Friday, March 11, 2011

I am SO Blessed.

Last night, while sitting at the Rascal Flatts concert with Steve and two of our friends, it really hit me how absolutely blessed I am.  Then when I woke up to the news this morning about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it served as a reminder that I should be thankful for everything I have. 

The list of the blessings in my life is long, and some items may seem small and mundane to others but mean the world to me, so I chose some of my top blessings to share. 

God granted me with the best 2 parents I could ever hope for.  My dad has always provided for our family allowing us to live in nice homes, go on vacations to places like Colorado and Montana, participate in sports and activities we had an interest in...basically never need for anything.  We may have "wanted" for things, but who says we should get everything we "want"?  He also taught me to have respect for others, that "yes ma'am" and "yes sir" are a must when speaking to our elders (ask my friends, he made them say it also), to have discipline, that we must earn things and not wait to be given them, and to have a great work ethic.  He also taught me a very important lesson: that your parents don't need to be your friends when you are a kid, you have enough friends; but when you are an adult, they can be your best friends.
My mom is one of the most self-less women I have ever known.  She would literally do anything in her power to help a stranger on the street, much less her precious baby girl (that's me, in case it wasn't obvious).  She is my best friend, my closest confidant, my fountain of wisdom, and my glowing example of what it is to be a loyal and loving wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend.  She has taught me lessons I use everyday and continues to teach me more each time I talk to her (which is at least once a day).  She also taught me about Christ and what it means to have faith, which is the best gift you can give someone.  I could go on and on about this woman...

I have an aunt and uncle who have treated me like their third child.  They have taken me in, given me great advice, been my friends, and been a great example of a loving, respectful, happy marriage.  Of course, no one can replace your parents, but these two are the best reinforcement you could ever have. 
I have a small group of AMAZING friends.  These women each bless my life in different ways.  I have friends I can call when I need: a pick-me-up, a good laugh, a good cry, someone who can relate to me, someone who can hear me out and not judge matter what I've done, to reminisce, to be put in my place, to rest my brain with meaningless silly conversation, and most important, to celebrate with.  I hope they all know how much I appreciate them.

I have had some unbelievable experiences.  In middle school, I went on 4 life-changing mission trips to the Dominican Republic.  I have traveled to incredible places (particularly England, France and South Africa).  I have had the fortune to meet celebrities and influential people who have given me a peek into the fabulous life of the rich and famous.  I have had some great jobs, and some not so great, that have all taught me different things about myself.  And most importantly, I had the pleasure of attending the greatest university in the world, The University of Florida.  Thanks dad for teaching me great taste at a very young age.  Go Gators!

Finally, and most importantly, I have had the blessing of meeting and marrying the most wonderful man I have ever known.  Steve is loving, thoughtful, respectful, and makes me laugh everyday.  Most importantly, he gets me.  Don't ask me how, but he does.  He has taught me so many new things and opened my eyes to a whole other world.  I really can't imagine a better person to spend the rest of my life with (or his life at least...pretty sure I'll out-live him.)
One of my favorite affirmations I say is:

"I love life.  Every day is an adventure.  I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love and who love me.  I have such a love for life that it is contagious, and for that, people always want to be around me.
I am gracious.  Every thing, person, and event in my life is a gift from God.  Every day is a gift.  A reminder of this is always in the front of my mind and I wake up every morning and go to bed every night thanking God for the day."

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