your children's sake if not for your own sanity?
I know there are some things that will never make sense to me, but I desperately want to try and find a way to help my kids navigate the madness of it all. 

I have decided that to come against all this crazy from a different angle. I'm taking a totally different perspective than all the negative that is so easy to find these days. 
Like that saying, "You can't fight evil with evil" that's what I'm trying to do here. 
Fight the good fight.
Run the race,
Hopefully, Lord willing set a hopeful example to my children of what we do when the going gets rough. 

So today, I break the silence to invite you beloved reader to join me this month of November to get on a gratitude train with me. 
For the whole month of November I am going to post what I'm thankful for in an attempt to  maintain balance and come against the spirit of sorrow, depression, and crazy in our world. 
November is a good time to start, don't you agree ? 
With Thanksgiving on the horizon I want to get on a train that gives thanks even in the midst of madness.
I also know that giving thanks and living in a state of constant gratitude is a muscle you have to work out everyday. 
Some days are better than others. 

I know there are actual studies out there that prove that when you feel the funk of life creeping up on you all that is needed is a good dose of giving thanks.
My friend/pastor shared this past Sunday the very same state that I'm talking about so I know I'm not alone in this. 
I have a wooden sign in my house that says this;
"There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. "
and I truly believe it. 

Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, heartache, and loss there is always something to be thankful for. 

Today I am thankful for contentment and courage to change at the same time. 

I'm content with where God has me right now and at the same time open to what He might want to change in me for better tomorrows. 
I'm thankful for the state that I live in as well as the state that my heart is in. 
It has taken me a very long time to find this place of contentment, especially in regards to living in Nevada again.
Those of you that know me well, know that it has been a life long struggle for me to find the beauty is this place that I used to disdainfully refer to as 
"Brown Town!" 
I chose that above photo for todays post because, even though I have lived here most of my life and seen that Nevada fence in pictures countless times I never knew where it was located until today. 

Can I get a witness that in this life you find what you are looking for? 

If you look for the good in any situation you will find it , and vice versa. 
I have searched high and low for the good in this state and worked very hard to find the purpose in being here right now. 
I believe I have come to a place of true thanks for this season and the place where I live. 
I'm thankful that I live close to my parents and amazing siblings. 
I'm thankful that I get time with some of my nieces and being a part of their lives is priceless to me. 
I'm thankful for the lifelong friends I have here who have walked along side me, and my family and made all of our lives richer and deeper because of their influence and devotion to us all. 
(My friend/pastor very much included in that thanks)

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that no matter what I won't look back on this time, on this season, and wish that I would've had a better attitude about it. 

So who is with me?
Let's put out the energy of giving thanks and get on this #gratitudetrain 

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