Yes, this year has been pretty tough.

I’ve attended 2 funerals for people with school-aged children. And was unable to attend 2 others. And found out another co-worker, with a young child has Stage 4 cancer.

My husband became crippled with pain (literally) and has been given zero prognosis for any recovery beyond “pain management”.

I went from wife, worker, and mother, to caregiver, wife, worker, mother. As if the first three weren’t time consuming enough! And our family relationships went through crises as we re-adjusted our roles.

We sold a mini van for almost nothing. Bought a wheelchair. Cursed ourselves for getting rid of the van.

But you know, I have it good. Really, really good. I am healthy. My children are healthy. My marriage is stronger than it has been in quite a while. I have a great job and insurance. We have friends. We have a church community. We have a warm home.

And, as my daughter oft reminds me at the top of her little lungs (often at 10pm)…
Some of my joys include:
The sound of my husband laughing (instead of moaning).
Diet Coke with warm chocolate cookies (or cookie dough).

An unexpected hug from a student.

An amazing score at a garage sale or a coupon-tastic deal day.

My kids hysterically shrieking from some quirky game.

And a warm spring day with nothing to do but play!

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  1. What a wonderful post. Gratitude in the midst of difficulty. 🙂

  2. I am glad that despite all the pain you have experienced this year……you can focus on the things that you are blessed with!!



  3. Attitude is more than half the battle. It has the unique ability to completely change one’s view of any circumstance and I believe you’re using yours beautifully! I’m so glad to hear you’ve come through the year stronger than ever. I wish for you continued blessings in the New Year ~ and the heart to keep seeing them!

  4. Diet Coke, oh how I love thee!

    Way to have a positive attitude even when things get tough. I hope things start looking up for you guys soon!

  5. Glad that you can find the good hidden in there with the tough times. May you have more good and may your trials turn to blessings.

  6. Oh man.
    You are a positive, wonderful, dear! I love ya for it.
    Still, such struggle.
    My prayers go out to you and your family.

  7. Unexpected hugs are the best, aren’t they?

    Great list and great reminder of the many things we have to be thankful for even when life becomes more challenging than we hoped it would be.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. seeing the positive in the negatives is a talent, and you have it in bucketloads…good for you..l’m trying to keep the glass half full, instead of half empty…trying real hard…its a learning curve..thanks for the inspiration this post shows.

  9. Your positive attitude is quite inspiring! And I’m feeling a craving for cookies coming on. 🙂

  10. Bravo….I always try to remember it’s not what we go through, but how we go through it….thanks for a wonderful reminder!

  11. It’s always good to count blessings in times of adversity. It gets us through. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

  12. Despite all the pain and suffering going on around you and with you and your family, I’m glad you’re able to find some positives in there.

  13. Joy is an interesting thing, isn’t it? It’s broader and deeper than happiness. You feel it all around you – like softly falling rain. Your post moves me. I feel like I could have written it. 2009 has been very difficult for us too — cancer, job loss, family crises… — but my wife and I were talking just the other night about how our marriage is better than it ever has been (and it’s always been good). It’s funny how God shapes the back to fit the burden. I used to believe that everything happens for a reason. I no longer feel that way — I think everything just happens, and we are presented with opportunities to learn from our circumstances. That’s how we grow.

    Hang in there. Your priorities are correct, and that helps to keep the gears of life properly lubricated.

  14. Despite all of the challenges, we are still so blessed. I wish I could sing with Marvel Girl right now, though y’all would probably have to plug your ears, since I’m tone-deaf.

  15. it is us to decide, to feel happy or sad…

  16. Beautiful post. I’m sorry things have been so difficult, but am uplifted by your perspective and ability to recognize the blessings amidst the struggles. All the best to you and your family!

  17. True joy doesn’t come from our life circumstances..I’m glad you have found joy in your life. And I usually eat the dough before it becomes a cookie! 🙂

  18. How did I miss all these wonderful Christmas posts and recipes …. I’ve got some catching up to do! Beautiful post … you have had quite the year, and you remain so strong and positive. You are wonder-woman!

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