In her book The 8 Human Talents, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa suggests taking each letter of the alphabet and acknowledging something that is a blessing in your life starting with that letter.  I’ve been meaning to do that since I read that suggestion.  We have so much to celebrate this week including John’s birthday and traveling to see family for Thanksgiving.  I have lots of cooking to do too, happily.  I think it is fitting to remember our blessings when things are busy.

A – Ariana, my sister and very best friend since I was 8 years old.  We finish each other’s sentences and can speak volumes to one another with a look.  She is a huge blessing to me.  Our relationship and the family we share is proof that God has bigger plans, even when it seems like our world is crashing in on us.

B – Books.  I don’t know who I would be without books.  I can’t remember a time when books weren’t a part of my life.  They are a great escape as much as a grounding force of information.  I feel so bless to have access to most any book I would want to read without censorship from government.

C – Cooking.  I am so blessed to have found a love for cooking traditional foods and feeding my family as healthily as I possibly can.  It is such a pleasure to put your all into a dish and watch your family enjoy it.  It is like nothing else.

D – Deladis.  My first born baby girl who has changed my life forever.  She has given me meaning beyond selfish goals.  She is a light on her best days and a grounding force for me when things are hard.  She is a gift from God.

E – Expression.  I have the freedom to express myself within and without my home.  So many women around the world are kept silent.  I feel like it is an amazing blessing that I can sit and converse openly with my husband without fear.  I am so very thankful for freedom of speech as well.

F – Food.  I have enough to eat and feed my family and for the most part it is the best available to me.  I am very blessed to have found a way of eating despite industrialization that is healthy.  I no longer feel guilty or like food is my enemy.  Yay!

G – Grandparents.  I am blessed to have met all but one of my great-grandparents.  I am still blessed to have all my grandparents living.  They have been such a huge influence in my life and upbringing.  I would not be who I am today without their constant storytelling and nurturing.  I still feel shocked when I hear of folks who haven’t had that, and I thank God for having them in my life.

H – Hope.  I have it and always will.  In the face of adversity, I haven’t ever given up the hope of truth and the knowing that God knows what is best and will led me there.  That is a blessing.  I hurt for those without hope.

I – Ivy, my second chance baby.  Her spirit is so full of neverending energy and intention.  Her birth taught me what it meant to be reconciled with reality in the midst of dreams and being okay with that.  Her short little life has thus far showed me what one can do if they are sincere and never lose hope.

J – John.  He is my husband and greatest friend.  I am so blessed to have found him when I was only fifteen years old.  I didn’t have to spend my young days searching for love, but found myself grounded in the security of a well built relationship.  That was something that I was so fearful of never having, and it is one of the first things God blessed me with in my adult life – a marriage.

K – Kentucky.  We have been ranked as the next to the worst place to live in the United States and the 41st in the nation for healthy folks.  Hazard, just a short drive from our home, has been stated as the worst place to live in the country.  However, I could see myself living no where else.  I sometimes wonder about living in other states, but can’t bring myself to dwell on it long.  I live in a place where folks will still pull off the side of the road to help a stranger.  Where we pull our cars to the curb and stop out of respect for a passing funeral procession.  A place where if you are hungry, you will be fed.  A beautiful and mostly loving place.

L – Life.  There were times in my life when I wondered why I was born.  I’m only thankful that I was now. 🙂

M – Mountains.  I couldn’t have asked to have been born in a more beautiful, spiritual, and yet real place in all the earth (Not that I’ve traveled extensively. ;)) as the Appalachian hills.  I believe it is some of God’s most magnificent handiwork, given to us to care for whole-heartedly and share with others.

N – Niece and nephews.  I was an aunt before I was a mother.  I learned from a very young age what it meant to love a child with all of your heart, to the point that you want to give part of your soul to them – the good part. 🙂  My nieces and nephews have taught me that a child brings a smile like nothing else.  Being witness to the births of my first two nephews have given me the opportunity to witness the blessing of a woman’s body working the way God designed it to.  It is beautiful.  I love them much like my own. (My niece turns 16 today!  Wow!)

O – Originality and evolution of being.  I’m glad there is only one of me, and I am so glad I can be ever changing.  Motherhood has been the catalyst for more personal growth in my life than I have ever seen or even wanted before.  God knew I needed children to heal.  I didn’t, but He did.

P – My parents and in-laws.  I have found a place of peace in my relationship with both of my parents, and I am so thankful to be able to enjoy adulthood with them.  I feel like I have three sets of parents too, my mother and step-father, my father and step-mother, and John’s mother and father.  John’s parents have been so loving to me and having been a part of their life since I was still a kid, I feel like I belong to them too.   They are all always there when we need them.  I so love watching them be grandparents to my girls.

Q – Quiet.  I am blessed to be in this quiet holler after 7 years living on a busy city street, so out of my element, and nervous about sitting in my own back yard.  Time in the city taught me a lot and I am thankful for that.  I appreciate quiet like never before.

R – Rest and the appreciation of it.  I get an hour everyday with yoga to recharge my body through real rest – that is a blessing.

S – Staying home with my children.  I am so thankful to God for helping John provide for us so that I can be home with our children.  We live a very small life, but it is a huge blessing to know that either John, myself, or close family and friends are going to be the ones impacting the lives of our girls.  I am so thankful to have the choice of career/home/or both.

T – Time.  I so often complain about not having enough time in the day to do the things I want to do.  I do get done the most important things though, including cooking from scratch, time in yoga and prayer, teaching and loving my children, time for good books and study, and time to enjoy my family.

U – Union.  I am thankful for my relationship with John and that it has lasted and is as strong as ever.  I am at a place where I feel like we will spend our entire lives together.  Having been a child of divorced parents and seeing the hurt it caused them and us, I was fearful.  I am not fearful anymore.

V – Violin (fiddle) and banjo music.  The music of the mountains speaks to my soul like nothing else.

W – Writing.  I was born a writer, and I suppose that is why I consider it such a privilege to fancy myself one.  🙂

X –X.  If there is something that is wrong in my life, I can change it with God’s help.  Mistakes can be a time for learning.

Y – Yoga.  I am firm in my belief that yoga is God’s gift to us.  I am blessed to be able to practice 5 days a week.  I have received so much healing from God through yoga.

Z – Zeal.  I have been blessed with it in whatever I find important at the moment.  It is so helpful if I learn to acknowledge it and use it.

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