I originally saw this on Dana's blog. She emailed me the blog entry she got it from, Abundance Blog. I will be posting my answers in parts. Some of these questions don't have easy answers, but I think it will be a good examination of my life. If anyone else is interested, I would be happy to forward you the email containing the questions, or you can click on the links above for more information. And now, without further ado, questions 1-4:
1. What do I want? There are so many levels to answer this on. The first thing that comes to mind, however, is to be happy. I suppose, that would lead to someone asking, "What will make you happy?" Then, there is the debate on joy vs. happiness. Basically, this answer is too abstract. Right now, I want to be successful at treating my ADHD with diet and exercise. I want to grow in wisdom, Biblical and otherwise (no pun intended). I want to be seen as a Creative/Artsy/Writerly person, but - more than that - I want to BE a Creative/Artsy/Writerly person. I want to magically have patience and self-discipline. I want to find true intimate female friendships here in Tupelo, the way I did in Brandon. I want to be a good friend and have good friends. I want to be generous, and I want to have the means to be even more generous. I want to make my husband and children proud of me.
2. What am I grateful for? Again, a question with an answer much longer than any blog can handle. So, in a condensed version, I am grateful for my husband's immense well of patience. How he handles me... Well, I couldn't handle me if I were him. I am thankful for my children, for the fact that we are finally out of the baby stage. I am blessed to have friends who are willing to know even the worst parts of me without withholding their love. I am thankful for a father who has taught me to love myself and accept myself, warts and all. I am beyond blessed by a mother who has always put my sister and I before herself and a stepfather who treated me like his own. I am so completely grateful that I have a good relationship with my stepdaughter. Such relationships hold the potential for so much hurt and stress. It is wonderful that she smiles when she sees me and I smile when I see her. I don't need to be her mom. She has one. I do need to be someone who loves her and someone whom she loves, and I am grateful to have that. I am immensely thankful that we seem to be past the rough behavor issues we had with Haydn during his kindergarten year and that it looks like David will make a smooth transition into school. This could go on. Seriously.
3. What's missing in my life? Balance and fitness. I am terrible at balancing. I either take on way too much at one time or I say no to everything and find myself listless. I am also terrible at balancing my roles as mother and wife with my seemingly-desperate need for solitude and creativity. I am out of shape. Notice, I am not saying, "I am fat." Sure, I have some fat. I am not fond of it, either. I was 110 lbs before I had children, and I now weigh more than I did at 9 months pregnant. So, no, I can't say I am happy with my weight, but it isn't my weight that leads me to list fitness as something missing from my life. I am thinking about health and energy, stamina and well-being. I decided, on New Year's Eve, to crank up an old Aliyiah song and dance. I made it a few seconds before falling onto the couch, out of breath. I am only 26 (27 this month). There is no good excuse for why I am so unhealthy. Treating my body the way I do is disrespectful to the God who made it. I teach my children to respect the gifts we give them, but what kind of example am I setting with the ultimate gift... life?
4. Do I see the whole world anew each new day? Somedays. Usually, once I clear my head of sleep, I can see the day as a new opportunity. I didn't used to, but Natalie helped me with that. I often think of the days she missed out on - the days she would be eternally grateful to have now and the days we all would have been thrilled to share with her. Every moment that she was alive is so precious to me. 33 years wasn't long enough. I read some of her old blog entries, and I always find myself thinking, "When she wrote this, she had XX months (or days or years) left to live." Then, I cannot help but think, "How long do I have? Am I wasting it?" So, yes, I am seeing my days as new and precious. A brand new day with no mistakes in it. His mercies are new every morning.