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 Gift living is. 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.