Top Ten: Reasons to be Thankful

Hi friends. Once upon a time I started a blog about my family and one of the mainstays was a segment called Top Ten. Although we recently celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday the season of being grateful and reflective continues to linger in my thoughts. So here are the top ten reasons why I’m grateful.

The Husband – I will always be grateful for the life of Jonathan Tucker. We met when I was a sophomore and he was a freshmen in college. Although we have been married for ten years we have been friends for almost twenty. He gets me and I get him; we really are each other’s best friend. His relaxed, calm demeanor and overall Type B personality are the perfect pairing to my Type A personality. This year we have faced some challenges and as usual I go extreme but he always provides another perspective and brings me back to center. Whenever I face a challenge or difficulty I always say to myself “what would Tucker do?” His response would be: “Do not be anxious for anything but in everything make your request to the Lord (paraphrased) Philippians 4:6. This year I am grateful for perspective.

Matthew – The Great. It’s crazy to believe that he is in kindergarten but with packing lunches, homework twice a week, sight words and an increase in flexing his independence wings he is doing it! I just love Matthew because he is truly a unique and special little boy who we know is destined for greatness. In addition, the Great One challenges me as a mom to rethink my preconceived ideas of parenting. He will not allow me to put him in a box and if I listen he tells me everything that I need to know about his world. Learning how to slow down and see life through his eyes has not always been easy but it is very necessary. This year I am grateful for living in the moment.

Madelyn -The General. This little spitfire is my only little girl and she brings so much joy and humor to my life. Having raised a boy first it so interesting raising a girl because there are so many differences. She know what she wants, when she wants it and how to get it and I pray that she will always be this determined. Oftentimes as women we sit back and just “go with the flow” instead of rocking the boat. In just two short years with Madelyn, I see that this behavior is learned and many times from the very women in our lives who we admire. I pray that Madelyn will grow up to be a woman who lives her life for an audience of one without apology. This year I’m grateful for persistence.

Ethan – The Guardian. Oh sweet Ethan the baby of the family and he knows it! We like to call him our wild card or sour patch kid because sometimes he’s sweet and sometimes he’s sour. I do believe this is in relation to his passionate personality. Whether it is playing basketball, reviewing his alphabet or watching Red Ball 4 he goes all in at 90 mph. I laugh because although he doesn’t say much when he does you know that you are in his presence. He is relentless and will not back down until you acknowledge him. He keeps me on my toes and I have learned to stand strong in my parenting style (somewhat). This year I’m grateful for passionate pursuits.

Faith – As a believer we oftentimes think that everything is supposed to be rosy and easy, well that’s a lie. Although we face circumstances that might not be favorable or hard we have someone who is right with us. This year I am walking this out on a daily basis. In addition, my attitude and response to tough situations have been challenged as well. Am I complaining? Am I thinking thoughts that I shouldn’t? Am I walking in love? So this year I have held onto scripture (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 27:14, Hebrews 12:1-3) like never before to encourage, remind and prompt me to behave as a believer should. This year I am grateful for intentionality.

Health – If you have been following the Ford Girls from the beginning then you know that we had a health scare with our dad in June. Fast-forward and I have other family members battling health concerns as well. Life is so short. Life is so precious. Life is so fragile. After I had the twins I paid no attention to my weight gain until I saw I had a gut! For me that is not acceptable and I decided to make some minor changes in my diet which resulted in me losing 5 lbs. and keeping it off. Now my goal is to lose an additional ten and to incorporate exercise into my regimen. Baby steps and consistency along with being kind to myself will be the key. Who else will join me? This year I am grateful for self-awareness.

Growth and Challenges – I combined these two things because they both work hand in hand. If you want to grow in any area in life you must go through challenges, hardships, difficulties. Why? It will test your determination, build character and make you stronger. I know what areas need work and improvement because those are the areas in which I am constantly being challenged. I hope that I am coming to the end of these challenges BUT I can tell that I am growing and maturing. In addition, these challenges are not just for me…they are for others to find encouragement or to learn from my mistakes and avoid pitfalls. This year I am grateful for….growth and challenges.

Podcasts – During my single, child free days I was an avid reader and could consume books in a short amount of time. Now when I sit down to read I either fall asleep or read a book for six months. In an effort to continue to learn and stay current my secret weapons are podcasts. My daily commute is 45 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to listen to a podcast. My podcasts range from sermons, parenting topics, girl boss talks and blogging 101. You really can learn anything about everything. This year I am grateful for self-improvement.

Me – in a nutshell I’m grateful for the lessons learned and how they continue to mold and shape me into the woman that He has created me to be. I am grateful for being 38, black, woman, married with kids and embracing my purpose.