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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On Turning 42

Today is my birthday! I am 42 years old, or at least I will be officially at 8:28 tonight!

So far, I have received phone calls from my parents, Matt & the kids have greeted me w/ hugs & kisses, many Facebook friends have posted their wishes for a happy birthday, & I've received some very nice presents.

Matt couldn't wait to give me my gift when it was delivered, so he gave it to me last week...a Kindle. Now, for quite some time, I've professed to never give up my actual books for an e-reader. But, I've been thinking it might be nice to have one at times. I mentioned it a few weeks ago in passing to Matt, but hadn't fully made the decision. He was listening well & made the decision for me, surprising me w/ this wonderful gift. I did warn him, however, that this wouldn't put a stop to my addiction to book purchases at thrift stores!

My parents gave me a new set of PJs & slippers, as well as some cash (which I'm going to use for a Kindle cover). The Archangel made pancakes for my breakfast this morning. The Saint & The Princess both put their artistic talents to work. He drew a picture on his dry erase board & she made me a crucifix out of Bendaroos. You can see photos of these two gifts in THIS post from earlier this morning. This evening, Matt is treating me to dinner & we're all going to a local Greek restaurant. 

42! So, what does it feel like to turn 42?

Truthfully, I don't feel any different than I did yesterday. In most ways, it's just another day. I still have the usual aches, pains, & tiredness. I'm still on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an under active thyroid, as well as vitamins (including extra Vitamin D). I still have gray hairs...well, more white & I'm actually okay w/ that. My paternal grandmother had nice-looking salt & pepper hair & my maternal grandmother had beautiful white hair.

I'm starting to notice changes in my vision. Just last week, Matt was laughing at me when I had to hold a bottle away & at different angles to read the small print. Bifocals may be in my near future!

Even one or two of these issues is enough to bring anyone down & make them feel old. However, I realize how blessed I truly am. This realization for most people can only come from the wisdom of old age. My life path didn't take the directions I planned initially, but each step has drawn me into a closer relationship with God...the most important relationship of all. And, as I've grown deeper in my Faith, I've become more aware & open to the blessings in my life...even amidst trials & tribulations.

* I have an incredible husband who loves me w/ his whole being. He takes wonderful care our family.
* I have four beautiful blessings here on earth & one saint in Heaven watching over our family. Each day is a different adventure w/ them.
* I have a great extended family, near & far, offering their love & support through the years.
* I have a wonderful group of friends, both in real life & online.
* I have a job, a home, vehicles, foods on the table, & so much more.
* Most of all, though, I have my Faith & a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally...whose love & mercy are enduring.

So far, 42 is great!

Deo Gratias!

 "If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhart

Colleen, from her inspiring blog Thoughts on Grace, hosts this wonderful meme each Wednesday. She says, "Deo Gratias is Latin for Thanks be to God. Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big & small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude!"

Each week, I join Colleen in remembering & sharing the many blessings in my life. This is such a great exercise for me, helping me to focus on the good that truly is happening in my life, no matter how many trials & stresses I may have.
1) I've never been great at journaling, but decided to have journal time w/ the kids in the morning. So, after our morning prayers & read aloud, we sit at the kitchen table & write for at least 15 minutes. Hopefully, this will also give me some future blog posts, too! Deo Gratias! 

2) On Saturday, I attended our diocesan Catholic women's conference. There were three great speakers...Kimberly Hahn, Sr. Miriam James, & Rebecca Dussault. What a great day...faith-filled & inspiring!  Deo Gratias! 

3) It's only been two days now, but I've been making a more concentrated effort to rise earlier & spend more time in prayer. So far, so good! Deo Gratias! 

4) I often get tongue-tied when talking to other people, esp. if I'm tired or distracted. However, on Sunday, I was proud of myself for having numerous conversations that were coherent & meaningful! Deo Gratias! 

5) Today is my birthday! Matt couldn't wait to give me my gift when it arrived last week...a Kindle. He also paid for my admission to the conference. Yesterday, I received the following two gifts from two of my dear blessings. And this morning, for breakfast, The Archangel is making me pancakes. Deo Gratias!
The Saint drew this on his dry erase board...it is our church w/ our pastor at the altar, the painting of Jesus on the cross behind him, & the Saint & me sitting in the pews.

The Princess made this crucifix for me out of Bendaroos.