Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thankful Thoughts . . .

For those new to my blog, let me begin with a brief explanation of this weekly post...  A couple of years ago I began a post entitled “Thankful Thursday.” I was motivated to write this weekly post by bloggers who wrote regular gratitude journal entries on their sites. Their thoughts were often poignant and sweetly personal. As a result of their musings my heart was made more grateful, and I became more appreciative of my own blessings. In time writing my own gratitude post helped me to look at things with a more positive attitude and a more thankful heart. Eventually my “Thankful Thursday” posts went by the wayside, but several months ago I decided to re-institute a it as a weekly post that I publish on Sundays. I call this post "Thankful Thoughts." At the end of each week I answer one or more of these three questions...

1.) What surprised me this week?
2.) What moved me this week?
3.) What inspired me this week?

By concentrating on these questions throughout the week, I start and end each week with a more grateful, happy heart and a more positive outlook on life. On to this week's journal entry...

What inspired me this week?

Earlier this week the woman's organization at our church had a service project. Several different items were created or assembled for various organizations to help those in need. My daughter and I chose to work on some pillowcase dresses for an organization called FOVC -- Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children. FOVC works to restore hope, dignity and empowerment to orphans and widows in Shanto, a small rural village in Ethiopia. Its goal is to end the cycle of poverty and hunger through education and income-generating activities.

At the beginning of the meeting Lory Howlett, an FOVC board member, spoke passionately about this organization that she helped establish. For months I have been thinking about volunteering for a service-related organization. Unfortunately "thinking" about is was as far as it went. Although there are many deserving organizations that can use volunteers, I never found one that I felt connected to. That night as I listened to Lory I was inspired. Lory and her husband helped organize FOVC, and with the help of others they have accomplished much in the lives of the orphans and widows in this small Ethiopian town. They have also adopted two children from that area to complete their family. Their story made me consider just how influential one individual can be in the lives of many.

That night the women in our church group made 22 pillowcase dresses for the little girls in the town of Shanto. Other items were donated as well. I came home from that meeting wanting to do more. I look forward to helping in the months to come by pledging to make at least one pillowcase dress a week for the next year. I am grateful to have found an organization and cause that I can get behind and contribute to. It is inspiring to know that a few hours of my time each week will put clothing on the back of a little one and make a difference in the life of that child.

What moved me this week?

I would be remiss to let this day go by without giving thanks to the wonderful women in my life who are inspiring examples to me of motherhood. My mother and mother-in-law are at the top of my list, but I have been blessed by many who have and do influence and move me to be a better mother. My five daughters, all young mothers themselves, are prime examples.

I have come to realize in the last few years that motherhood is a life-long endeavor. Although I am no longer in the thick of it like I was as a young mother, I still feel very connected to this calling called "motherhood." For that I am grateful. Although there are many things in the life that add fulfillment and happiness, there is little to compare to the joy a couple can receive as they watch their children {and grandchildren} grow and become. I am moved and grateful for the blessing I have been given to be a mother.

Happy Mother's Day!