Hello SOTGC community,
As we move closer to the holiday season, we are constantly reminded by the many things, people, and accomplishments others are thankful for. I have noticed during the last couple of years, starting on November 1st, my social media feed starts to fill with daily reminders of the many blessings of those around me. Each year, more and more join in the movement.
Though I enjoy reading the daily posts, I have yet to succumb to the movement. But it has inspired me to reflect on my life and the many blessings God has placed in my life. Let me rephrase that, God has blessed me with the paths on which those blessings would be found. I realize that I have to be willing to take the journey to those many blessings.
There is one person that I know God placed in my life for many reasons. She is a woman of amazing faith, compassion, kindness, nurturing, grace, and unwavering love. She gives freely of her time to others. She has impacted hundreds of youth throughout her life and is the owner of a dance school where she taught them more than how to dance, she taught them about life.
This person is my mother-in-law, lovingly called “Grandma C” by our children. We are very fortunate she and my father-in-law (who is equally wonderful), live three minutes from us. Shortly after our twin boys were born, they sold their house in a community they called home for more than 30 years and moved to be closer to their grandchildren. When this first happened, many of my female friends cautioned me … you know, because she was my mother-in-law and would be “meddling” in on everything. Well, they were right … nearly 12 years later, I could not imagine our lives any other way; it has been by far one of the best blessings in my life.
A couple weeks ago, we had them over for dinner to celebrate her birthday. During dinner, I listened to our boys talk about the days they text or call grandma to come get them from school because they stayed late to help a teacher with a project or to get extra study time. I am humored by a conversation Grandma C had with the boys when one told her, “Dad will be mad you are picking us up ….” (Yes, they have been told countless times that Grandma C is not their taxi driver and just because she lives in town doesn’t mean they should bother her.) I am further humored by the fact she responded to our children that she is STILL his mother, and, if she is in town and not busy, she will be there for them.
Over the nearly 20 years I have been married, I am constantly reminded of the wonderful gifts she gives, not only to our immediate family, but also to all she gives to others – to our church, the younger generations, and those with whom she comes into contact. She has the most giving and compassionate heart, and I am reminded how one’s actions can have an insurmountable positive impact on others. Selfishly, I am grateful that my children get to call her their own.
This morning, I am reminded how blessed I am to live in a house that is filled with so many memories of family, laughter, sadness, accomplishments, and, most importantly, my husband and children. Each day our children are steps closer to leaving their childhood home to embark on their own journey. As with any parent, I want nothing but the best for my children, and, more importantly, I want them to know nothing is free or guaranteed in life.
If I had one wish for my children, it would be for them to remember the love, laughter, and memories that family brings to life; to have a compassionate heart so that they can share the blessings of their life with others. I hope that the day they step outside our front door to start their own life journey, they will always emulate the many traits Grandma C demonstrated on a daily basis, and have the passion to put others before them. It is so easy right now to focus on “what’s in it for me,” that we can lose sight that others are struggling to meet just simple basic needs.
Time goes by too quickly, and each day it seems our clocks tick by faster and faster. Don’t take my lead and let years go by without reflecting on the many blessings in life. As we inch closer to Thanksgiving, create memories with your family that they can take with them, and spread love and compassion for others. Take time out of this busy holiday season to give back to others so they may have an opportunity to create a life memory.
Here are a few activities your family can do to help others in need while creating lifetime memories:
- Serve food to the homeless
- Donate to Harvesters
- Stock shelves at the local food pantry
- Shop With A Cop
- Be Bell Ringers for the Salvation Army
Many blessings this holiday season, and take time out to remember all you have to be grateful for. Make a family plan to share your many gifts; everyone has a gift to share, whether it is time, talent or treasure, it is a gift. If this resonated with you, please take time to share with others! Please share this article with others …Tweet, Pin or share on LinkedIn or Facebook.