fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

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hugs for Harlow {day 339}





Last night was our big Hugs for Harlow fundraiser. I am thankful for the amazing people who donated money, raffle and auction prizes, time, and love to make this night possible and to show Harlow and her family how loved and supported they are. AND we raised $10,597 for the Pages! I am amazed and so grateful at the generosity of so many people.
All that said, Harlow’s tumor has shrunk enough that they are going to do surgery. To attempt to get all of the tumor so that this does not recur, they will have to remove her uterus and at least one ovary. They may also have to remove part of her colon, and then we will pray like crazy that the remaining chemo and radiation will kill off any other cancer cells nearby. Please keep Harlow, her family, and the doctors in your prayers–that surgery would be smooth and successful, that the doctors would have wisdom and strength to do what is best, that Ben and Jamie would have some peace even though they’ve just had to hear and try to come to grips with all the worst case scenarios. Harlow still has a long road ahead of her, but if you’ve met her you know she still has tons of fight in her.

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surrounded by generosity {day 257}

Today I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity that I am surrounded by. friends, acquaintances and strangers offering to help with the fundraiser we are putting together. an employee offering a place to stay to another employee whose house flooded. I am just so thankful for the willingness of the people around me to serve others. I. am. blessed.

I also made a bowl that actually looks like a bowl in ceramics today. Thankful for small miracles. 🙂

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redemption {day 211}

Today (thanks in part to international women’s day), I feel like my Facebook and twitter feeds were full of stories of God’s redemption. (although, in truth, if you are looking for it, you can always find small-or very big-stories of redemption.) He redeems horrific situations, seemingly hopeless despair and even the most lost of people. He turns hate to understanding and kindness and ashes to beauty. I am grateful for the ways this is true on both a grand, world-wide scale, and on a personal level. I’m thankful for an almost complete stranger who went way, way out of his way today to help someone I love- to give her hope and remind her that there is no person or situation that is outside of God’s redemptive power. Grace is an amazing thing.

goals {day 204} (late)

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Today I am super grateful for the generosity of my amazing friends and family, who helped me blow my fundraising goal out of the water for the dance marathon today. it is not easy for me to ask people for money, especially because I know that most of the people I know don’t have much to give, but I love Harlow and her family and know without Lurie Children’s (formerly Children’s Memorial) I may not have even had the chance to know her. That’s a cause worth supporting, especially since she is just one of the hundreds of thousands of children they see everyday.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my fundraising page (you’re welcome to donate, of course, but feel no pressure). I want you to hear Harlow’s story and be thankful with me for this hospital who gave her the chance to laugh and dance and hug and LIVE. 🙂

fundraiser {day 199}

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tonight I am exhausted, but grateful. We did a fundraiser today at the theater I manage for Lurie Children’s Hospital (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital). I am grateful for the kindness and generosity of strangers and loved ones, who donated, helped and encouraged. I am also grateful for the owner of our company, who is extremely generous, for my awesome friends who donated raffle prizes, and for my sweet hubs who stayed there with me all day to help set up, take donations and give information. I am so lucky to have a husband who is so supportive.
I am also so thankful for Harlow, who is a living, giggling, dancing little miracle (and who gives really good hugs). Loved visits from her and her family, mom and Riley and a few other friends. I am blessed.

also, don’t forget to get entered in our giveaway. it’s a really good one! it will end at 11:59 pm cst tomorrow (Monday the 25th). you have up to 4 chances to win!

generosity {day 86}

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this past week has been rough. I’m not meaning to complain, just trying to be real. Although I am trying very hard to be grateful, I also never want to pretend that things aren’t ever hard. I think honesty is key in getting through anything. Pretty much the whole last week has been rough fibro-wise. I’ve had pretty significant pain every day. One of the most frustrating things about fibromyalgia, for me, is that  (at least so far) it is extremely unpredictable. The only pattern I’ve definitely established is that if I don’t get enough sleep, that next day is always rough. But other than that, I haven’t been able to find any consistent links to weather, diet, activity level…it can be very discouraging. Some days when fibro is bad, work is stressful, and the things I need to get done are not getting done, it takes some work to find things to be grateful for. That being said, I haven’t missed a day yet, please just be understanding if the thing I’m thankful for is puppy snuggles (again). Some days that’s just the best I’ve got.

Today, though, I am extremely thankful for my husband and his generous spirit. I have always been very emotional and empathetic, so often I will feel the need or desire to help someone, and will imagine having to convince the hubs that this particular cause is worthy of my time/possessions/money. However, even though I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, I am always pleasantly surprised by his willingness to share what we have (even when that’s not much). I am very grateful for a husband who loves my heart and encourages me to bless people, but who also challenges me to give more or differently than my normal comfort zone would have allowed.

What is your favorite way that your spouse/significant other encourages you to be a better person?