I came into this world the youngest of 7 children and have been loved more than the average bear. To say that I feel fortunate and blessed would not be adequate. And as my “days increase,” I am evermore keenly aware of the.gif"https://cheekystreet.com/img/2015/03/joan-yard.jpg"> My family gave me lots of freedom to play long hours out in the fresh air of Southern Missouri and to be myself. The early years shaped me – I felt secure, happy, loved and cherished. For those in this world born with less who have nonetheless managed to live full, happy lives, I feel empathy and awe.
I did nothing to deserve all the goodness in my life – it was just gently placed before me and continues to unfold like a beautiful tapestry.
At 49, here is a short list of the things I have learned and the wondrous joys that captivate me:
- Don’t ever refuse help of any kind when it is offered – you will find an open heart can swell with love, joy and abundance that affects everyone around you in a positive way – say “Yes!” and “Thanks!” often and mean it;
- Bring all of yourself wherever you go – holding back will only limit the joy you feel and overshadow the illumination of the experience;
- Admit when you feel frightened – it won’t diminish anything, only brighten the path before you;
- Listen to children because they know what’s best – God gives us about 9 years of complete innocence in this life for a reason – it is to show others how to live courageously;
- Accept change and move forward as soon as you can – so many wonderful experiences and people await for you in your future, don’t put them off by feeling regrets, guilt or sadness over what is in the past.
I am grateful for friends and laughter; Homemade cinnamon rolls or anything freshly picked from one’s garden and friends that will bake them and drop them off at my doorstep; The infinite possibility of sunrises and sunsets, especially over the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas – though I never thought the day would come I would admit this; The tiny hands of children placed with complete trust in my own hands – proof that we are all worthy of love and affection. Today is my 49th birthday – I thank God for all the goodness in my life and look forward to continuing the journey.