I heard a great quote in church today. The speaker said something like, "a grateful heart is the first step to greatness." I think this stood out to me so much because it's so easy for me to see all the things that are going wrong right now in my life, and all of the things that I wish could be different. But I do need to see that in the midst of storms, I am blessed.
1. I have a van! And I have this van because of the extreme generosity and kindness of friends and strangers. One friend loaned me the money to get it, and another friend gave up two days of her precious time to drive me all over Los Angeles looking at vans and helped me inspect and test drive them. The two brothers who owned the dealership where I ended up buying the van took special compassion on me and made it possible for me to buy this particular vehicle. And they filled the gas tank for me, just to be kind, and they told me to come for free oil changes, and that anything I needed, they would take care of me. It's a long story, but they were angels to me, and it was a miracle. And now I have a van!
2. My children love me. And not just love me, they are fiercely loyal and protective of me. I am undeserving of such devotion, but I am strengthened by it, and so grateful. I never want them to grow up and leave my nest.
3. Somehow I can keep forgiving. Somehow I can keep loving. I am so grateful for this about myself because the alternative, a life of bitterness and misery, seems so unappealing.
4. I sold another article! Maybe two, and that money will come in handy for Christmas.
5. An old, old friend from my past, a girl who used to torment me and tease me all through elementary, junior high, and high school till she moved, contacted me on Facebook, and apologized. Sincerely. What a difference "I'm sorry" makes. If only everyone knew that.