Live a life of gratitude

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! I am a Christian. Not a right winged, over the edge, will-never-win-anyone-to-Jesus-because-I’m-in-your-face kind of Christian, but simply a serious follower of Jesus. In my opinion, regardless of one’s religious beliefs, it’s imperative to live a life of gratitude, because without gratitude there’s all too much in the world to be crabby about, and I choose not to go through life being crabby. Life’s too short for that.

I have been writing in a personal/private blog for about 5 years and have published nearly 1800 posts, and I started this volunteering and employment blog about half a year ago as well. I love having the archives of my thoughts because I can go back and reflect on my life as it was back then. It is one of the great benefits of blogging (much like journaling, which I did (paper and pen!) for many, many years).

Sometimes, it’s funny, sometimes it’s uncanny, and other times, It might be a little out of the ordinary. While I was reading through some of the older posts from a few years back before we had our second child (who happens to be a girl), I ran across a post entitled What Would Make Life Closer to Perfect. It was so interesting to read that 3 years later.

I have much to be thankful for–a fantastic husband, two healthy, albeit rambunctious kids, a comfortable place to live, a rewarding contribution to a volunteer organization in our community,  loyal and loving friends and family. For all of this and lots of other things, I could not ask for more.

BUT (and a good friend once told me that all truths come after the word ‘but’)…I can think of a few things that would make life closer to perfect. Call it a wish list and maybe in some ways a bucket list, if you will. I revised my list from years ago.

1. If I could be 15 pounds lighter to my pre-happy-because-I-met-My Man weight, life would be just a little closer to perfect. And I could wear my ‘skinny’ clothes that I have stashed away in the depths of our closet.

2. If I could have a 6 figure salary job that I love, life would be just a little closer to perfect. And if I find a job like this that I love, it will most likely mean that I’m also making a difference in the world and have more money to give away. Do these types of jobs exist? I would probably give it all away to those who need it more than me anyway…

3. If people would take global warming seriously and make changes, simple changes in their lives to help the issues, life would be just a little closer to perfect. And then we wouldn’t have to worry that our house (that is so close to the river) will be under water in 50 years.

4. If my immediate family (yes, including the “other Boleyn” sister) and I lived within an hour drive of one another, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And our kids could grow up as friends.

5. If everyone in My Man’s and my immediate family and some of my very dear friends shared our faith, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And Christmas would no longer just be about gifts and Easter would no longer just be about the Easter bunny and egg hunts, but it would be about Jesus.

6. If we could adopt one child from every large ethnic group, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And we could have our own United Nations and make life better for some needy little ones.

7. If we could spend one month a year living in Italy or France and one month a year serving the poor in Africa, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And we would often be reminded of life outside of the comfortable, spoiled US and live a life of gratitude.

8. If I could see the ex-boyfriend whom I cried the most over and tell him that I forgive him, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And then he would know that I don’t ever wonder about what my life would’ve been like had I married him because I ended up marrying the perfect guy for me.

9. Last but definitely not least, if the Tigers could just once in my lifetime win the World Series, life would just be a little closer to perfect. And I could die a happy, fulfilled Tigers fan!

I could go on and on, but I think these 9 things are a good start. I suppose some of the things I’ve listed here are more along the lines of learning to be content with what I have while others are truly things that I pray about while actively pursuing (i.e. I do pray for the Tigers to win a World Series–nothing is too silly for God).

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