Brian Tracy once said, "Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Pure. Genius. I think that having a heart that has been trained to be grateful and thankful for everything in your life is one of the best indications of maturity in someone's life. A heart filled with thankfulness, to be honest, is something we forget to pursue quite frequently. It is so easy for us to develop this mindset where we think that everyone and everything owes us something, and we pitch fits and whine and complain until things go our way.
When I was about 12 years old, I used to be the worst when it came to being grateful for things. I'll be the first to admit it. I was hormonal and crazy and [insert inappropriate adjective here], and I thought the world revolved around me. Good thing God snapped me out of that ridiculous stage after a while, but I have made it a daily habit to remind myself of what kind of person I want to be instead of the person I could easily be: that same little bratty 12 year old. I wasn't grateful for my family, my friends, or even for my life, and, in turn, almost lost it all. When I think about those several months that I went through as a girl on the brink of being a teenager, I no longer feel ashamed. I no longer feel filled with regret or try to block out everything that happened. Instead, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Jesus' mercy and grace and love and forgiveness and so many other things.
Today, I was grateful for a lot. I was grateful to wake up and two things immediately pop into my head: 1) I'm so glad Jesus gave me another day, and 2) man, I love Teesh even more today than yesterday...is that even possible? I love it when I wake up already filled with the Holy Spirit. :)
I was also grateful to pick Freeman up from school again today. We've never really gotten to spend a lot of one-on-one time together over the years. I've always been either in Simpsonville or away at school, and he's always been locked up in his room playing video games. The past month since I've been home, however, we've actually had lots of heart-to-hearts, which I have truly been blessed by. He even asked me to be a chaperone for his class field trip to the Renaissance Festival at the end of October! I mean, who wants their older sister to hang out with them and their friends during school? I guess that means he's finally realizing what a cool sister I am; I've been waiting for him to figure it out for quite some time! ;)
Another thing I was grateful for today was getting to spend time with my future sisters! Sav, Candie, and I went to Applebee's for dinner, and it was absolutely incredible to hang out with them for a few hours. We talked about life and old memories and wedding plans and all sorts of good stuff before leaving to go let Candie take care of some business. And by business, I mean...ladies and gentlemen, Sav and I got to witness our first tattooing of a human: Candie got another one! It was totally random and sporadic and unplanned, but I think that makes for the best memories sometimes. Cannie Ree took it like a champ, too!
When I got home, I walked upstairs to find a box in the floor right inside my room. Candice had sent me a goody all the way from Cali! I tore into that thing like it was Christmas morning, and what did I find inside? My very own pair of white Minnie Mouse ears with a veil--wedding style! Heck yes! Now I have another piece of Cali to embrace when I'm missing the west coast and, more importantly, her! She even had it monogrammed with my name on the back of it. That leads me to yet another thing I was grateful for today...Candice Crawford and her sweet self! I miss that girl so much, but talking to her every several days makes my heart hurt a little less each time. She is one of the most thoughtful, kind, and caring people I've ever met in my whole life. She used to spoil me ALL THE TIME while I was out there with her, and she's still doing it from across the country. She is the BEST. Hands down!
Shannon and I had some time to just sit and chit-chat this evening before we went to bed, too. I sure am grateful for that lady in my life. We laugh and we cry and we watch our shows together and we torture Will together (well, she mostly just watches and lets me do the dirty work) and we just enjoy each other's company any chance we get. I'm so spoiled to have two moms who love me so much, and the last thing I ever want to do is take either one of them for granted...ever.
Tell the people you love how much you really do. Grab every single second and treat it as if it's your last. Don't waste time with regret or shame. Remember how fleeting this life is and make it worth telling about. Close your eyes and dream up something crazy, then make it happen. Be bold. Be daring. Never let the fear of the unknown keep you from taking that next step. Open your heart and teach it to be grateful for both the good and bad times. You've only got one shot. Make it count. :)