Today brings a funeral for a very dear man from our parish. He was in the choir with my girls and had a great, deep voice. Only Ms 16 yo is able to sing with the choir today for his Mass as Ms 20 yo is in Rhode Island visiting her boyfriend and Ms 18 yo is sick on the couch while I stayed home to keep a watchful eye on her (yes, she must be sick if I'm doing that!).
Since I'm home instead of out for the day, I felt inspired to write a New Year's post and reflect on all of the things I am grateful for from 2012. My first inclination is to think back upon how difficult this year was. Difficult in so many ways: financially, emotionally, spiritually. However, that is not how I want to remember this past year. So, here is my list of 12 things that I am grateful for specifically from the year 2012. The fact that I am immensely grateful to God for my faith, my husband, my children, my family, my friends and our home is a given!!!!
1. Being able to go on my yearly silent retreat with my two oldest daughters. Even thought we didn't get to talk to each other, it was still wonderful sharing something so spiritual with them.
2. A few days away with my husband this fall. When you don't have anyone else that you have to focus on except the wonderful man you married, it brings back a lot of memories :)
3. Feeling healthy enough to get in better shape. To lose some weight, gain it back over the summer and then be able to lose it again this fall and feel better than I have in a long time. I know how great of a blessing it is to be able to do this!
4. For the many awesome parties we were able to host this year. The hosting isn't what made them awesome, it was the people who came to each and every one of them that made them so fun and memorable.
5. To have daughters with beautiful voices and a son who is maturing into something wonderful and the fact that they are willing to use their talents in the service of the Lord.
6. To have graduated another child from our homeschool this year. To see her standing up there in her cap and gown with that big smile and know that all of the blood, sweat and tears over the past 12 years of schooling is SO worth it.
7. For the opportunity to get to know some new people this year. Hosting about 30 people at our house for five days this summer was a great experience and a chance to meet some wonderful people. We even added another "adopted" member to our family.
8. For the opportunities I've had this past year to photograph so many people. I love to keep honing my skills and I've been blessed to take some pictures of some truly beautiful people and events. If I have a passion, this is truly it.
9. For the trials that we've gone through this year and the grace to endure them and come out on top of them. Truly the work of God! Our trials can either defeat us or make us stronger and I am grateful that I was given the grace to not let them defeat me.
10. We had another great extended weekend in Michigan this year. It is always so much fun to go there to relax, swim, boat and have our yearly reunion with a great family we are blessed to know.
11. A peaceful fall semester. We had such a good first half of the year of homeschooling. If you homeschool, you know how rare those can be. We covered a lot of ground and weren't moving at our usual frenzied pace.
12. For work for my husband; it may not be perfect but it has kept us fed, sheltered and clothed. For a job for my daughter and the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps us always looking for ways to expand our knowledge and help others.
There are so many more things to be grateful for but I'll keep it to these 12! I pray that you will be blessed with a peaceful, healthy and fruitful 2013!