Today is the first, real crisp Fall day I have seen. So far everything has been gorgeous and beautiful, and warm weather, with a few nippy nights.

It has been a really tough year. Honestly.

Aren’t I always honest with you? (don’t answer that. πŸ˜€ )

I was thinking yesterday, as I looked back over the last year, that my heart was not, most of the time, in the right place. That I was more focused on my struggles than I was on my victories. Wow.

You all know that is unusual for  me, and certainly not a place I want to waste a year of my life in.

One year ago, actually this weekend, my husband accepted a job in South Dakota, and moved into a hotel, leaving his family in an effort to keep our house, and heads, above water financially.

It was excruciating.

We had illnesses, and surgeries, house issues, and I really could go on, but instead, Today, I am choosing joy.

As I look at a garden sitting outside, with tomatoes waiting to be caught by frost, I am thankful that the Lord provided such a good year with a first year garden.

As I look at my girls, smiling and posing next to pumpkins, I will remember the excruciating years of praying my oldest would survive, and that my arms were once incredibly, achingly empty.

When I look at our loads of laundry, I will be thankful that the last month I have had time to sew many of my girls’ fall outfits, as well as warm coats for them before the snow flies.

When I am ready to be angry because our house is so much smaller and my busy twins are running through the house screaming, I will be thankful that no matter what, we are all together.

My life is an amazing place to be. I have my family, dear friends who love me, the love of a devoted husband, a dog who thinks the sun rises and sets on me, a set of skills that God continually uses to teach others, a teenage daughter who breaks the mold of every teenager I know and is an amazing friend.

I have a pantry full from a first year garden, and the time to process it.

I have heat, water, and electricity in my house.

We are no longer in debt other than a house payment each month that is very low.

So when I look back at this whole year, with all the painful trials, and struggles that have at times seemed completely overwhelming, I will instead choose to remember that in everything how you remember it is up to you.

I choose joy.

What about you?

What are you thankful for today?

Blessings to you and yours,

~Heather <3