My children have drilled this way of thinking into my brain.

It has been life altering for me!

Just think about this...

I went from being sad, depressed, and desperate to find worth and meaning all of the time to...being grateful.

Seeing beauty in all that surrounds me.

On Sunday, I came into the house after raking and cleaning up leaves all afternoon.

As the Spear Clan gathered around the island in our kitchen, enjoying homemade chili (that simmered all afternoon on the stove top - created with love by Stephen), I stated, "I absolutely LOVE raking leaves! The colors, the smell, the sounds...the kids laughing as they jump into the piles." (I know sappy, but true.)

Stephen replied, "You say that EVERY year."

Seriously, what a perfect vision of gratitude to share!

I watched my trees bud last spring (although it was crazy insane because we went from winter to summer, literally over night - Midwest living!).

Those leaves provided refuge on the most unbearable days of scorching heat and sun.

Then, before they drifted to the ground, last week...they turned from green to a bright, beautiful, glowing yellow.

All of this leads to a cozy winter with the people I love the most (not to mention, drive me crazy more than anyone else 😜).

Trees truly reflect the seasons of our lives, if you think about it....

When I was pregnant with Brendon, I was given a gift, a message:

Stop seeking joy from sources which are unobtainable or far and few between. Slow down and find joy in all that surrounds me.

It was during that time, while pregnant with Brendon, I realized what a gift each second is (even those seconds where you want to wring the neck of your most beloveds... Dear Lord, Grant me patience to endure my blessings).

I was reminded of this EVERY time I took one of my babies for a walk. We stopped to examine every little leaf, rock or stick that lay in our path.

Sticks became swords or magic wands. Rocks and leaves became part of our collections, some still sit on display in and around our home.

During the fall, for years, it took several minutes to walk from our front door to the car with Adelyn, due to the leaves. She would end up with handfuls of colorful leaves, finding beauty in each and everyone. (For months I would find leaves tucked in every nook and cranny of my vehicle.)

When I was pregnant with Brendon, I envisioned a beautiful boy (which he is) who would be physically symmetrical. He'd never struggle to walk or to run or use his right side. His thoughts would flow smoothly out from his lips. I did EVERYTHING I possibly could to give him the most "perfect" beginning to life.

Little did I know that the grand plan (God's) was very different from mine....

I was to return to Law Enforcement, pick up where I left off after having Brendon. Just like my knee reconstruction surgery, right? Three months of rehab and back to the street where I loved most to be!

Not so much!

When I FINALLY was given Brendon's diagnoses (perinatal stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular scoliosis...speech deficit...) I was devastated.

I went into mourning the loss of MY perfect plan....

In the beginning of this new journey, I failed to change my perspective.

It was when I finally did just that, I learned that Brendon was perfectly Brendon, who God had intended him to be.

I have been given the gift to raise Perfectly Brendon and Perfectly Adelyn (don't think they don't test my patients on a day to day basis, but they are discovering who they are and who they are to become).

While he, just like all of us, are a constant work in progress... a change in perspective...the letting go of control...has brought me more joy and love and happiness that I could ever have imagined.

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