Sunday, December 1, 2013

Much to be thankful for...

family pic-nov.2013
{ Our crew...Thanksgiving 2013 }

What Love Really Means by JJ Heller on Grooveshark

The babies are all snuggled in napping, Noah is watching a Christmas movie back in our bedroom, the hubby is still at church and so I'm enjoying this little bit of quiet time to myself. I thought I'd do a quick post this Sunday afternoon and do a little catching up and share some things I'm grateful for.

For our Thanksgiving holiday, we flew to Dallas a little over a week ago and then drove on to our hometown in East Texas to spend the holidays with our extended family there. And what a fun and relaxing time we had!!

The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and they loved hanging out with their grandparents.  I had a chance to have lunch with some dear friends of mine from my childhood that I haven't seen in years.  I so loved getting to see them and spend time catching up.  The hubby enjoyed spending some time outdoors and throwing a rod and reel at the lake with his Dad and Noah---something he rarely gets to do since we live in the city and juggling his busy law practice.  It was really cold while we were home--mostly in the 30's and 40s--such a nice change from the heat we are used to having in South Texas.  I don't know about you, but it never really feels like Thanksgiving or Christmas when the weather is in the 80s and 90s...

I enjoyed spending some quality time with my mom and dad in my childhood home and relaxing.  There are so many special memories I have while growing up there.  It's hard living so far away from  my parents and brothers--- we don't get to see them as often as we'd like--but, I've come to accept that it's just part of life and part of being a "grown up".  My brother Brian and I were reminiscing while I was at home about the "good 'ole days" when we were kids and he remarked, "Man it sucks being a grown up, doesn't it?..." Yep, I think I'd have to agree with him on that one. ;-)

I had some down time while there to read some good books and ponder on all the blessings the Lord has sent my way over the years.  I was thinking as I sat in my parents living room and visited with them....I feel so honored and blessed to have grown up in the loving home that I did and to have such wonderful, caring and loving parents.  I'm equally grateful for my three wonderful brothers--the four of us couldn't be any more different, but we sure have a special bond and share so many fond memories of our time together growing up.  It's really neat for me now as the big sister to see my little brothers now as grown men---and how they have blossomed into these loving, caring husbands and fathers!  I'm so proud of the strong, righteous men they have become. 

I look forward to sharing more pictures this coming week from our Thanksgiving, but for today's post...I wanted to share this family photo above that we took while visiting home. My sister-in-law took several photos for us while we were at my in-laws the day after Thanksgiving.  They have a beautiful place out in the country on a lake.

As I was looking back over the photos she took of our family today-- my heart literally swelled with love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the family He has blessed me with.  I some times still feel like I'm living in a dream.  If you've been reading my blog for some time, you know from previous posts I've shared here that there was a point in my life a few years ago where I had lost all hope of being a mother.  My infertility and our inability to conceive had literally stolen this dream of mine of being a mother and I was left with what felt like a gaping hole in my heart.  I couldn't understand why the Lord wouldn't answer our prayers and allow us to get pregnant.  I had to fight really hard some days to not become bitter and harden my heart.

And so now---as I look at this photo of the five of us together-- it's a tender reminder that the Lord really does hear and answer our prayers.... and many times, those prayers are often answered in a special way which allow us to travel down an unexpected path to greater happiness and joy.  While I never imagined as a little girl that my children would come to me through the gift of adoption---as I sit here today, I can't imagine being the mother to any other children than the ones God has sent me.    I know that these three little spirits were meant to find come to our home and be a part of our family.  I love them with every fiber of my heart and soul and am so grateful to be their mama.

I read this scripture today and it's about "living in thanksgiving daily"...

Alma 34:38...

"See that ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

I wanted to share these thoughts I have been feeling these past few days with the hopes that my sweet children will read them someday and know how thankful I am to be their mother---and to also remember to strive each day to live in thanksgiving and remember the blessings that the Lord has sent our way.

I don't know about you, but for me as a mother to three little ones, I often feel frustrated how life can begin to feel so darn busy and hectic at times---and how all too often, it becomes too easy to forget to take time to count our blessings.  Sadly, too often, there are missed opportunities that we have to bless someone's life, lend a helping hand or tell a loved one how much they mean to us. I was reminded of this sad reality when I lost my dear grandmother last month.  The Sunday before her death, I had this nagging feeling in my heart that I needed to call her, but I chose not to act on that prompting to call her.  I remember that I was super busy that day and feeling a little stressed out with the kids--and so I remember thinking to myself --"Oh, it'll be fine---I'll just call her in a few days and chat with her." Sadly, Nanny passed away two days later after I received that prompting to call her. I sorely missed out on an opportunity to tell my grandmother one last time how much I loved her.  Oh how I wish now that I could turn back time...that I would have taken time out of my busy day and called my grandmother and expressed to her how much I loved her and what a difference she made in my life.

This mortal experience of ours can feel long and overwhelming at times, but in the grand scheme of things in comparison to all things eternal--our time here on earth is really brief when you think about it.  We're here one day and then we can be gone the next.  We can never take one day for granted that we get to spend with our loved ones. I hope to always teach my children to live daily in thanksgiving... to never miss out on an opportunity to make amends or apologize when needed---to tell the people in your life that you love how much they mean to you on a regular basis.   And more importantly, to never forget to give thanks to the Lord and to recognize His hand in our lives.... lovingly guiding and watching over us in His own tender and miraculous way.  



  1. I love this blog.

  2. What a beautiful picture of your family. Thanks for sharing your reflections and thoughts with us here. You truly are an inspiration, Jennifer.


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