Monday, March 2, 2015

The Gratitude Project.

{From my mother's surprise 60th Birthday this past weekend!}

{The theme was "Cooking Up a 60th" so we had this cake made for the occasion!}

{We pulled it off!}

{Birthday girl with The Harper side!}

{Birthday girl with The Osborne side!}

{Mom & her sweet college roommates}

1. My mother's birthday! On Saturday my sweet mother turned 60! My dad and I planned a surprise party for her, which we pulled off beautifully, if I do say so myself! So the #1 thing I am grateful for this week is my mother and her 60 years on this earth. It's such a comforting feeling to be surrounded by people who love your mother so much, and that's exactly how Saturday night's party was. I am grateful beyond words for her and everything she has taught me, given me, and done for me. She is truly the most generous, faithful, and selfless women I have ever known! I feel blessed to have had such a shining example of a mother, wife, and friend. When I open my mouth to speak, when I look in the mirror every day, and when I meet people who knew her as a child and young woman, I am reminded that, thankfully, I AM MY MOTHER'S DAUGHTER!

2. My sensitivity - I am very sensitive. People who know me well (or anyone that attended my wedding or bridal showers) know how sensitive and emotional I am. I was reminded of that this weekend at my mother's birthday party. We did a little "roast" on her that evening, and since there's hardly anything to "roast" her about, it ended up being a sweet and emotional tribute to her. Of course, I said something. And of course... I cried. No surprise there. I used to be very embarrassed of that quality and hated that I couldn't talk about anything near and dear to me without becoming a red-faced puddle of tears. Even as a young girl, I couldn't get up and speak about my parents or family without crying. At church every Mother's and Father's Day, kids could get up and read letters they wrote to their parents. When I was younger, I would always write a "thank you" letter to my parents and get up in front of the whole congregation and read them. One after the other, kids would get up and nicely (and audibly) read the touching letters to their mother or father. Then I came up to the podium…. and cried my way through my letters. Every. Single. Year. It embarrassed me until I got older and realized it is just WHO I AM. My grandfather was very emotional his whole life, always speaking from the heart and shedding a few tears in the process. As a result, my mother is also very emotional. There wasn't a morning growing up that she didn't cry after reading our devotional around the breakfast table. I guess all those mornings rubbed off on me, because now I, too, am emotional. At 32 years old, I am finally ok with that. I know that, if I'm speaking from the heart, to -or about-  those I love…I will cry. I will cry reading and writing birthday cards. I will cry thanking those that have done something special for me. I will cry at movies…and corny Super Bowl commercials. I will cry telling someone how much they mean to me. I will cry reading devotions or touching stories. I will also cry writing this blog post. Because like I said… It's just who I am, and I am very grateful for that.

3. Positive affirmation - I'm human. Of course, I love positive affirmation. I am specifically talking about positive affirmation in terms of my blog and this "Gratitude Project" series I'm doing. I've gotten several texts and emails from friends telling me how much they enjoy it and how it's made them more aware of things in their lives that they are grateful for. I'm thankful for people who go out of their way to tell me those things, because it makes me feel like I'm making a small difference in this world. I draw a lot of inspiration from those around me, so I hope I can do that for others, as well.

4. Safe travels home to West TN - This might seem like a given, but I am so grateful for safety and traveling grace on our trips home to West TN. We've been home a lot since the holidays, and the trip this weekend was particularly nerve-racking due to all the pot-holes and road damage on the Interstate. I think there are still nail marks on the passenger seat in my husband's car because I was so nervous going home this past weekend!! I'm grateful for safe travels on those special trips home!


{I felt this quote was a perfect one in honor of my mom (and my dad, too!) for her birthday week.}

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