I have no idea who Mike Greenberg is, but I totally agree on his stance on life. I absolutely believe that life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles.
Over the course of the past twenty five days, I've realized how much I have to be thankful for. Just like I do every year around this time. No matter how many trials or tests I'm put through, no matter how tough life can seem sometimes, I always have more to be thankful for than not. And I know that I have gotten to where I am today thanks to those tiny miracles always being at work.
These tiny miracles can be anything from making it to my destination safely every time I get in a car. Waking up every morning. Making it through another day with my kids still loving me. These are the miracles I kinda take for granted. I don't always think of them as miracles. They just happen. But, they really are miracles.
Then there are those miracles that I pray for. Wish for. Hope for. And somehow, someway, they always happen. Not always in the way I expect, but they happen.
I don't know how many times I've stressed about money. Will we have enough money to pay all the bills? Do we have enough money to buy food for the entire month? Something always tends to break at the worst time, and then I wonder how on earth we're going to be able to afford to fix it. But, you know what? I always do. We always do. Somehow, someway, the money ends up being there. We end up making it.
You can ask my kids how many times I've said "Kids, it's going to be a small Christmas this year. We just don't have enough money to buy a whole lot". Pretty much every Christmas since they've been able to remember. And do you always know what ends up happening? Yeah, never a small Christmas. Somehow, someway, I manage to make it work...and end up getting them pretty much everything they want and several things they didn't expect. I don't know how I do it... it just happens. And that doesn't mean I buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff, or that buying them tons of Christmas presents is important. Having a big Christmas is something I work hard for all year. It means a lot to me...way more than it does to the kids. I know with all my heart that my kids don't expect a lot, they don't require a lot. That's all my doing, and it means a lot to me that one day out of the year I can spoil them rotten and buy them things they normally wouldn't expect or ask for.
And those are just the materialistic miracles. They happen a lot, and are important, but definitely not the only miracles that happen in my life.
There are the situations that knock on my door that take all the praying and hope and faith I have. I'm given some bad news, and I start to imagine the worst. Think the worst. Am eaten up by the possibilities and scenarios that play out from that news. And, then the miracle happens. Everything is going to be OK. None of those bad scenarios happen.
I've shared with you that I received some pretty tough news last week. I want to share what's going on, but I can't. Because it's not directly about me. Someone very close to me was given some earth shattering news. News that brought me to tears in an instant. Left me crying until I cried myself to sleep. Has had me out of work for two days in the past week...more than I've missed the entire time I've been teaching. A situation that had the potential of taking one of the most important people in my life away from me.
And yesterday, we found out that one of those small miracles has possibly come to light. It's not definite yet. But, all preliminary signs tell us that it's going to be OK. She's going to make it through.
Sometimes, I truly believe that I am put through the tests I'm given just so I can see the light and miracle waiting on the other side. It's kinda like the "work hard and reap the benefits" scenario. I don't expect anything in my life to just be handed to me. I've always been a firm believer in working for what I have. Making sacrifices. Weighing options. It's what I do, and how I appreciate everything that I am blessed with.
If I were to go back and visit myself ten years ago, and asked myself what I thought my life would be like ten years later... I'm pretty sure I would have said that I'd still be working my behind off to make ends meet. The thought of going to school, earning my degree, and getting my dream job would be nothing but a dream. There would be no way I could make it happen. I had two babies to take care of. I had bills to pay. Finding a man to share my life with and following my dreams would be fantasy... something that just wouldn't be feasible.
And now look.
If I were to go back to the beginning of 2007. I'd tell you that I'd finally found the means to go to school. I'd finally found a man to share my life with. He had accepted my two children as his own, yet I had been wanting another baby, but it just wasn't in the cards for me. My body just wouldn't cooperate, and I was told that the likelihood of ever having another child were slim to none. I went through vigorous tests and procedures only to find out that I wasn't ovulating like I should. Another baby just wasn't going to happen. So, I had made the decision to follow my career dreams. Another baby just wasn't meant to be, no matter how much I had hoped and prayed.
And now look.
If I were to go back to this time two years ago...November, 2011... and ask myself what my future looked like. I'd tell myself that I didn't think I would ever find a teaching job. That the thought of owning a home was something that just couldn't happen anytime soon. We would be stuck in our old house for several more years.
And now look.
And if I were to go back a week and a half ago, I'd tell myself that my life was going to go through a drastic change. I had to face the reality that I might be losing someone I love with all my heart. Someone that I can't live without. And that reality was one of the most heart crushing experiences I've ever been through. Forget the money problems, the school problems, the job hunting problems, the house problems...this was all of them rolled together and then some. Then, yesterday, we received good news...and it looks as though everything is going to be OK.
Another miracle. Another chance.
I sometimes think it's sad that I wait until November of each year to realize how much I have to be thankful for in my life...and the miracles that I'm blessed with almost daily. I often take for granted the gifts that are bestowed on me each and every day.
I am going to try and be better about remembering these miracles, and being thankful for them...each and every day.
Because my life really is made up of thousands of tiny miracles, and hundreds of big miracles, and dozens of GIANT miracles.
And for that, I'm truly thankful.