Happiness and a Grateful Heart

Three things I am most grateful for today

Book Signing September 9, 2017 at Chapter 52 Bookstore in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

This past weekend, I had a book sale/signing at a local book store. It was a fantastic experience and one that I will always be grateful to have experienced. Last night as I was falling asleep, I began to reflect on the people who have helped and encouraged me on my book journey.

#1 My Husband

My husband, Shawn, is deeply rooted in my memoir, as he is one of the main characters. Though I did not reveal and write too many details of his life in Just Another Girl’s Story, A Memoir on Finding Redemption; he did experience much heartache and pain in his teenage years as I had. Of course, much of our pain was self-inflicted, as you can read about in the book. However, in our teenage years, we weren’t mature enough to recognize that our behaviors were reckless.

Shawn and I have been through some pretty crazy storms, even after we survived our teenage years. Yet he is still standing strong, just as I am. Shawn is my best friend and has always been my biggest supporter in all my endeavors over the years. There is nothing he thinks I can’t do.

I owe much of my confidence to Shawn, and I will be forever grateful for all his love and support. He is kind, generous, intelligent, funny and cuddly. I love him with my whole heart, always.

#2 My Children

It may seem like a biased comment, but my kids are the best in the world. We have a daughter, now 30 and a son, now 26. Both of our children have witnessed Shawn, and I work through the demons which haunted us during much of their young lives. Though they must have felt helpless and perhaps even scared at times, their adorable little selves helped get us through each difficult period.

When I finally revealed my abortions to my kids, they were very understanding. For so many years, I feared them finding out about my dark and ugly past. I feared that they would be angry because my two abortions cost them having more siblings. I worried they would hate me and not accept what I did.

However, both of them have been nothing but supportive and loving. My grown kids understand the context of what happened during my teenage years and feel empathy toward me, not a disappointment. For this, I am incredibly grateful to have such remarkable kids, and I am so very proud to be their mom and I love them to the moon and back.

#3 My Readers

I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support and encouragement from my readers. From social media messages, private text and email messages and book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads; I am heartened by the kind and loving words shared and grateful to every person that has taken the time to read my story.

I have to admit that when I decided to publish my book, I feared rejection by many because of the topic of my book. Abortion is a tough issue for many and writing about it in my memoir can be offensive to some people. However, I decided that I cannot please everyone, so I aimed at trying to please a few. My story isn’t for everyone, and I accept this.

The Grateful List

With all the drama, sadness and tragedy in our world today, it is easy to get discouraged. We must remain diligent in keeping our focus on the good in our lives, and build from that positive energy. There will always be negative forces that are beyond our control. We have to find a way to accept that we cannot change every bad thing and turn it into good.

The Serenity Prayer offers incredible instruction: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Indeed, words of wisdom for everyone.

Grateful_List is one method I use to keep my focus on the good in my life. I have a sheet of paper that is divided into two parts: Today I am most grateful for, and Today I lift up in Prayer. In the grateful section, I write down all that comes to my mind that I am grateful to have. In the prayer section, I write down things that I have no control over that are weighing me down. What I write in this section, I put in the hands of God.

You’d be surprised how helpful such a list can be; especially if you do it daily. Reflecting on what we do have, versus what we don’t have or can’t change is a game-changer. In the words of Melodie Beattie (self-help author), “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.”

Cheers to you and your GRATEFUL heart & life!

 

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