This morning I had a great run in the crisp, cool air. As I was running and enjoying the mountainous view, I was thinking about some pressing issues for which I have been pondering different solutions. Despite the freezing temperatures at that early hour there were other energetic joggers and dedicated dog owners. As someone passed me they said hello and commented that my daughter (who was not with me) was beautiful. I said thank you and smiled as I thought of my amazing little girl.
That turned my concentration from the stress of money and trying to co-parent with someone who is (thankfully) not like myself, to reflecting on my many blessings. More blessings than just the miracle of my sturdy, secure, sweet baby girl.
The first was obvious. Here I was thoroughly enjoying a run and it felt great. I was at almost 20 minutes and only half done. As a run-down teenager I'd suffered with fibromyalgia, exercise induced asthma and migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, back aches, other stresses, and the resulting un-fit body that came from all these bricks I could no longer carry. Add in Leukemia later on and I had more to push through in my rugged venture to an active lifestyle. This glorious morning my muscles felt strong and my breathing healthy. My only issue a small tightness in my calf that I knew was from landing wrong during a workout move the day before. I was blessed in overcoming poor health and getting to levels that greatly surpassed my goals.
Blessing number two was where I got to customarily do all of this. My invigorating workout trail is just outside my door. I gazed at the snow covered mountains that harbored hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling trails. The fresh flowing water swirling against the banks. The snow melting on mazes of trails waiting to be rediscovered. The trees taking in the sun in preparation for blooming. The path lazily meandered along the river next to marshy plants beginning their spring growth and returning geese contently bathing (or whatever they were doing). Even as I left the path and turned up the road, I ran down peaceful streets with old, even vintage, homes in cute little yards. Well, mostly peaceful. I passed a group preparing to go snowmobiling and firing up the sled to load it onto the truck.
I love where I live. The outdoor playground with beautiful scenery as a backdrop. The friendly locals and the abundance of fun loving tourists. I feel this is a good, safe place for my daughter to grow up. Where she will enjoy many seasons and the best natural paradise her feet could ever trod. Riding bikes to school. Playing in the snow. Camping and hiking. Sitting in charming little coffee shops savoring a treat.
I have been blessed to spend time with wonderful people in my life here as well. Great friends who enjoy different aspects of life with me. My snowshoers and choir singers and church goers and board gamers. I have been blessed with a welcoming church that has lovingly helped me, patiently stood by me, faithfully pushed me, and consistently had grace with me as I learned, healed, and grew over the last 16 years. I am very grateful for those who have (repeatedly) forgiven me and walked with me anyway when I had struggles. Dependable, sustained relationships, with their faults and grievances, provide a back bone for strengthening character and walking into the destinies that God has for us.
If I look I can see many blessings. Blessings that are bigger than my faults as a mother and wife. Bigger than the mistakes I have made. Bigger than the unknowns that I head into. Life isn't perfect. It is far from it. But the abundance of miracles and favor outweigh the things that can darkly occupy my thoughts as I run and contemplate.
I am thankful for the path I now tread, even with its share of slippery slopes and cantankerous bumps. And I am excited for the new, even more challenging paths it will lead me down in the future.