Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Living, learning and thankfulness...





Today I am thankful for many things. Simple things...yet truly wonderful and life-changing things. For me, some of them are: electric blankets and wireless internet. I have said it before, but I am am eternally grateful that I was not a frontier/pioneer woman who had to live without such modern comforts as electric heat and washing machines and microwave ovens. I would not have been a great Pilgrim, I'm afraid. My husband would totally agree. He has thanked his lucky stars that we aren't living in the 1700 or 1800's and having to hitch a team to a wagon to travel anywhere. I have grown more and more respectful of all that people endured in the years before I was born. It's seems fitting to be grateful and appreciative of the simple things I enjoy and take for granted way too often in this busy lifestyle we have all come to know as 'normal'. It wasn't always this way...and today I am thankful for 'modern luxuries'.
I also am deeply grateful for the ways we have all grown as a family the past few years- in ways we never expected we would have to, but they make us 'better' people as a result. I am thinking of all the things we have learned because of Wyndham's permanent injuries. We have all learned some sign language (Ava is signing 'I love you' in her picture)- some of us have learned more than others, but still, I am thankful that we all have the opportunity to learn to communicate with Wyndham. I think it is something everyone should do, if given the chance. There are more and more special needs kids and adults in this world, and what I see is that the more the 'regular people' learn how to communicate with those who have language issues, the easier it is for them {those who are challenged} to function well with the rest of us. I have seen how Wyndham's issues not only challenge her, but they make us all more patient and aware and sensitive and empathetic to her and to others. That is a wonderful thing- a blessing in disguise, you might say.
In addition to learning and embracing challenges, I am thankful for schools and education which opens doors and opportunities for a whole lifetime. I am so pleased to have my kids in a learning environment in which the teachers and administrators and parents are so involved and truly care about people and about their potential. It is something I think is taken for granted when you have it so well...we have it well and I just want to "publicly" thank the people who are working with my kids. Thanks to all those who work in education and take their roles in others' lives seriously. I think it can be routine and mundane...but it is so important and often makes a world of difference in the lives of children forever. It affects their future and futures to come. I am thankful for learning.
Lastly for today (and everyday) I am thankful for expressions of love. Especially within our family. I know everybody is different when it comes to how much 'love they show', but I really believe that there is no such thing as 'being too loving'. I love that my kids feel comfortable and it comes natural for them to "blow kisses" and to say I love you and sign I love you and that they get real-life hugs and kisses everyday just warms my heart. Sometimes I 'smother them' because I feel like I am making up for the kisses I wish I could give Teagan or the realization that one never knows how many chances you have to lavish love on those closest to you. I took it for granted, and at times I thought I was even savoring the moments and loving the best I could, but I have learned that there is always room for 'more love'. There are days I wish I could turn back the clock and go back in time and give Teagan a million more hugs and tell her I love you a million more times. Maybe I learned the hard way...and don't think for a second that Teagan didn't get her share of love, because she did! It's just that I know time is short, and I am glad I learned the lesson early in my kids' lives and now I shower them with love. Not just at bedtime...but anytime.
It really is a wonderful thing to pause for a few moments and realize the number of things we all have to be thankful for in life. No matter who we are or where we are. There are blessings when we choose to 'see them'. I just may have to do weekly gratitude posts here. Feel free to leave a short list of the things you can think of to be thankful for today and leave them in the comments. I thank you in advance. =)

9 comments:

sonja said...

I'm thankful for you Jody:) (and many other things, but I need to go kiss my bubbas right now)

Anonymous said...

As one who has walked a few steps ahead of you Jody I agree that you need to take advantage of those special moments and let your kids know how much you love them. Relish the kisses and hugs and cute expressions they come up with. They "do" grow up (and away) all too quickly. Families do come together, yes, but once the kids get married and have their kids---the lives of the parents (now grandparents) change considerably. The house we once complained about never being cleaned or picked up is just that....and very still. Holidays must (in many cases) be juggled between the in-laws and extended families of spouses. Sometimes the "other side" must "flex". I've begun to see that LIFE is a constant of changes. Nothing stays the same.
So from this...I'm very much thankful for family, my faith, the freedom to practice it AND....for change because (hopefully) it helps me to grow and to be appreciative.

the rye family said...

i'm thankful for so much today! my wonderful husband, rick, my beautiful girls, tessa joy, taya jill and kajsa jo, my beautiful step-grandbaby, daila marie sunshine (along with her mommy and daddy and soon to be born little sister!) my parents and my in-laws, the rest of our family . . . our kitties, toby and oreo . . . the "gift" of internet where i "met" you and so many others who have stretched ma and caused me to grow in my relationship to Christ, my husband and my precious children! most of all, i am thankful that JESUS has saved me and has allowed us to see all three of our children come to a personal relationship with HIM! HAPPY THANKSGIVING JODY and THANK YOU :)

Marva said...

Like Sonja, I too am thankful for you, Jody, and your blog. Reading your blog is truly a pleasure. You always have something meaningful to say and I feel better for having read your words. You make me pause and give more thought to, as well as appreciate, the many gifts in my life. Thanks for opening your heart and sharing your life with so many. God bless you and your family this holiday season!

Lori said...

I'm so thankful for the loving, wonderful family I have been blessed with!! I am truly lucky!! I am thankful for the adoption of our beautiful daughter and the chance we have been given to be a Mommy and a Daddy!! I am thankful for the friends old and new that we are blessed with! And we SISters have to stick together and I gotta go with Sonja and say that I'm thankful that we had the chance to meet and thankful for the inspiration you continue to give to so many through your blog!

Have a Great Thanksgiving Jody!

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing person!! I having been reading your blog for about 4 months now and it is very inspirational for me!! I just love how you connect and share your inner most feelings with the world. I live in Saskatoon, Sk, Canada and it's amazing how connected you can feel with someone from far away!! I have never left a comment before but today I just felt thankful for your blog and how much inspiration you give me and everyone else who reads it!! Have an awesome day!!
Crystal

Anonymous said...

Jody~
I just want you to know that I read your blog daily and that you are always a source for inspiration and comfort for me. I love to hear your thoughts and I am so thankful that you share such personal stories and feelings with all of your readers. You open my eyes when my little one is driving me nuts. I always revert back to things you've said or just think about if she wasn't here to drive me nuts. I believe with all my heart that finding your blog and learning about your story was no mistake for me. I love to see your little ones and the special things that you catch in their daily lives. You are such a wonderful person, awesome mom, and unbelieveable scrapbooker! Thanks for all you do (and post!)
Casey Moore, Tennessee

Julie said...

So important to remember to be thankful! Thanks for always bringing it home!

patterns of ink said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!