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I've Come a Long Way

I stood in the living room of our first home tonight and realized that the space between it an my kitchen was the same size (if not bigger) than any apartment I lived in as a child.  It was a profound realization...

Why haven't I appreciated what I have more?  Why have I taken advantage?  I never, EVER imagined myself in a home this big, let alone the FIRST home we would purchase.  

This all started because I spent my evening watching THREE hours of clips of the Ellen Show.  I thought I had a bad day.  So I watched some awesome clips of celebs being adorable, the cuties Sophia Grace & Rosie (why haven't I seen these dolls before?!) and then this clip...

I found myself humbled.  How is it that I live the life I do with the complaints I have when not-so-long-ago I was living with my mama and brother in a 1 bedroom apartment while she did all she could to support us?  How is that I had forgotten what THAT was like?!  I thought I hadn't until I watched this show and this woman who was truly doing all she could to be her better self.  

And it hit me like a ton of bricks: how DARE I forget to realize the true fortune I have in my life?! What right do I have to complain that I don't have money to do the things I WANT to when just a few years back, my mother struggled to give us the things we NEEDED?!  I remember those days...but I'm sure not as much as she does.  I remember Christmas' that were so graciously provided by perfect strangers out of the goodness of their hearts.  I even remember one Christmas during middle school when I was given a bottle of Exclamation! perfume (remember that?!) and thought it was the best.thing.ever.  And I remember going to school and being embarrassed because I couldn't tell the other kids where it came from.

So, I'm grateful tonight because I realized that my life is different.  And while I'm not exactly who I want to be or where I want to be, I'm in a place that is better...a place that I know my mother wanted me to be.  

And I'm also a little angry at myself for not being incredibly and constantly grateful for all that I've found in life: a lovely and amazing husband, a healthy family, a newly extended family, tried and true friends, a home, a career in an industry I truly love, a pup.....

I will never be perfect and I will NEVER be Ellen ;-), but if I can help people who need it, then I'm not a wasted person.

It's amazing how small things can make such incredibly large impacts on your surroundings.  I pray my children don't go through what I did, but are able to understand it. I pray that they are the best they can be...just like my mama did.


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