This Independence Day looks very different than ever before in my life. But different doesn’t have to mean “bad”. I have seen the posts all week about our independence being stripped away and how there isn’t much to celebrate today. But I would challenge you on that.
Today, let’s reframe those thoughts and talk about gratitude. It’s okay to feel upset with the way things are in our country right now. But don’t let that drive your day because it isn’t going to change anything. Instead, choose thankfulness. Let’s fill our feeds today with positivity and celebrate this day in a different way that will likely be more intimate with our families. We have an opportunity this year to make some very unique memories, so let’s embrace that!
I’ll start with some of the things I am thankful for:
– My incredible husband who has been my rock. There aren’t words to describe the depths of my love and gratitude for this man.
– My beautiful daughter whose personality just lights up a room. She brings so much joy into our lives and I am thankful God chose us to be her parents.
– The fact that I can call Olivia my daughter now and not feel like an outright fraud! That I am now enjoying time with her and don’t feel lost in this empty void. This holiday is the first one I feel emotionally present for, and I am excited to spend it with her. I don’t really remember her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years, because my mind was so warped from PPD. These steps forward are such an incredible blessing.
-My awesome family. I have the best tribe! My parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews — even all these miles apart, they are still willing to be up here whenever we need them. And having the Carrillos so close is just so great!
– The health and well-being of my family and friends during such uncertain times.
– My friends, old and new! God has really blessed our journey by keeping some really special people in our lives, but also by bringing some incredibly beautiful souls into our circle. They have held me up and supported me so much when I didn’t know where to turn.
– My health. The past year has been difficult. God must have a reason for my being here still and I constantly pray that he guides me on the path he would have me follow. I hope it is in advocacy to change how maternal mental health is handled, and really how mental health in America is addressed altogether. I very actively speak with Moms right now and help get them resources and information. And I just keep praying for guidance.
– Our home. Yes, we are in an apartment now that is half the size of our last house and it’s a bit of a hassle to take the dogs out, but it just feels like home. And many places weren’t willing to rent to us because of the size and breed of our dogs, so this was a blessing, for sure. It was good to close the chapter on our house and the darkness that tried to overtake me there. Huge blessings also abounded in that house and we would have never been in the position to be getting a new build now if not for that house. God’s plans and timing is always right.
– The freedom that comes with surrending to the Lord and to “be still”. God’s will does not bend to ours anyway, no matter how hard I try to force things to go the way I want. This has been hard for me. I like to be in control and to know what exactly is going on — it’s how I’ve always kept my anxiety in check. But there is a greater way to keep that portion of my anxiety calmer, and that is by understanding that somebody else is in control and that He will carry me through whatever fires I might encounter.
– The area we live in. We fell in love the minute we visited and knew that we wanted to raise a family here if we were able to have children. It’s just a perfect fit for us and has everything we were looking for as a family. We are so incredibly grateful the opportunity presented itself for us to make the move.
– The country we live in. Yes, it looks different right now and there are forces seeking to cause division and hatred. But they will not win. We are all God’s sons and daughters, and being able to celebrate that freely, where other countries are not, is definitely cause for gratitude. And truthfully, also cause for humility. We have been so caught up in heightened tensions that we have forgotten the basic rule: love one another.
With yet another long-winded post…. again (sorry), I would love to hear what you are grateful for. Drop some in the comments, or share and add in your own, whatever you want. But let’s just change it up today and honor our country’s independence by showering gratitude everywhere!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!