In the past, this time of the year has brought me more stress than happiness. However, this year I am going into the holidays with a different frame of mind. I have had an incredible year, and really have so much to be thankful for.
This year started off as many do, with goals of what I will do differently and how I will better myself. But this year wasn't like the others because I had my walk to Emmaus in mid January. So my year started off with a time of reflection and renewing my faith. After I returned back to my reality, I spent the next several months meeting weekly with other Emmaus friends to pray for those around us. Though summer proved a little tough to continue our weekly meetings, I now have a bond with two special ladies who I know I can count on for prayers, support and love.
I have also felt so lucky to be able to travel again. I used to travel so much before I had my children, but with them being so little the past few years had made that a little difficult. Now I wouldn't have traded these past three years for anything, but being able to get out of Birmingham for long weekends or longer, has helped me keep my sanity and make me feel more like myself. I am thankful for spending 5 days alone with Steve in Park City, Utah skiing in March. I am also thankful for my long weekend getaways with friends to Lake Oconee twice, to the beach once this summer and most recently to Houston to visit with college girlfriends. But the trip that I look most forward to each year is my family reunion beach trip to Avalon, NJ with my immediate family including my parents, cousins and aunt and uncle. This year I coupled it with a week long visit back to Peoria, so I was away for 2.5 weeks!
Now Steve and I are excited to entertain all of these family members here in Birmingham for Thanksgiving and the Iron Bowl. Everyone arrives tomorrow, and I will post stories and photos after everyone departs. But know that I will be thanking God for all of my blessings on Thursday....big and small. God is good!