Friday, January 27, 2017

WINNER


Hello, friends!

If you haven't had a chance to read my post called It's Revolution Time, you can read it HERE. I started a little gratitude revolution here on A Perfect Lily, and so many of you joined me! I did the same thing on Instagram (psalm127.5) and had the same response... I absolutely loved reading all of the things you all are grateful for ! 

Here are a few :

Jennifer Foster said...
I'm grateful for 1. My current health (in remission with Crohn's disease) 2. I have 2 beautiful boys despite doctors saying I may never have babies 3. That my husband is staying home from work tomorrow just because. :)


Emmy O. said...
1] I'm grateful for the opportunity to go through college and be studying for my nursing boards - it is something I complain about frequently, but education is so valuable.
2] I'm grateful for friends & family that offer the most inspiring words of wisdom for the "not so fun" days.
3] I'm grateful for fresh flowers & a new wreath to brighten up this gloomy Iowa weather!

I'm now setting a journal by my bed to make this a nightly routine! Thanks for the inspiration!! :)


Rebecca Martin said...
I am grateful for: 1. A sovereign Lord. One who never abandons, one who is always there. 2. People. It has been five months since I tragically lost a huge piece of my heart and world, my brother. The oldest of ten. My people have rallied around me. I am strong because of them. 3. New days. I cry myself to sleep most nights missing the life I had and the future I had hoped for. But I know in the morning it's a new day, and a new chance to keep on keeping on. ❤



I read every one of your comments, and the ones on Instagram as well, and I was so inspired. So many of you have been through hard things .... HARD THINGS ... and yet you found the silver lining. You reframed your difficulties and saw the good that is there, in spite of the heartache.

And that made me think about something else : gratitude is not ignoring that sometimes life is very sucky, is it ? Sometimes crud happens. 

Gratitude is not pretending there is nothing hard or painful or downright ugly in life. 

And I'll even add something right now - I have a really hard time with phony gratitude. I've met people throughout my life that have such a simplistic view of trials and hardship it is almost painful to be around them. It's stomach turning, actually. And I hope my post didn't come across that way.

When we downplay others' grief we just look ... fake. For example, if you share with someone that you're about to have three root canals (me, two years ago !) and someone tells you to look on the bright side - you have teeth ! - you have my permission to slap them. That's not what I mean when I say that I am making a conscious effort to reframe my troubles to find the good ... and it's one thing to do this for ourselves, it's quite another to reframe someone else's pain for them ! 

So when I write about gratitude - true gratitude - I am NOT talking about slapping a bandaid on heartbreaking situations or glibly responding to real tragedy with a trite "look on the bright side!". There are things people are facing in life that will never be solved with a bumper sticker. My real aim here (and I'm sure the author of The Gratitude Diaries would feel the same) is not to make light of people's burdens. 

Having said alllll that ... there IS an attitude we can employ in life that acknowledges heartache and grief and hardship, and still seeks to find the silver lining for ourselves, no matter how small it may be. True gratitude says "this is hard - REALLY HARD - but I'm going to find something here that is good."


it's hard work learning how to sit up !!




Here's something I am grateful for: Down syndrome.

Would I pray for my girls to face challenges in life physically, cognitively or otherwise ? Of course not.

That "magical extra chromosome" also carries with it the potential for a host of very serious illnesses, and it also means my daughters will struggle to be able to do what most people don't even think about doing. While they might marry some day (google it, lots of sweet stories out there!) having children of their own is something they will never experience. They will always need help in life... they will never be completely independent. These are just the facts.

BUT ... my girls' diagnosis has changed all of our lives in such profound ways, that I am eternally grateful for the privilege of raising them. And I don't say that tritely or lightly.

If I had a magic wand and could wave away their extra chromosome, would I do it ? At one time I would have said no - they are who God created them to be. And I still feel that way - God didn't make a mistake when He created them.

But any mama - given the chance - would take away the possibility of her baby facing leukemia. Or early Alzheimers. Or heart surgery. I would be foolish to say I'm completely grateful for the fact that Lily and Madison were at a much greater risk for those things when they were born than their siblings with typical genes. And if you try to tell me to "just love them for who they are" then you missed the point. I love my girls more than anyone does (except their dad and siblings!) ... I consider them my greatest blessings in life. But no mommy wants her children to face disease or health issues. Talk to any mom whose child went through years of cancer treatment, or like Madison, heart surgery - nobody would wish that on their child. 




HOWEVER .... I am grateful that Down syndrome provides us all with an opportunity to appreciate the little things in life (like sitting up !!!). Things that were once taken for granted are now cause for celebration ! Every milestone, no matter how small, is cause for a party here. At any given moment you will hear one of my kids yelling, "COME LOOK WHAT LILY IS DOING !" and the entire Rice Ranch population comes running.

Down syndrome has given us greater compassion for individuals facing similar challenges and struggles in life.

Down syndrome has opened doors to friendships we never would have had before our girls were born. Some of my closest friends are now mommies of children with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome has opened our eyes to children born in other nations who need families .. babies who face life in an institution because of their diagnosis. We've been privileged to help adoptive families financially over the years, and I am grateful for that opportunity.

Down syndrome has brought our family closer together in so many ways- too many to list in one blogpost.

And despite all the medical and physical and cognitive challenges my girls face because of Down syndrome, there is no denying that their potential for love and joy and affection is just as magnified because of their diagnosis. For that I am GRATEFUL.





SO without further ado... this little video will announce the winner of The Gratitude Diaries. There were 63 entires between the comments left on Instagram and the blog, and I wrote all the names on paper and put them in a bowl. Miss Lily drew the winner ...





Congrats to Tori B. !! Email me your address and I will order you a copy of The Gratitude Diaries today :)


Thanks again to all who are joining me in the Gratitude Revolution ... if you want to leave three more things you are grateful for today, I'd love to keep this going ... happy Friday !

8 comments:

Balley77 (Sarah) said...

Hi Patti

I love your blog, and have followed it for a few years now. Not sure if you have anything like this in the US?
https://lovekeepcreate.co.uk

One way to cherish those special items.

Take care
Sarah
X

Balley77 (Sarah) said...

Hi Patti

I love your blog, and have followed it for a few years now. Not sure if you have anything like this in the US?
https://lovekeepcreate.co.uk

One way to cherish those special items.

Take care
Sarah
X

Patti said...

How sweet ! Thank you for sharing !!

Anne B. said...

Today I am grateful that although I did not win the "Revolution" prize, I am able to order it for myself and benefit from your sharing of it.
I am grateful for the weekend after a looooong week of work.
I am grateful that my hubby chose to invite me out to dinner instead of having to cook after that fore mentioned looooong week of work!
Love these pics of Lily helping Bunny with her new-found sitting skills! (((HUGS)))!!!!

Holly said...

Today I am grateful for the Travel show, meting my parents, my sister and her hubby, and my nephew and his girlfriend there so we can dream of a vacation.

I am grateful my daughter was involved in the Color Guard in high school, I still enjoy watching them and will spend the afternoon with my Mom at a Color Guard competition.

I am grateful to have avoided the colds going around the office, thankful to be well.

Race Bannon said...

I never win anything.

Ever.

Race Bannon said...

I never win anything.

Ever.

Patti said...

You can't win if you don't play.