*The mountains. I could not live where I can’t see a mountain standing on the horizon. God forbid I ever have to. They are my home; the place I feel closest to my maker. Their beauty instills tranquility and strength in my soul. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. ~Psalm 121 vs. 1,2
As I look out over snow covered meadows, sparkling mountain tops, and my pony, frost-barren, I reflect on the past year and where the trail of life has taken me. As the holiday season approaches, it seems only fitting. I am thankful for where I am. Truly thankful. There have been big milestones, small stumbles, and some smooth sailing, but all of it worthwhile. Just for this moment, I want to take the time to dig a little deeper and appreciate the small things that God puts before me; the things, that if I just take a little time to notice, enhance the big. Here is just a small bit of what I am grateful for…
*The laughter of my children. Where would I be without that sound? Lonely, maybe even empty. It warms me on a cold day. It lets me know that for that moment, the world is right. Thank you God for my children’s laughter.
*A sense of humor. I may not always be disciplined or tactful, but He made me. Thank you for the ability to laugh at myself; to find the humor in the darkness; Oh… and to laugh at others. If you can’t laugh at yourself, I am pretty sure I can do the job! Thank you for helping me find life’s humor.
*Alpine wildflowers. I don’t have much of a domestic side, but I can name wildflowers. I love their colors that add to the wild beauty of my home, sprinkled from mountain meadows to mountain passes high. Thank you to His hands for putting them here.
*A young colt. I was able to find a piece of me that I had somehow lost to fear and lack of self-confidence. It has been so long since I have been able to find confidence in my horsemanship skills. A bit of that was returned with the purchase of a young & willful but kind, colt. Unbroke, he made me earn his trust, and search within myself to come to terms with fear. In doing so, I found the source of that fear; the affects it has had in other areas of my life. Thank you to my horse for teaching me.
*The loving memories of those past. To borrow a line from a song sung by The Judd’s, “When I feel troubled, and I don’t know what to do, I can hear my grandparents’ whispers saying, “Just do your best. We are proud of you.” They are my guardian angels. The knowledge they shared lives within me and those around me. Thank you Noni and Grandpa.
*My sister. There is nobody on earth like your sister. I love and admire her strength, beauty, and perseverance. She inspires me, swaps recipes with me, laughs and cries with me, and has my back. Thank you God for my sister’s unconditional love.
*My husband. Man, the journey of marriage can be tough and beautiful all in one dose. I am thankful for his patience with me, the reality check I often need, the courage to go on, the forgiveness, and the love. Thank you for a best friend.
*Music. The out-of-key trail tunes, campfire sing-a-longs, my daughter’s pure voice, Miranda Lambert’s rocking, the strum of the guitar strings. I love music. Loud and proud. Soft and soulful. Thank you for music.
*Miracles, big and small. Little miracles happen everyday that give me the strength to carry on. Whether it be simple, like enough money at the end of the month, getting back on after getting bucked off, or big, my parents reconnecting, and my brother’s cancer being cured, these miracles are the thread of life. Thank God for all of them.
*My parents. They have seen it all. Sickness, love, hurt. God’s grace has given my parents’ love the strength and ability to persevere. I am thankful for their health, love, and happiness.
*My brothers. The strength and individuality of them inspire me to be a stronger, better self. Ralph, headstrong and stubborn, but unselfish and loving. He teaches me strength daily. Cory, self sufficient and tender-hearted. He teaches me to see the beauty in all situations. I am thankful for a life close-knit with my brothers.
So, I don’t have to look far to find much to be grateful for. It is present in everyday life and season. I tip my hat to another year of this great life! Thank you God for letting me live it!