“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” This quote could have so many meanings to so many people depending on what they’re going through. For me, it made me realize that I spend too much time in the past.
There’s a small decoration that sits on my desk. It reads, “begin each day with a grateful heart.” Some days I stare at it and smile as thoughts of happy memories flood my mind. I hear my kids laughing and playing. I picture family vacations and experiences that we’ve shared together. Some days, I feel such intense gratitude for my life that it overwhelms me. Tears fill my eyes, and I thank God for the beauty that surrounds me.
At that moment, I was once again blinded by that incredible light inside of him. It shines through his laugh, his selflessness, his kindness, and the way he loves others with every piece of his heart. It’s rare that someone so young can make you want to be a better person, but that’s what he does.
My children inspire me on a daily basis. They make me want to be a better person. They inspire me with their words, their actions, and their amazing ability to fight a disease like Duchenne with such grace. I work hard every day to serve them with love, humility, and compassion. I want my children to feel loved unconditionally. I never want them to feel like their needs are a burden to me. I strive to have a servant’s heart.
I’m a good mom, but I don’t always feel like one. Every day I do so many things for my children that I’m proud of, but by the end of the day, my thoughts always seem to shift to where I fell short. I use every ounce of my energy to care for my family. I accomplish more in one day than some probably get done in a week, and yet, I go to bed focused on my failures. I close my eyes, wondering what I could’ve done better. I’m constantly wondering if I did enough, and it’s exhausting.
Every day we have a choice to make. We can live in fear by letting negative thoughts consume our minds, or we can take charge of them with determination. We can take our thoughts captive and purposefully focus on joy, or we can let the pain take over, but the choice is ours to make.
That day felt like the end of the world. Depression took over and brought me to a dark place I didn’t recognize. A place where getting out of bed was suddenly difficult, and sobbing in the shower was normal. Everyone else seemed so different from us now. I didn’t understand how the world could keep turning or how the sun could keep rising. How could everyone continue living like normal when our lives had just so tragically been flipped upside down?
I have a confession to make. I love being a mom, and I’m honored by my role as a caregiver, but sometimes it exhausts me to my core. Sometimes I don’t feel like being patient. Sometimes I don’t feel like being gentle, kind, and loving. I care for my children every day, and I wouldn’t change that for the world, but it’s also really hard.
Someone recently asked me what I do to show intentional gratitude in my life. A question that should’ve been simple was somehow difficult for me to answer. I’ve always considered myself a grateful person. I grew up in a happy home with wonderful parents and siblings. God has blessed me with a life that I’m proud of, full of wonderful memories. I’m married to my best friend, and we have three incredible children together. My life is full of things to be grateful for, yet I couldn’t answer the question.
This week my two sons got their very first power chairs. It was a day full of smiles as they raced through the house and tested their chairs’ ability to lift up and down, turn corners, and navigate their bedrooms. My sons are only eight and nine years old, and yet this day is already here because they fatigue so quickly. It was such a blessing to receive these fantastic chairs. They will give my boys more independence and more rest for their muscles throughout the day. It is an absolute blessing in every way, but it’s also incredibly bittersweet.