Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Thankful Heart

Well hello, friends. It feels great to return to the blog. The month has rushed by and those thoughts to update my blog never turned into action. I do apologize but promise, it has been time well-spent in other areas.

I don’t know about you but I love November. The cold comes but it is not that terrible bone-chilling frostiness yet. The leaves remaining on the trees are beautiful autumn shades. Best of all, so many people use this month as a time to reflect on the many gifts in their lives. While in the best of cases we find ourselves grateful all year, sometimes we need a reminder to look for the many things, big and small, to be appreciative for. 

This year has been a pretty monumental one for me.  So I am going to use today’s post to reflect on the many gifts of 2013, even those I couldn’t recognize as such at first. Funny how that happens.

I’m thankful I left teaching and can very honestly say I am happy with the decision. I couldn’t admit that for quite awhile. It was time for a change and when I finally embraced that, let myself off the hook for not being a “forever teacher” – there was a lot of peace in this. 

I’m unbelievably thankful for the gift of friendship. My parents live out of state and I have no living siblings. My friends are so often the closest thing to family here. From my teacher comrades, Delta Zeta sorority sisters, my wacky writer pals, Passion heart sisters, Girl Scout moms, and my new fabulous library friends, I count myself remarkably blessed.

I’m thankful I got sick again. For those of you who don’t know, I started 2013 in the hospital recovering from a complete hysterectomy. While that wasn’t awesome, there are major life lessons in getting sick and the recovery process. Coming out the other side, you see the fragility and strength in the human body. I am constantly amazed by it. You find out who is willing to drop everything and run to your aid and even better, discover how to then pay that help forward.

I am thankful and proud to work for a nonprofit (St. Charles City-County Library Foundation). When you do work that feeds your soul, it doesn’t feel like work.

I am thankful to DuBray Middle School in Fort Zuwalt School District for supporting Madison as she began middle school in a brand new district. She is happy and thriving on Teal Team making this mom very relieved.

I am thankful our friends and family fighting in Afghanistan these last six months made it home safely. No words for this one, just relief.

I am thankful and excited to have all our kids here for Thanksgiving. My stepkids spend most of the year in PA, but Jeff is driving up today to get them. We are looking forward to spending the week together and sharing Thanksgiving with my family down in Memphis. It has been several years since we have been able to do this!

I am thankful to live in St. Charles County. We have an amazing community here and are doing great work. Small businesses, passionate nonprofits, safe schools, thriving industry, and a great library district – I love “our” side of the river.

I am thankful for my scars – my lifelines as my friend Patricia says. All fifteen of them serve as reminders that I am here and am strong enough to live this life. My scars are detours on life’s journey but ultimately, have provided me with unexpected opportunities, clarity, and appreciation. 

I wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving, filled with whatever it is that makes you happy and thankful. -- Karen

Photo Credit: Pinterest


  1. What a lovely tribute. I'm thankful to know you and have the privilege to read your stories.

    1. Thank you Donna! I feel the same about you! As I wrote this I reflected on the many gifts I have, including that of modern medicine. I couldn't help but think of your sister and sent another prayer of healing strength and thanksgiving her way. Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

  2. Karen, one of the things I'm thankful for is that you joined Sat Writers, because of that, I have the privilege of knowing you! This is a beautiful post. You're so young to feel the kind of thankfulness you wrote about, but when you go through the major scares/scars in life, as you learn fast! Wishing you a blissful and safe Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you Becky. I enjoyed seeing you on Thursday, by the way! My parents taught me there is always something to be thankful for - always a light in the dark. Sometimes it takes us a bit to find it but once we can, we are better for it. I'm sure you can relate as well. I hope you have a happy holiday as well, surrounded by those who you are thankful for and those who give thanks for you!

  3. Karen, You are a treasure. Your happy attitude is always infectious and inspiring. Sounds like you will be having a very special Thanksgiving celebration. Enjoy! Maybe some stories will present themselves and you'll just be compelled to write them out. And I'm so glad you have embraced your new career. It is still in the education field and suits you.

    1. Marcia -- We are looking forward to Thanksgiving. It is always nice to return home, even for a short visit. Now if a story would reveal itself, well that might be a Christmas miracle! I hope you and Jim have a wonderful Thanksgiving! --Karen